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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2007
I am so very grateful Leslie wrote this book for those of us in difficult relationships. She shares with candor and comfort how to ask the right questions, seek help, get healthy and stay strong - whether or not the difficult person in your life changes. In addition to a very practical questionnaire, the entire book is an easy, understandable read with useful applications and plenty of scriptural support. I've already personally worked through many of the truths Leslie shares, but I gleaned so much additional information and encouragement I wish I would have known years ago. If you've been wounded or hurt or know someone who has--or is--this book is a must for your library.
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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2007
None of us is without challenging relationships in our lives, but Leslie offers guidelines for when they've crossed the line to "harmful." Her book will help those in negative relationships determine what part of the problem with another they "own." Most important, she'll guide them through steps of recovery. This is not a one-box-fits-all book; many relationships are so troubled that they truly need professional counseling. But Leslie's book will point out the trouble spots and help people on the road to wholeness--or at least to understanding a way through the problem. I've come to expect lay-friendly yet professional wisdom in Leslie's books, and this one continues that track record. If you're looking for compassionate (and Christian) perspective on this difficult topic, you won't want to pass it up.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2008
I absolutely loved the way Leslie Vernick included all the scripture verses and references in her book. I used my reading time for my devotions and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was so good to have all those verses to balance scripture with scripture my husband quotes. I also loved the examples, the stories of her clients, and especially the dialogues I need to memorize and use. She has given me so much hope through her fantastic book.

Her "Resources for Additional Help" has given me even more hope. There are several more books from her list I want to read, especially her other book "How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong". The first book I read on this subject and also highly recommended to others was "The Verbally Abusive Relationship". Another excellent book I read was "You Can't Say That to Me! Stopping the Pain of Verbal Abuse--an 8-Step Program" by Suzette Haden Elgin, Ph.D. She is the author of "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" series, which I would also like to read. I do not know if these authors are Christians or not as the books I read are secular, so I especially love the way Leslie Vernick's book leaves no one wondering if she is a Christian or not!

As soon as I started reading her book, I knew it was going to be an excellent book and started recommending it to people after only reading a couple of chapters. I have been recommending it to our counselors as the best book I have read on the topic. It has given me hope and confirmed the steps I have been taking are in the right direction. I feel like I am finally getting some direction and guidance as to what to do rather than feeling so helpless and trapped without a clue what to do besides pray and wait on God for direction. I believe God is going to use this book to help give direction for those of us desperately seeking it.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Leslie's most recent book is perhaps her one of her most important. (And I've grown from each one!) Here is a practical, easy to read and understand, yet deeply biblical approach to knowing whether your relationships have crossed the line from being human--where we all hurt one another at some time or another and need to apologize and/or forgive--into being abusive.

Many don't understand they are in an abusive relationship and therefore continue to be abused, feeling to blame. Leslie gives hope: "growth, healing, and restoration are possible, no matter how much hurt we've experienced." Then she gives our best example to follow--the life of Christ, who modeled good communication and boundaries.

I love her scriptural explanation of "Why Stand Up?" to an abuser in our lives and "What is Genuine Repentance?" with, once again, Jesus' model of "stepping back." Having survived and thrived myself, I can say from experience, the "Surviving It" section will be helpful to anyone.

This insightful book only confirmed much of what I've lived through, had to live out, and continue to stand firm in--the truth of what is mine to "own" and what is not. I will be recommending this book far and wide and reading portions of it when I speak to audiences!Soar Unafraid: Learning to Trust No Matter What
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2009
I have been struggling with an on-again, off-again relationship for three long years. With a very emotionally unavailable and narcissistic man. I hadn't even realized that those two issues alone, (separately or together) made the relationship a destructive and abusive one. This book helped validate what I had been thinking all along and then some. It helped me to realize that what was going on wasn't right or ok, it was downright wrong and dysfunctional. And I am worthy of so much more. And I will get it too! But probably not from the same person I've been in the relationship with. And this book really helped me to be ok with that. The book is written from a Christen perspective and with a lot of bible phrases. I believe anyone struggling with a relationship can benefit from it regardless of their religion. All you need is a belief in God and the book will be helpful.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2014
I bought this book to deal with some emotionally destructive relationships I have had my entire life. I was abused mentally, verbally, physically, and emotionally my entire life. I went from severe abuse as a child (I wanted to die at the age of 5), to an adult life of continued severe abuse with everyone surrounding me. I am 46. I feel I have zero self worth as it is. I want to warn you. If you have had severe, unimaginable abuse over your lifetime, this book could make you feel worse at times. Of course, that is not the author's intention at all. Read it with an understanding person or a counselor. At the very beginning of the book, I felt, "Wow, someone gets me!" I was so excited to know that someone actually knew how I felt. Then, comes the survey to see who the abusers are. I actually knew who they were, I just wanted confirmation. The survey is very vague and to me wasn't very helpful. It didn't show many forms of abuse. After doing the survey, I thought maybe there wasn't any abuse that was so bad after all. Then in the mid section I began to think "I" was the one with all of the problems. That could be just because I feel guilty about everything and was always told I was to blame. I began to feel very discouraged as if the abuse was because of me or my reactions. It began to make me more depressed. I wondered if I had done this or if I could change that, then maybe it would be better. The author states that our reactions such as anger, being codependent, outbursts, etc. will make a destructive relationship worse, which is true. She does state that it is never an excuse for someone to abuse us even if we have wrong reactions. I do agree that we need to change our reactions and our own thoughts so that we can see clearly to make changes. I could handle that. Yes, by being abused, I became negative, depressed, controlling, and angry, etc. and was willing to work on that. But, for some reason, I saw me as the total problem. I kept seeing myself as the abuser and began to wonder if it was all my fault. I am not exactly sure what it was, but I dreaded lifting that book up for fear it would just make me feel worse. I continued on with the book and toward the very end, it is helpful to a degree. She begins to tell you that you do have choices. As sad as it sounds, I never realized that! That chapter helped me a lot. In fact, the last 3 chapters were uplifting. The author uses bible verses to back everything up. I do believe her intentions are great and that her ideas are correct, but I am just warning you that you might begin to feel like it is all your fault, especially if you were told that your whole life. This book to me is for someone who is in a mild to medium types of abuse. I wouldn't recommend it to someone going through horrific and unimaginable abuse. I believe it will make you feel worse because you already feel hated, unwanted, ugly, suicidal, etc. I did. So, to see that you are doing something wrong again, even if it is true, it is hard to swallow. The one thing to remember throughout this book is that you CANNOT change the other person.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2010
I absolutely devoured this book, Leslie is full of infinite wisdom and understanding. In trying to come to grips with difficult people and crazy-people and somehow understand them in order to help my own self-concepts in a proper light. I received so much enlightenment into the spirit of what transpired in many relationships I know that have gone bad. Many mistakes were made but even if the mistakes had not happened, I see those relationships were unhealthy and never had a chance of being healthy because of the closed spirits and hearts of those involved. Either love exists or it doesn't. If those who claim they love you are godless in their words and actions, playing vicious mind games of deception and control it becomes plain they do not possess any love. Without love, without honesty you can never have a healthy relationship, it is impossible. There is no relationship! As described in her book the following shares this very concept.

