32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2001
This book came into my life exactly when I needed it! Susan Weitzman's discussion of the abuse in up-scale marriages was exactly what I needed to help me cope and understand what was happening in my divorce to a multimillionaire. After 16 years of abuse, my decision to leave my husband was only the beginning of a nightmare. His threats to ruin me, take our child, destroy my life, were combined with illegal wiretapping of my computer and legal maneuvering to ensure I could not leave. Added to this were multiple mistresses and hidden bank accounts. Susan's book is excellent reading for anyone going through a divorce to a wealthy emotional/physically abusive man. It should be required reading for divorce lawyers and judges.
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2001
I wish Not To People Like Us had been written nine years ago;I think my self-esteem, my daughter, and myself would have been spared much pain. Dr. Weitzman's book is inspirational and demonstrates considerable caring for the women she has worked with. As a social scientist myself, I found her research to be original and hopefully the start of more work in this area, too little examined thusfar. The insightful explanations of why women such as myself stay in abusive relationships and theoretical exploration of abusive husbands (suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder)help make sense of how I could have stayed in my my marriage and how men such as my ex-husband could treat their wives so cruelly. It has been a long road back recovering from the abuse that I thought(at the time)was only happening to me. I felt quite alone and isolated and, as Dr. Weitzman aptly described it, had no one to validate my feelings or encourage me to leave. This book should be given to every daughter and, perhpaps to every young son to read. I found it to be a fresh, profoundly moving, well-written and informative book, long overdue.
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2000
"Upscale violence": a term coined by Dr. Susan Weitzman, a practicing psychotherapist in Chicago, refers to the often hidden physical and/or emotional abuse that is endured by married women of means. In her groundbreaking, well-referenced study: "Not to People Like Us: Hidden Abuse in Upscale Marriages," Dr. Weitzman focuses a narrow lens. She offers a unique contribution to the literature on domestic violence: her work is based on many years of experience, both working in women's shelters and counseling battered wives. Through a combination of case studies of these poignant yet punished women of means and a rigorous analysis and review of the extant literature on domestic violence, Dr. Weitzman presents and proves a powerful thesis. She debunks the myth that conjugal abuse correlates with lower-class status, and, at the same time, deflects the hostility that some of her peers have heaped on her for selecting this particular population. "A unique aspect of this book is the 'inclusionary' dimension of targeting battered women of means. . . .[which] is not a claim that this population needs special attention," says Dr. Weitzman, but "[r]ather it is an attempt at 'specifically' including upscale wives who have been overlooked in the larger group of abused women."
Who are these women? They are well educated, with at least a bachelor's degree; they live in the top 25% of this country's neighborhoods; they see themselves as upper-middle-class or upper-class; and their combined marital income exceeds $100,000.00. While Dr. Weitzman delineates the "typical profile" of the upscale abusive husband, she does not indulge in male-battering. She correctly identifies domestic violence as a systemic problem. The appendices of her book: "Are You an Abused Woman?," "Traits of an Abusive Man," "Early Warning Signs," and "Domestic Violence Resources" are reason alone for its purchase. Therefore, this book belongs in every library, women's shelter, emergency room, and psychotherapist's office.
Notwithstanding the strengths of Dr. Weitzman's book and her contribution to the literature on domestic violence, as an editor, I feel compelled to offer some constructive criticism. "Not to People Like Us" lacks organization. In an effort to make the book dramatic (and it is a quick read), the case studies are interwoven with history, theory, flowcharts, classical mythology, and psychoanalysis; thus, it is difficult to follow the thread of each woman's life. A more traditional approach of formally presenting the case studies at the beginning of the book, so that the reader can refer back to them as needed, would help. Also, Dr. Weitzman limited her population to fourteen women, which is a very small sample; however, she clearly and convincingly states her reason for so doing. Finally, the careful reader will find the Notes, References, and Index to be littered with distracting errors; such is often the case when a dissertation manuscript is rushed into publication. It is hard to discern which style manual was followed, if any, (e.g., "The Chicago Manual of Style" or the "APA Manual"). (There are also a few places in the text that need copyediting, but I hesitate to comment on them because I make typos in almost every review.)
Another important new book which confronts the reality of domestic violence is "But I Love Him," by Dr. Jill Murray. Dr. Murray focuses on abusive controlling patterns of behavior in boyfriends toward their teenaged girlfriends. This book dovetails well with Dr. Weitzman's book because it also looks toward prevention of abuse. To be truly informed about this societal ill, one must also read books by psychologist Lenore Walker: "Battered Woman" and "The Battered Woman Syndrome." These books introduce the concept of the three-stage cycle of violence: the tension-building stage; the explosive stage; and the honeymoon stage (a stage which Dr. Weitzman found does not exist in upscale violence).
