304 of 309 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2000
Finally, a book that described my relationship perfectly. So many other books address men who are physically abusive, but what about those who slowly wear you down with manipulation and subtle verbal insults - men who have great jobs, men who everyone (outside the home) think are fabulous, men who are great friends to others and great workers. I live with someone who everyone else adores, but at home he turns into Mr. Hyde. He then blames me for his change in behavior. I thought I was alone (and it was indeed my fault) until I found this book. What a difference it has made in my life. I now know, without a doubt, that his behavior is not my fault. Susan's account of how men end up resenting women is right on for this relationship. And how they redirect their childhood experiences toward their intimate partners instead of where it should be directed. One writer says she thinks these relationships can be saved. The ONLY way they can be saved is for the men to realize how they got this way and be willing to do a huge amount of work to change their behaviors towards their intimate partners. If a man cannot do this, then the relationship cannot be saved. Why waste years of your life hoping a man will change. Susan says they don't don't suffer like the women they are with and I think that is true. For the first time in my life, I developed anxiety, depression, and significant weight gain from trying to "make him see the light". I now realize that it is not worth my health to try to get a man who has deep resentment towards women to change. I hope every woman in this situation realizes that, if you talk to the man about this and he does nothing consistently to change (counseling) than you are better off leaving and resuming a normal life where you can be truly happy. If you meet someone who seems too good to be true, check him out. Does he have broken relationships & marriages? How is his relationship with his mother? If you feel uneasy about him or he starts to put you down little by little or blames you for his behaviors at home - get Susan's book, then run for your life!
114 of 118 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2002
This book gave me the clarity and strength to stay out of a horrifically abusive marriage. Had I not read this, and also "Christian Men Who Hate Women," I might have gone back to my misogynistic husband. It hit me like a bolt of lightning between the eyes--finally I saw that I was never the problem, and that "forgiving" him one more time and "trusting God" and crawling back would solve nothing! In my case, the abuse and misogyny were hidden behind a facade of religiosity which was nothing but a cover for my husband's lunacy. He made me feel guilty for not being a "submissive wife" and pulled the Bible on me a lot (like other men might pull a gun on their wives and with as much malice), but this book made me see that there was no difference between my husband and rank heathen who rip their wives apart with barrages of four-letter words. His heart and intent was the same, and the results were the same--the wholesale evisceration of myself as an individual soul, personality, and essence.
I can't thank Susan Forward enough for explaining to me, in a way that I could understand, how my husband could be so wonderful one hour and so vicious the next, and that even though he claimed that he would be wonderful all the time if I would just change and be what he wanted, that was a load of crock.
I now know that my husband had every one of the warning signs that he was about to cross over into physical violence--signs such as irrational jealousy of other men and "locking me down" to prevent me from going anywhere, and that I got out in the nick of time to save myself and my children. This book whetted my appetite for more books on domestic violence which shed even more life on my hellish marriage and my need for a divorce.
81 of 84 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2000
Every woman I have ever met has had at least one of these men enter their lives and undermine their self-confidence. Although I read this book many years ago, it is a benchmark against I measure all other relationship books. Every 18 year old girl should read this book, maybe their mothers too. This type of man is all too common and they are modern day vampires slowly draining the life out of their prey. My father killed my mother by grinding her down slowly day by day.She died of colon cancer to get away from my dad believing she was useless and no good, it was an untimely end, to a once self-confident, vibrante and talented women, she was 50. I got involved with one of these types of men and out of desperation I went hunting in the bookstore to find SOMETHING. I couldn't be alone in this I thought. Thanks, Susan you saved my life. These men are so charming, at first, they have such charming personalities,a dream come true, till you wake up in their nightmare. Many girls in our society have emotionally unavailable fathers and will do anything to get their fathers attention.Good grades and cartwheels just to get dad's attention and love. Those young girls replay this wound by being attracted to emotionally unavailable men. At first these men are very attentive and flattering, but it soon turns ugly.The dynamic is in place, reward and punishment. I have even SEEN and HEARD young boys teaching other boys to use the same ugly techniques as outline in this book to undermine a womans self-confedence and control her,eventually to destroy her. GET THIS BOOK.
69 of 74 people found the following review helpful
If you are trying to "prove" how "good, loving, caring, genuine, interested, devoted, and loyal" you are to him, always to find yourslef being not good enough in the end, no matter how hard you try, or what you do, then this book is for you. This book will show you what you have put up with, and how to re-claim your SELF, by setting boundaries that are healthy, and deserved. If you are a guy who truly hates women, then this book will show you why, and how you can view the woman in front of you for who she genuinely is, rather than the blanket label you have attached to her based on previous negative experiences. It is eye opening in the pinpointing of behaviors, reactions, and patterns that cause us all to feel bad in the end. I highly recommend this book to any woman who loves a man she can never please,and any to man who does not "want to love" a woman.
