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The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize It and How to Respond Paperback – February 1, 2003

ISBN-13: 004-5079005822 ISBN-10: 1558505822 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Adams Media; 2nd edition (February 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558505822
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558505827
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (292 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Are you now, or have you ever been, in relationships with family, friends, or mates who have been verbally abusive? Is your happiness with someone you love continually threatened by interactions that continually undermine your self-esteem? Do you feel trapped in a relationship that keeps decaying in a downward spiral of overt or passive-aggressive abuse?

If so, this book could be your life raft, either carrying you toward repair of the existing relationship or the effects of past relationships or offering liberation from your current confusion. Its practical approach can help clear your head and possibly change your life. The only criticism that I and other readers have is that the author assumes verbal abuse is almost always directed by males toward females, which, in my experience and that of others I know, is not necessarily the case. Highly Recommended.


"A great, great book." -- Sonya Friedman, CNN

"This is a new day in America. The most important thing is to realize that you don't deserve to be treated that way." -- Oprah Winfrey

A ground-breaking book . . . -- Newsweek

More About the Author

Patricia Evans is the bestselling author of five books, including The Verbally Abusive Relationship, Verbal Abuse Survivors Speak Out, Controlling People, The Verbally Abusive Man: Can He Change? and Victory Over Verbal Abuse. She has appeared on Oprah, CNN, national radio, and in Newsweek and O, The Oprah Magazine. She has spoken to groups throughout the US, Canada, Madrid at the "Commission for the Investigation of Violence Against Women" and in five cities in Australia. Patricia lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and can be reached via her website at

Customer Reviews

I am hoping this book will help me make my final choice to start my life again!
The Verbally Abusive Relationship book is primarily one that explains what is happening to you, and is less about what to do about it.
Da Kat
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has been in or who is in an abusive relationship of any sort.
Anne L

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

594 of 618 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
After almost 15 years of being married to an "Anger Addict" (as described in the book), I went to my doctor begging for a prescription for Prozac. After careful and wise probing, she gave me the prescription, but also strongly suggested I read this book. I read it on Monday, I filed for divorce on Friday. Finally, after years of trying EVERYTHING I understood why I was exhausted, hopeless, and no closer to the solution than the day I got married. This book helped me realize: It wasn't all my fault. I could never be perfect enough to stop the verbal "rages". He would have to be willing to seek counseling/therapy in order for the verbal abuse to stop (which he consistently refused to do). And, most importantly, it let me know that the verbal abuse really was doing serious, long-term damage to me as a person. I always thought if he would just "hit me" then I could leave. I learned he'd been "hitting me" (so to speak) for years. If you even THINK you might be in a verbally abusive relationship (it's not always obvious when you're in the middle of it), I highly recommend you read this book. I finally have a peaceful, content life: due in part to the courage and understanding I gained from reading it. And I didn't have to use that Prozac prescription!
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274 of 288 people found the following review helpful By Schuyler V. Johnson VINE VOICE on January 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
buy this book! I was miserable, angry, depressed, anxious and withdrawn from the closest person in my life, my mother, and I wasted five years of my life for a monster. I gave up friends, my Mom and very nearly my life for this man. Finally I couldn't stand it any more and came on Amazon and found this book, which I read avidly, and which helped me chart my course for calmer seas. After living with criticism ranging from "You're worse than Viet Nam" to (said in a malicious, mocking tone) "Everyone loves you, everyone thinks you're wonderful, but I'm your only friend, I tell you the TRUTH" I finally started thinking; Wait a minute...I'm not a bad person, I love him, I always try to help him, make him feel better, do things for him, etc etc, then, after reading the book I realized, (BIG epiphany) that it was he who was wrong, not I. NOTHING I could do or say would make one whit of difference; this was not about the minutiae he delighted in finding, it was about POWER and ABUSE. This book, reading about other women just like me, and abusers just like him, was a revelation that motivated me to end my personal hell, and none too soon, because a few months after the End of the Relationship, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 uterine cancer. Yes, I do attribute part of this to the incredible misery and terror I lived in for so long; "disease" is, literally, a "lack of ease", and I had that in spades. I wrote in my personal journal and wrote and wrote and wrote and finally wrote my way out of his life forever. I lost the most precious thing of all, irrreplaceable, and that is TIME; my mother passed away last July and how bitterly I regret those lost years pining away for this Frankenstein when I could have been spending it with my Mom.Read more ›
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193 of 202 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
Being the person I am, and desperately wanting to save my relationship with the man I loved, I picked up this book to find out how I could change myself after my husband accused me of being verbally abusive. What I found out was that *I* was actually the victim of a severe verbal abuser. EVERY aspect of verbal abuse described in this book has been used on me by this man, and I thought that I was the one with the problem - he convinced me of that - it's part of the abuse, as you will be able to understand after reading this book. I left him, and life has never been better for me. I have a long way to go in recovery emotionally, physically, and financially, but by eliminating the abuse from my life, I finally have the confidence I need to heal. Reading this book saved my spirit, and sincerely saved my life. Verbal abusers steal everything important from not let this book and learn how to save yourself
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82 of 89 people found the following review helpful By D.Smith on March 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have been married for 14 years and have often struggled greatly with understanding the dynamics of my relationship - why this hollow, detached feeling ? why the almost constant hurt and confusion?
I happened upon this book by accident and found a great deal of the content it contained to spell my marriage out very plainly. However, as a husband and being on the end of some viscious verbal and physical abuse from my wife I found it disturbing and offensive that my gender has been labelled the one's who 'dish it out'. I can agree that as a man I am stronger and able to absorb the physical abuse much better than a woman would, but the hurt and pain that this causes along with the humiliation of the verbal abuse I believe would be comparable to that felt by a woman. A more unbiased approach would help to reach more of us in need of help.
The startegies in this book have helped me understand my wife's reality, albeit with a great deal of grief.
My marriage may well be over because of the stand that I am making towards my wife in that she cannot continue to behave in this manner towards me and in front of my children, but after reading this book I am now more confident in the knowledge that what I am standing against has nothing to do with who I am regardless of how much I am told it is my fault. I am far from perfect but even an imperfect specimen does not deserve to be treated in this way.
I found this a good starting point in getting my being back into order.
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