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Showing 1-10 of 15 reviews(3 star). Show all reviews
on August 21, 2014
This book would have merited 5 stars except for one major issue. The author does an OUTSTANDING job picking apart the confusing, tangled web that chronic verbal abuse creates. Being the partner of an abusive spouse, and having no prior experience to abuse, I had absolutely no idea that my plummeting self esteem, my feelings of total overwhelming confusion, were the result of verbal abuse. I, like most people, I imagine, assumed that "verbal abuse" was someone calling you a terrible name.

I did not know about gaslighting.

Had I known, and recognized the verbal abuse for what it was, I would have also understood that abuse tends to escalate. I might have been long gone before my spouse ever got the chance to put his hands on me. So to that end, I wish I would have read this book many months ago.

My 3 star rating stems from the last quarter of the book, in which the author discusses how one ought to respond to the verbal abuse once she's recognized it: "Stop it! Don't talk to me like that! Look at me! Nonsense! Why did you say?" This is dangerous. Dangerous and ill advised. The author lost me completely with that. Apparently, she recommends that approach as kind of a way to test the severity of the problem: answering back in this way might surprise the abusive partner into "snapping out of it". Another suggestion the author makes is to tape record the abusive partner, the idea being that if he/she objects, he/she knows that what they are doing is wrong. I don't want to assume that all verbal abusers are going to some point escalate into physical abusers. But the strong possibility exists. There is an undeniable liklihood that to an angry and controlling partner, any or all of the above responses will be viewed as complete outrageous defiance. And they will feel perfectly entitled to their reaction to this defiant new you, which will involve punishment.

Patricia Evans, thank you. But readers, do yourself a favor. When the realization of what your partner is doing to you dawns, don't risk your personal safety by confronting them. Get your exit strategy in order. Don't wait.
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on December 24, 2014
There is a blurred line between verbal abuse and.. well.. not verbal abuse. We all say things we shouldn't say. I wish this book had made that line a little clearer. I think that if one reads this book and takes it completely to heart, they will end up going through life thinking everyone is verbally abusing them constantly. It did have some interesting points and I was glad I read it, but verbal abuse is a hard subject to clearly define.
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on May 24, 2015
At first, I thought this book was magic! It clearly explained what was abuse, and that helped me see what was going on in my marriage very clearly. I even gave it to my pastor to read to help explain what I was going through. After learning what was verbal abuse (from the guidance of this book, mainly), I started setting clear boundaries with my husband. It was not easy, but I was not budging.

But, one area that the book really didn't help me much with is understanding why my husband was saying and doing the things he did. I didn't quite "buy" the control thing...yes, it is about control, but that is not WHY he feels the need for control. After lots of personal growth in boundary setting, and constant searching for answers, I found a book that helped me understand not only my husband, but myself! How We Love by Milan and Kay Yerkovich. Now I "get" his need for control and am learning how to respond in ways that lead to intimacy instead of his acting like a hurt, wounded animal and attacking me and the confrontation resulting in me leaving.
If you are in a Verbally Abusive relationship and choose not to leave but want to learn how to thrive right where you are and even to possibly grow closer to your spouse, I suggest reading How We Love too.
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on May 30, 2011
i noticed that some men are upset in thinking that the book is biased against men, but i beg to differ. i think it is written as it is because verbal abuse (or any kind of abuse) against men is seldom reported or spoken about.

i didn't finish reading the book not because i didn't find it interesting but because half way through it i felt that the answer is evident--- if things don't feel good in a relationship, get out!

the bottom line is that you have to really love yourself. you have to love yourself enough to help yourself out. i understand that many times we want to stick around and help someone (i have been there) but if helping them costs losing yourself and become a miserable person, then it is not worth it.

the bottom line is, we can sit around analyzing why some people are abusive but the fact of the matter is that we need to figure out why the heck we want to deal such behavior.

the book is helpful, but as i said, half way through it, i asked myself, "do i really care to know why this guy is a crazy?" "why spend any more time trying to figure him out when i can be enjoying myself and the sane people in my life?"

what ever issues an abuser has are their own and i don't want part of it.
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on May 28, 2013
How can I say I like this book when it's about a topic that is very painful and icky. But, the information is helpful in understanding the dynamics of abusive relationships and Patricia Evans writes it so laymen understand her concepts. She gives food for thought and enlightenment.
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on May 6, 2014
For those who have acute issues with abusive relationships and have been diagnosed with post traumatic disorder because of the extreme abuse, the book, at times, was a struggle to read (the memories were too difficult to relive) and needed to be set aside. That's the main reason for a three rating. For anyone going through an abusive relationship - get out and stay out!!
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on October 15, 2014
Great insights....plan of action!!!!
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on July 2, 2014
There is good information in this book, but I was offended that all the abusers were identified as male and all victims as female. I unfortunately intimately know of cases of male victims of female abusers. Even though the author states that the gender roles can be reversed, not a single example of female abuser/male victim is cited in the book.
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on March 27, 2016
I enjoyed the first half of the book but feel like it became incredibly redundant near the end. I skimmed the last half because I felt like I wasn't benefiting from its content. Glad I read it though
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on April 15, 2016
Very Informative
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