Everyone has one. One terrible relationship that lasted far too long, where you made small but significant compromises over time until you sacrificed every shred of self-worth for a person that honestly, never came close to deserving it.
You gave and gave and hoped that if you figured out that one thing only YOU could give, they would eventually give you something in return, maybe even (gasp) love.
But they never do. And eventually we find ourselves completely alone, our values abandoned along the way, our spirit completely shattered. And here’s the thing that makes a Divine Asshole different from a typical relationship; we look at this person and they hardly notice that we sacrificed anything at all. They might even still be happy; because they haven’t given up a thing.
This is the most important relationship of your life: this was your Divine Asshole.
This relationship is just different. It’s not just another bad breakup.
I hear this slight difference when people tell me their story. They don’t talk about the logistics of a relationship (he bailed on me when my mom died, he cheated on me with my BFF) but instead, it becomes a healing experience. The conversation becomes introspective and transformative, “I can’t believe I justified his excuses to my family when he bailed on me at my mom’s funeral” or “When he cheated on me with my BFF, I actually fought to stay in the relationship. I never want to feel that again.”
In that moment, when you realize that you’ve given up everything important to you, you are cracked open. You are stripped raw and can see yourself for what is really important to you. You can say “Never again, for fuck sake. Never again.”
This blog post isn’t a rage-fest about what a dick your ex was (I already did that), because this terrible experience isn’t about them at all. After a few years, you’ll barely remember the little logistics that caused the fights, but you’ll have a physical reaction to how they made you feel. With the mention of their name, you’ll be pulled back to that feeling of loneliness, distrust and fear. (yeah, I just felt it too)
I want you to take that feeling and use it as a catalyst for finding true amazing love. Some people say “Living well is the best revenge”, but I believe it goes so far beyond that.
This is your transformative moment, where you realize that if you want that mind-blowing relationship, where you feel loved and held, you need to ask for it. You need to make your needs a priority and you need to figure out what the hell that means.
They were a flashlight on your fears
The Divine Asshole has a talent for scoping out your darkest fears and bringing them to the surface of your relationship. Whatever your insecurities are (your body, family, intelligence, etc.) this will become a central part of your relationship. Thank them for this! “Thank you for reminding me that I still have unhealed trauma around my relationship with my dad.” “Thank you for reminding me that I still struggle with my body image.” Forgiveness doesn’t happen right away, but having gratitude helps. Be thankful for that they are pointing the flashlight directly on the part of you that needs to heal before you can have a truly loving relationship.
You are tuned in to your intuition
That deep gut-wrenching feeling that you ignored for months or years that told you “this isn’t ok”. That is your intuition. When you ignore it, it gets stronger. During a terrible relationship, that feeling becomes so strong you can barely contain it. This is the greatest tool you’ll ever learn. And now it has become such a strong visceral feeling that you can tune into it’s subtleties and shifts and your future relationships will be much easier to navigate.
They gave you the courage to end things
I’ve noticed a strange trend with many Divine Asshole relationships. Even though you were the one that was wrecked throughout the relationship, you are often the one who finally breaks it off. Not always, sometimes you know that you should, but don’t and the final goodbye seems like a fluke or anti-climatic end to a traumatic relationship. But the courage that you gain from ending a relationship that you fought so hard to save, is incredibly powerful. Don’t underestimate how that empowerment can change your future relationships and set you up for a great love.
They direct us towards love, by showing us what it ISN’T
When we are young, we don’t necessarily know what love is. This is a lifelong practice and exploration, but after a Diving Asshole, we know exactly what it ISN’T. And that’s a useful gauge. It re-calibrates your emotional compass. You don’t need to know exactly where you’re going, but you know that you’re headed into the right direction, and away from what you DON’T want.
They show us how significant our emotional time is
The most common thing I hear after a Divine Asshole is “I can’t believe I gave him 15 years.” or “I stayed in that relationship 3 years too long”. Knowing when and how to get out of a relationship is one of the most important skills to building emotional intelligence. Guess what? you just learned it.
They give us the language we need to talk about what we need
With my clients, I have them write the entire story of their DA relationship. From the list of things they did, did not do, promised to do, or failed at, we build a list of things that you need from your next relationship. When you realize the things that hurt the most, it directly translates into the things that are most valuable in your next relationships. You create the language you need to ask for what you want. “I need someone who is busy and creative, but makes time for me.” I never knew that until after my DA. Acknowledging your Divine Asshole is the first step. But don’t let them define you, you have the opportunity to learn and grow from that relationship or to continue wallowing. If you need help doing this. Call me.