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But I Love Him: Protecting Your Teen Daughter from Controlling, Abusive Dating Relationships Paperback – September 18, 2001

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Editorial Reviews Review

Parents of teen daughters listen up: according to Dr. Jill Murray, more than one in three girls will be involved in an abusive relationship. But I Love Him gets to the heart of this scary topic as painlessly as possible. With so much focus on physical concerns these days, it's not often that such emotional issues are confronted early enough to prevent them from becoming physical as well. Murray's constant theme is "love is a behavior", and in her book she shows not only what some destructive patterns are, but how even young teens can break free. Murray is a counselor and a parent, and she uses many real-life examples throughout the book; while many end positively, the few that don't are impossible to forget. When differences between emotional, sexual, and physical abuse are explained, you'll read stories like "My boyfriend used to shove me around and I'd cry. He'd say to me, 'stop being so dramatic. It's not like I hit you or anything.'" That's sad enough coming from an adult; when you see that this girl was only 14, it's even worse.

Happily, much time is devoted to healing, and many clear-cut methods are laid out--this is not a problem likely to "just go away," and Murray emphasizes that this is the time when girls need their parents most deeply. Every parent in this situation is bound to ask why it is happening, and chapters concerning early patterns and family stress are dealt with in a fairly delicate manner--you won't find blame here, just a request to examine your own relationships honestly. Anyone who lives or works with teens is likely to benefit from learning about the issues addressed here; certainly this is not a book to be lightly dismissed. --Jill Lightner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Dr. Jill Murray is a psychotherapist with a private practice in Laguna Niguel, California. She speaks to thousands of students and parents in high schools around the country each year on the topic of abusive teen relationships, a focus she developed while serving as lead therapist at a domestic violence shelter for women and children. Her appearances on Oprah, Leeza, and radio call-in shows have generated overwhelming response from concerned parents nationwide. She lives in Laguna Niguel.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1st pbk. ed edition (September 18, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060957298
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060957292
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I am a teenage girl who was in an abusive realtionship. One day I stumbled across this book in the self-help section of a book store. It caught my attention so I bought it (even though it was focused towards the parents of teenage girls). I began reading it only to find that I wish I would have read this book before I started dating him. I was in an abusive relationship for three years. Knowing what I know after reading "But I Love Him" I would not have dated the guy (and I no longer do). This book by far is the best book I have ever read. I strongly think that every teenage girl should read this book before they start to date. It will open their eyes to a world of abuse they have never seen or been through before. I couldn't get through chapters without crying for it hit home very hard. The author has this book right on, like she had been through it before. Buy this book for you and then have your daughter read it also. LET ME TELL YOU, IT'S A REAL EYE OPENER.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Carmen Matthews on May 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
Before I tell people who I meet that my life mission is to guide women and girls to earn trust in themselves, I often have the privilege of being asked relationship or mother/daughter questions by girls between the ages of 14 and 21.
With the comments that I've heard, lately, I feel compelled to review this excellent book, in hopes that those whom I haven't spoken to find something in both this review, and in Dr. Murray's book, to guide them to earn trust in themselves.
To earn trust in themselves does require you to accept the reality of now, and to admit what you may have up to now not admitted (If you have trouble doing this, this admission is a great beginning).
Let's start with what makes abusive relationships different from teen girls, versus women who are much older.
With teen girls the priorities are:
1. Peer approval (this is usually about image, not reality)
2. Gender-role expectations (some girls are taught that
having a boyfriend is analogous to being lovable)
3. Lack of experience (as a teen, you are trying to work out a
life that hasn't been lived)
4. Little contact with adult resources (with mother's feeling
threatened by their daughter's youth, many daughters have
difficulty finding role models)
5. Less access to societal resources (most require parental
6. Less access to the legal leverage (the laws assume that the
daughter doesn't need this support)
7. She fantasizes about who he could be, with her help
(See, "The Princess Who Believes in Fairy Tales")
8. Once in the relationship, she decides that she can't get
out of it, even if she wanted to (See, "My Mother/Myself)
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Melodye Shore on September 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Somewhere along the line, the unacceptable became de rigueur. In a reality that's far different from the innocent, endearing pictures we may have about adolescent love, an alarming number of teen girls paint pictures of "love" that include jealousy, verbal abuse, and forceful - even violent - physical encounters. Yet, when they're asked to confront the uncomfortable, unacceptable nature of their relationships, these girls wail in protest, "But I love him!"
In this book, Dr. Jill Murray begins with the assertion that love is a behavior. She outlines and describes dating behaviors that are intentional acts of power and control - the hallmarks of an abusive relationship. In contrast, she also provides descriptions and examples of healthy, loving relationship - one with equality at its core.
Against this backdrop, Dr. Murray provides a practical guide for protecting our teen daughters from unhealthy, abusive relationships. The reader learns how to identify abusive behaviors and potential abusers; importantly, s/he will also discover the traits and family backgrounds that can put an adolescent girl at higher risk for entering abusive relationships. For the concerned parent whose daughter (or son) is in an abusive relationship, Dr. Murray offers a wealth of ideas and resources for intervention. In short, this book offers sound advice for those of us who want to help our adolescent girls take back the personal power and the control that they may have given over to their abusive boyfriends.
While this book is written primarily for concerned parents, it holds practical value for social workers, teachers, and practitioners who work with adolescent girls and their romantic partners.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Laure-Madeleine on November 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Dating Violence and Adolescents
Consciousness-raising can be the first step in a journey of social change. Speaking primarily to parents, the purported agents of social change vis à vis dating violence in adolescents, through the pages of "but i love him: Protecting Your Teen Daughter from Controlling, Abusive Dating Relationships," psychotherapist Dr. Jill Murray seems to translate transcripts of her public speaking engagements from speech-to-text. While this reviewer has not had the opportunity to hear Dr. Murray speak, one might presuppose from reading her book that she is persuasive.
Dr. Murray advises parents on how to identify dating abuse in their teenager(s). Next, she describes three levels of violence (which she believes may be sequential): verbal and emotional abuse; sexual abuse; and physical abuse. Based on her work in a Southern California battered women's and children's shelter with clients aged eighteen to twenty-two, Dr. Murray constructs practical questionnaires; profiles of abusers and abused; and lists of some "fundamental truths," behaviors, and concepts regarding dating violence in teens. For instance, she states, "Abuse is a learned behavior . . . . from seeing it used as an effective tool of control--usually in the home in which [the abusive boyfriend] grew up . . . . and [if] it is not addressed, it will continue and may escalate, regardless of whether the boy appears to be Mr. Wonderful" (74-75).
In a subsequent chapter, Dr. Murray compares and contrasts "infatuation," "addictive love," and "mature love." Most readers will find this review to be very useful, regardless of their ages. (For further insights, I highly recommend "Sex, Love, or Infatuation: How Can I Really Know?
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