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Love Without Hurt: Turn Your Resentful, Angry, or Emotionally Abusive Relationship into a Compassionate, Loving One Paperback – January 1, 2008

34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Clear, timely, and on the mark." -- Library Journal

"This stunning book will touch men and women in powerful and different ways. A hard-nosed yet compassionate and hopeful look into the heart of toxic resentment in marriage. No married man or woman who reads this book carefully will be the same afterward." -- William J. Doherty, Ph.D., author of Take Back Your Marriage, and director, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, University of Minnesota

About the Author

Steven Stosny, Ph.D., has successfully treated thousands of troubled clients over two decades as CompassionPower’s founder and director. He has appeared multiple times on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; 1st Da Capo Press Ed edition (January 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600940730
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600940736
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steven Stosny, Ph.D., is the founder of CompassionPower in suburban Washington, DC. Dr. Steven Stosny's most recent books are, Love without Hurt: Turn Your Resentful, Angry, or Emotionally Abusive Relationship into a Compassionate, Loving One and How to Improve Your Marriage without Talking about It: Finding Love beyond Words. He has appeared on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show,' 'CBS Sunday Morning,' and CNN's 'Talkback Live' and 'Anderson Cooper 360' and has been the subject of articles in, The New York Times, The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, O, Psychology Today, AP, Reuters, and USA Today. He has offered hundreds of workshops all over the world and has presented at most of the leading professional conferences. A consultant in family violence for the Prince George's County Circuit and District courts, as well as for several mental health agencies in Maryland and Virginia, he has treated over 4,500 clients for various forms of resentment, anger, abuse, and violence. He has taught at the University of Maryland and at St. Mary's College of Maryland.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Simply Jeff on February 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
I can certainly understand why this book is not popular with everyone. It is comforting to believe that we are victims of other people's abuse, and that it is 100% THEIR responsibility to change (that is exactly what most books on this subject will tell you). However, this book will pull that rug right out from under you, and not everyone is ready to give up their victim identity quite yet.

I don't think that Dr. Stosny is making excuses for anyone, or condoning abuse at all. What he is doing is helping us learn how to see deeply into the problem, and to learn how to be more compassionate towards ourselves, and the other person. I think that in the long run, compassionate is much more powerful than holding onto a victim identity.

I say this as someone who grew up with an abusive father. No, I take that back. I grew up with a wounded, hurt father. None of the other books on abuse really helped me understand what was behind my father's behavior or to look at my own behavior. Stosny talks about the core pain that drives abusers, and the way they really feel underneath the hard exterior they project on the world. I don't have to believe this, I simply have to look inside myself to see how this is true. I am not an abuser because I do not have the power to be one. But many of these same emotions are inside me.

By seeing the inter-connectedness that we all share as human beings, we can really begin to heal. This book is honest, practical and points the way to some genuine solutions to some of our most difficult problems. I highly, highly recommend it. But be prepared to have your comfort taken from you, and be prepared to be challenged to look at your own lack of compassion.
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful By NotASelf-HelpBookReader on May 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
For me, the most helpful thing about this book was the focus on resentment. It can build over time to the point that it can be difficult to tell who is the 'abuser' and who is the 'victim.' That's why I think it's important to read the whole book and apply it all to yourself. You'll probably see yourself in both 'roles.' Yes, the book focuses differently on men vs. women. Let's face it, the culture in which most of us were raised hasn't changed all that much over the last couple of generations, in spite of what we all think. In fact, those of us whose parents split during the 'divorce generation' of the 70's & 80's may find a lot to identify with when Stosny talks about fear of abandonment and issues of trust and attachment in marital/committed relationships. The idea of getting back in touch with your own core values is the absolute key. It's a long-term process of retraining your responses, changing the way you see your partner, and most importantly, the way you see yourself. In no way does this book excuse abuse. In fact, Stosny point-blank tells the 'abuser' that the 'victim' may never forgive, and indeed doesn't owe it to the 'abuser.' If (not when - he gives no guarantees) a relationship is on the road to recovery, he covers relapses, recriminations, starting the process over, re-establishment of trust, etc., as a _minimum_ several-months-long process. As to the reviewer who was upset over the descriptions of physiological reactions, that was something that really made me feel this book was for me -- yes, I felt and feel those reactions. Nobody should expect one book to work for every relationship or individual. There are issues that are personal to me that aren't covered here, either, but there is enough there to make a start.Read more ›
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Ursula Black on July 12, 2011
Format: Unknown Binding Verified Purchase
The Stosny book can't be compared to anything else I've read because it has something all other books lack: true insights, and solutions. Abuser programs have abysmally low success rates. I asked our local abuser program "Why do you do this with it almost never succeeds?" Because these men won't change without help and low success is better than no success, they said. It's true that most abusive men, without help, worsen.

Stosny explains why abuser programs don't work, and why almost no men will go into them unless court-ordered.

I have read many books on abusive relationships. The Patricia Evans books described the dynamic accurately from the woman's point of view. They lacked in-depth understanding of why a man does something so unacceptable and destructive, and they lacked solutions. Why Does He Do That by Lundy Bancroft was the clearest and most lucid book I had read, but it too lacks solutions. Stosny's methods, which are grounded in solid science and his long experience, including experience with court-ordered abusers, truly offer a way out. No other book has the depth of insight or the effectiveness this book has.
Stosny's Boot Camp, a three-day workshop teaching how to end abuse and save a realationship is much easier to assimilate than the book, I recommend that if you are suffering. This training can prevent abuse and prevent divorce in the vast majority of cases. I think it would prevent road rage, child abuse, suicide, and murder, which spring from a common root. I just wish it were available in more forms (for instance, as pre-marital counseling and pre-parenting counseling) and available to everyone who needs it. Long live Dr. Stosny, he saved our marriage and I will be grateful to him as long as I live. I wish I could give this ten stars.
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