Page 13
Proverbs says, With their words, the godless destroy their friends, and, "Telling lies about others is as harmful as hitting them with an ax, wounding them with a sword, or shooting then with a sharp arrow" (Proverbs 11:9; 25:18). Jesus takes the matter of verbal abuse quite seriously when he likens it to murder. (Matthew5;21) Many people suffer in relationships where offensive words and threatening gestures are the weapons of choice, used to manipulate, control, punish, and wound without leaving any physical evidence.
Page 16
In the last part of this book I want you to know, really know, that God sees you and deeply loves you. When we have been beaten down by the words or actions of another, we feel broken and helpless, unlovely and unloveable. How wonderful that our healing does not depend upon the love or affirmation or apology of another person. We may never get those things. But our strength and healing will come as we are able to receive and believe God's love.

I will end with this valuable message that God's love is the best healer for all that transpires and He has given us freely that love unconditionally that we can share it with those who we genuinely love!

This book is phenominal! Great teachings... A must have...
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33 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2007
This book is so packed with practical explanation and advice on what to do when faced with a difficult relationship. I have and entirely new (and biblically sound) perspective on drawing boundaries within a family relationship that has been plaguing me for years. Ms. Vernick has explained the internal motivations of those who manipulate or emotionally hurt others. It is such a positive book, giving the best advice on how to preserve, yet change a a relationship from destructive to healthy.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2009
I first heard this author on Moody radio's noon time show several months ago. This author immediately connected with the audience and the shows hosts as I later found out when I emailed to gush over the show. Her compassion and understanding of abuse is one that comes only from someone who has been there. Answers I had been searching for for years I found in the interview and in this book. If you want solid biblical answers to the tough questions you are facing concerning your marriage or other close relationships. If you have been through all the secular books and secular counselors but want a true biblical perspective, one gleaned from all of the bible not just a few well-worn passages and even if you have been to your pastor or your church and still feel like no one is listening or understands what you are dealing with. If you want to know what the bible really says about abusive marriages or about the pain you've lived with while trying to live up to someone else's unreasonable expectations, please get this book. There are some people that cannot be won over or appeased by your "good christian" actions. Being a "good godly wife", patience, prayer and meeting every need is not going to turn every person around. Sometimes the most loving and christian thing you can do is to speak up and rock the boat. If speaking up will cause retribution then maybe finding a safe place to go is the answer. God loves YOU. When I realized God was waiting on me to stand up and stop allowing the destruction, that it was not only OK but what He wanted, it changed my life. He doesn't want to watch me and my family get hurt. He cares about me like any good earthly father should. Taking it is not the answer. This book tells you how to begin taking your life back. It is a step toward freedom.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2011
As a Christian woman who tried everything for 11 long years to survive an emotionally and verbally abusive marriage; I was so blessed to find this book. Leslie Vernick gives Biblically & psychologically sound information to help anyone facing this situation to make the best decision for them as to whether to stay or go. Many Christian books do not provide encouragement and support for spouses who really need to leave a dangerously destructive marriage, but this one does, should that be the choice the reader needs to make. This book helped me analyze the reality of my situation; and gave me the tools necessary to separate myself from my abuser and take the necessary steps toward healing. For those who may decide to remain in their marriages, Leslie gives sound, real life advice about how to survive and care for yourself while living with an abuser; as well as suggestions about changing the dynamics of the relationship to lessen or end the abuse. God does not intend for women to be abused and Leslie Vernick does a wonderful job of teaching that through scripture. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who thinks they may be in a abusive relationship, whether it be a marriage, parent/child, employer/employee or friendship relationship.
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