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2004
I have lived domestic violence in the past and for many years,I have worked with all types of abusers and victims from all socioeconomic backgrounds, so my perpective is a bit broader. I remember when this book first came out, we even attended an 'upscale violence' training as a result of this book, some were scoffing at the idea of upscale violence. The abusive behaviors and victim coping strategies are almost identical across all socioeconomic spectors, however there are two things that stand out in my experience that make this book a needed tool: the power difference. All abusers wield power over victims: Physical force, emotional blackmail, threats, finances and resources..etc...but the amount of power held by the abuser and the lack of power held by the victim are both crucial elements to consider. In a poor household, if the woman flees in the middle of the night with nothing but the clothes on her back, it is extremely difficult for her because she has nothing, no resources. Society has falsely assumed that rich women should be able to leave easily because they have so much 'power', so many resources.....not necessarily so when the abuser is both powerful and ruthless...he can find you anyplace you go, he can hire attorneys and fight endlessly to take your children away, to discredit you, and he can destroy your career if you have one......so the assumption that a rich woman can easily end her abuse and just walk away is not accurate. Some rich and powerful abusers, resort to murder too. The poor woman is limited by her lack of power, so is the rich woman, but in a different way. I appreciate the fact that the book deals with the social stigma associated with the affluent revealing that 'all is not well' in their houses, in fact, it may be quite savage and barbaric within their home. One of the worst DV(domestic violence) murders was recorded via a photo (media): a very rich and powerful, well respected doctor killed his wife by burning her alive in the living room of their mansion. And we all remember the O.J. Simpson case. Upscale violence is alive and well, scaring generations of children who appear to 'have it all'....all except a safe home.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2000
I have just finished the book "Not to People Like Us". What an amazing experience, for as I turned the pages it was as if Dr. Weitzman had written about my life! The description of my Symptoms, Traits and Coping Strategies as well as my Ex-Husband's Psychological Profile, Interpersonal Characteristics and Traits put all my thoughts, feelings and experiences into words. Now I can understand why I made the choices and decisions I did before and during the marriage and how I finally got out of an abusive relationship. I wish appendix D-Early Warning Signs would have been available to me 15 years ago, but thankfully women now have this resource to save them from years of suffering in silence.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2000
I read Not to People Like Us in two days. It was as intriguing and captivating as any novel I've recently enjoyed. As I read the stories of Allison, Ingrid and Sally I had to keep reminding myself that this was a real book, that the people were not created characters and that their abusive husbands were actual people. Dr. Weitzman skillfully utilized the allegory of "The Emperor's New Clothes" (i.e., no one dared tell the king that his new wardrobe was nonexistent, and that he was naked) to drive home the point that even friends and family of these upscale abused women kept them as well as themselves in the dark. The truth was too difficult to accept, the prevailing notion was that "this doesn't happen to people like us."
As a psychologist, I found her theory explaining the behavior of these powerful, abusive husbands to be quite cogent and will likely provide the framework by which such men can be helped in the future. Thank you, Dr. Weitzman, for this landmark work. It should be read by men and women alike. The book not only makes for great reading, it is courageous and insightful. Kudos to you.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2001
Unfortunately, I knew exactly who Dr.Weitzman was describing when she described the 'upscale' couple hiding a terrible secret.
This book is important to women who have escaped from an abusive relationship or are considering an escape. From practical advice to checklists of traits of an abusive man (denial in these situations is very, very strong - seeing the evidence before your eyes brings you closer to the truth), to the case histories, the book brings home the reality of an abusive relationship.
I want to make a copy of the 'traits of an abuser' and pass it out to my sisters, my cousins, my friends - and pray none of them recognize their mate.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2000
I have just finished the book "Not to People Like Us". What an amazing experience, for as I turned the pages it was as if Dr. Weitzman had written about my life! The description of my Symptoms, Traits and Coping Strategies as well as my Ex-Husband's Psychological Profile, Interpersonal Characteristics and Traits put all my thoughts, feelings and experiences into words. Now I can understand why I made the choices and decisions I did before and during the marriage,and how I finally go out of an abusive relationship. I wish appendix D-Early Warning Signs would have been available to me 15 years ago, but thankfully women now have this resource to save them from years of suffering in silence.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I am reading and it is excellent
I have been in therapy.
I did not realize how common these upscale abusive marriages are.
My relationship with my soon to be former spouse is found here within the pages -- our relationship is textbook abuse.
I am smart, with a law degree, licensed attorney.
I didn't realize I was in an abusive relationship.
This book lets me know that I am not alone and I am not stupid for trying to work on my relationship.
I married the wrong person.
I wish I had found this book before.
After leaving my spouse, I have never been happier.
Our bad relationship is NOT my fault.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2007
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I have volunteered at a battered woman's shelter and was quite amazed to learn that this horrendous crime has no socio-economics boundaries. I believe that this particular book should be required reading for everyone who is involved in Domestic Violence Prevention.