100 of 110 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2002
I forced myself to read this book after a woman I was in love with dumped me miserably. She cleverly placed it in a paper sack with some of my things she dropped off in a neutral location as a way of saying, "You're such a jerk. This is how I feel. Maybe you should read this." I'll have to admit I don't generally read books like this but I felt challenged. I thought I'd read the book and tell her how stupid the whole thing was. The first point Dr. Susan Forward makes is how misogynists are frightened of abandonment. I thought to myself, "Hey! That's me. I don't care how crazy the relationship gets. I just hate it when they leave. Could I be a misogynist?" I read this book over the next few days and made notes and underlined parts that seemed to make sense. I tried to look at it from a woman's perspective. I stepped outside my own world and tried to open my mind to the possibility that I had made these mistakes in past relationships. I made a conscious effort to think about the things I've said and how it may have been emotional violence. I started to become convinced I was a misogynist and all the women I treated like dirt in the past really did love me but just couldn't take it anymore. This book is filled with options for women and how to stop the cycle of abuse. There are chapters on what a misogynist's parents were like... what kind of therapist a woman should look for... how to react to the misogynist's attacks and why you should never apologize. The rest of the book is about why women should leave, when to leave, how to leave and what to expect after they leave. Near the end of the book the author says a real misogynist can never be cured and he will always be like this so I felt there was nothing I could do. I was left with the sense that I would just have a long string of volatile relationships with loving women who abandon me and there was no way this would change. I really feel she could have included some kind of hope for the men who hate women. I have no idea how to rate this book. If I give it one star then I'll be doomed as a misogynist forever. If I say it's worth five stars I would be lying to you and myself. Ironically this is exactly how I feel when I talk to women. I never know what to say and when I do open my mouth it's always taken out of context. So I guess I'll direct my final thoughts to the men. Read this book to find out how women think before you're abandoned and lost like a pathetic clown.
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2003
How do you treat someone you really love? What if your husband, the man who once adored you, increasingly belittles you, threatens you, and tries to control you? What happens when you have to hide your most joyous moments from your husband? What happens when you start to believe his attacks, blaming yourself unfairly, becoming more submissive and depriving yourself of the very goals that bring you pleasure? How do you break out of this vicious cycle?
Dr. Forward's book is a welcome eye-opener for any woman trapped in this situation. She shows how this destructive pattern in relationships develops, what its origins are from childhood experiences, and most importantly, how to regain your self-confidence and the courage to leave the relationship, physically and psychologically. She offers specific advice on how to deal with your own self-sabotage, how to set clear boundaries, how to get professional help and how to effectively end the relationship.
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2003
I didn't want to look at this book, because I didn't want to believe my husband, who I love so much, could hate me. I picked it up out of desperation to find the problem in our relationship and fix it. I didn't find a fix for the relationship, but I did find affirmation that it was the relationship, and not me, that was crazy. Although it was disturbing to "see" behind some of my husband's words and behaviors, it was reassuring to me that other intelligent women had also been seduced into relationships like this...I wasn't alone. There were some suggestions in the book that helped me better cope with some of his behaviors; but ulitmately, it made me realize that without his wanting to change, the relationship was not going to improve. I highly recommend this book to any woman who is in a relationship that makes her question her sanity, her worth, or her future.
51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2002
I am a man, and this is a book that every woman should read. I am desperate to sneak this book to my mother to help her understand her own problem in my father. If only she could read this then she could see some logic and be able to take some action to deal with and perhaps leave what is an emotionally abusive relationship.
I identified my own issues years ago and broke the cycle. My father never will and continues to control, badger, undermine the confidence of and kill my mother slowly with his abuse, and she will never leave becasue she is addicted to being abused. This book will change her life, it changed mine and can change others
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2003
This is an EXCELLENT book. I first read it at the library one afternoon when I was forced (by a misogynist) to walk (while pregnant)out of the house because of an argument. I later purchased the book. It explains the personality flaws of men that women may not recognize. It is so easy to get caught up in a relationship with a misogynist without knowing. Women need to be made aware of the fact that it's not always them causing the problem. Sometimes (lots of times) it's the male in the relationship. I highly recommend this book for any woman who is uncertain why she remains in an unhappy relationship. Men have tricky ways of making women think something is wrong with them. BUY THE BOOK!!
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2000
I found this book quite by accident after leaving a verbally abusive relationship of twenty five years. The book provided answers to a lot of unanswered questions for me. As I married the first man I dated I had nothing to compare to and true to form he isolated me from friends and family. Being separated for three years I still refer to various chapters for verification after having to meet with him. Through this book I have helped my daughter to recognize misogyny and it may be difficult for her to accept this is her Father hopefully this will not be part of her life as an adult.