Are You Turning the Asshat’s Bread Crumbs Into a Rustic Loaf?

Signs of an abusive relationshipAhh, that perennial relationship black hole of Calcutta, the Asshat.
  • They don’t call when they say they will.
  • They don’t show up when expected.
  • They brood at social gatherings with friends and family.
  • You’re fairly certain they’re cheating on you in office cubicles, toilet stalls and perhaps even in your own bed.

These are all the signs of an abusive relationship.

There are some people for whom the dyed-in-Charmin Asshat holds no charm.

These emotionally healthy people kick Asshats to the curb once they’ve disappointed them for the very first time.

Then there are the rest of us. We will suffer Asshats gladly for weeks, months, nay years at a time

I was an Asshat-magnet for approximately ten years. Asshats could sniff out my needy co-dependence from 100 miles away, as the crow flies.

And one of the things that kept me trapped in my Asshatalicious relationship FOR FIVE YEARS, was my ability to take the Asshat’s bread crumbs and whip them into a rustic loaf, because I absolutely wanted to make a case for staying in the relationship.

For example:

I was embroiled with Mr. Cruelly Handsome for five years, two of which we lived together, because I was certain that grappling him into a shared domicile would soon evolve into a marriage proposal.

I thought once we made it to the altar, all of our problems (his moping, lying, cheating, stonewalling; my nagging, bitching, spying and auditioning for wife with acrobatic sex) would all go away.

Yes. Marriage is the answer! Throw in a couple of kids and we’re Family Of The Year.

Unfortunately, once Mr. Cruelly Handsome moved in, we ended up moving backwards.

He moped even more, hedged against making any plans with me and started taking overtimes ad nauseam at his fire station.

(And, I’m fairly certain now, some of those overtimes were taken between the legs of willing firefighter groupies.)

In the end, he was pretty much rarely home.

Our first Christmas together, I tried to harangue him into helping me decorate our home for the season; thinking if we hung tinsel, wreaths and garlands together, we’d morph into a “normal” couple.

The problem was, Mr. Cruelly Handsome always managed to be busy whenever I wanted to decorate.

With Christmas Eve fast approaching, I decided not to wait for him and decorated the entire house and tree alone. (Are you weeping for me yet? I was such a sad little sack).

When he came home from overtime 5,460 I scolded him for not helping me (and you just imagine how desirable scolding can be).

I awoke the next morning to find him leaving for yet another overtime.

After he left, I rolled out of bed to start yet another co-dependent, obsessive, tiny little day when I discovered his contribution to our holiday home.

There on the mantel above our fireplace he’d hung a teeny, tiny, fig-leaf sized Christmas stocking.


That diminutive red stocking, with the white faux-fur trim, made my heart swell.

  • He was trying.
  • He loved me.
  • He wanted to make me happy.
  • Just look at that microscopic, imperceptible little boot!

My friends, I was the Giada DeLaurentis of making bread crumbs into rustic loaves. Any infinitesimal gesture on Mr. CH’s part were polished to a fine luster in my heart, until I began to expect less and less and less.

Until finally, I gave him credit for really nothing at all

If this resonates with you, I’d like you to do 3 things.

1. Write down every single thing your Asshat does that you consider to be a positive contribution to your relationship. Once you’ve done that, make the next list.

2. Think about a person with whom you have a very simple, loving, reciprocal relationship.

This is a relationship that buoys you up; makes you stronger and more self-confident.

It could be with a family member, a co-worker, a lifelong friend. But it must be an effortless, good relationship.

Now, write down all of the ways this person contributes to your relationship.

3. Finally, compare the two lists.

This should give you some clarity about what you need in your romantic relationship and what you’re not getting.

3 thoughts on “Are You Turning the Asshat’s Bread Crumbs Into a Rustic Loaf?”

  1. I am a recovering Asshat Co-Dependent. Today I gave in and wrestled the beast. I need to regain control. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. I left my asshat a few months ago after finding a message on his phone, that he got mad at me about for invading his privacy.I still find myself thinking of little things he did and thinking well that means he cared! However I have to remind myself time and again of the number of times he cheated on me, was distant, angry, and never shared a conversation deeper then how’s the weather with me. Apparently in this guy’s mind, the fact that he mowed my grass for me once in awhile meant that I was to believe every unbelievable story he told me about other women. I’m glad to be rid of him but man could I use some help and not picking another one like him. I get hooked in with the charm and friendliness, and they are always so kind and sweet at the beginning. And usually cute too. I just don’t ever ever want to do this again!

    1. Carla – I know exactly how you feel. I kept choosing the same guy, but in a different body. I’ll be rolling out a webinar this fall that could really help you. In the meantime I’ll continue posting free articles about How to Avoid Asshats and Find Real Love, also if you’re not on my mailing list, if you join you’ll automatically get an article about how to break your addiction to an Asshat. It’s a tough cycle to break, but I did it and I know you can too. Also, there’s a great 12-step program that helped me change my dating patterns. It’s called Al-Anon, and although they say it’s for people in relationships with alcoholics, it’s really just for people who get addicted to the wrong people. You might want to check it out, it’s free and it was pivotal in helping me change myself to make better choices. xo S

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