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The Verbally Abusive Relationship, Expanded Third Edition: How to recognize it and how to respond Paperback – January 18, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The book that helped change Brandy's life." Oprah.com "A groundbreaking book..." --Newsweek "A great, great book." --Sonya Friedman, CNN"

About the Author

Patricia Evans is the bestselling author of four books, including The Verbally Abusive Relationship, Verbal Abuse Survivors Speak Out, Controlling People, and The Verbally Abusive Man: Can He Change? A highly acclaimed interpersonal communications specialist, public speaker, and consultant, Evans has appeared on Oprah, CNN, national radio, and in Newsweek and O, The Oprah Magazine. Evans lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and can be reached via her website at www.VerbalAbuse.com.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Adams Media; Third Edition edition (January 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440504636
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440504631
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (338 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 www.VerbalAbuse.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

250 of 257 people found the following review helpful By carola on February 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
Several weeks before leaving my abusive husband after 42 years of marriage, I read "The Verbally Abusive Relationship" by Patricia Evans. I noted many passages that clearly described the abusive tactics he was using on me.

The information, however, was just so irrefutable, so undeniably true, it was far too painful for me to fully realize and assimilate at the time.

Sixteen months after leaving him, I picked the book off the closet shelf and re-read it, this time noticing many more abusive characteristics of his and experiences I went through in the past. Numerous passages were boldly marked this time, and many more notes were made. Virtually every page held so many similarities to what I had been experiencing in this abusive relationship.

After decades of being unaware of this type of abuse, I finally arrived at the realization that he was indeed extremely verbally abusive during our marriage. This was a tremendous revelation to me, as I had unconsciously hidden and "forgotten" even the physical assault that occurred early in the marriage. Before we married, however, he was attentive and I thought he loved me as I loved him.

I thought that verbal abuse was mainly name calling and hurling outright insults. My to be ex husband did not often call me names and obvious insults were rather rare, although he did call me stupid and crazy a few times. Yes, he did beat me severely early in our marriage, but he was mainly a covert abuser. His methods were insidious and had me feel that I was to blame for just about everything that went wrong.

He would often criticize men and women on TV, their physical faults, mouth too large, crooked nose, too fat, too thin, etc.
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113 of 117 people found the following review helpful By IT Specialist on April 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a man who didn't find the information in this book biased towards woman in the slightest. By the end of the first chapter I was swapping the gender of the pronouns without conscious thought. This book is about recognizing and responding to abuse. Regardless of gender, people in abusive relationships have been systematically trained not to trust their own inner voice. Criticizing this book seems to risk further befuddled those that need it most. I think the lack of sensitivity to this possibility on behalf of the critical reviewers suggests that either they don't fully understand the dynamics of abuse, or else they DO understand the dynamics and want the potential purchasers of this book to keep doubting their inner voices.

To address the issue of gender it might be useful to add a chapter of research on how verbally abusive women differ from their male counterparts, as well as how male victims differ from female victims. As a man trapped in an abusive relationship for 20 years I can make an educated guess that there are some significant differences. For instance since men are often not as in touch with their own emotions as women are, and because the stereotypical male prototype is John Wayne, I would guess that many men silently suffer abuse right to their grave. It would be a worthwhile chapter if it helps just one male victim to begin trusting his inner voice.
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102 of 109 people found the following review helpful By Hmmmmmm on August 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
If you are even looking at this review, that means you or someone you know has made you think about verbal abuse enough to come and check out this book. If you have had to think about it even that much, then THIS BOOK WILL BE OF UNBELIEVABLE VALUE TO YOU!!!!

Get it today. Read it the minute it arrives on your porch.

(If there is concern that the book did not get 5 starts, be sure to look at the one star revies--almost all by the same reviewer.)

If you think you just have a grumpy spouse, or if you know they guy is way out of line: GET THIS BOOK. If you feel alone even when he is around, or if you can't get him off your back: GET THIS BOOK.

Verbal and emotional abuse can be so subtle, so subtle that you don't even realize it is abuse. The effects confuse you about your own experiences, and make you doubt your own judgement, to the point where you know you are unhappy, but you feel like it is your own fault. So you may not think this book is for you.

Do yourself a favor...if there is even a whisper of curiosity in you about the subject, you or someone you care about will benefit from your access to this knowledge.

This book defines very specifically and clearly what constitutes abuse, emotional evidence that you are being abused, ways to respond to make the abuse stop, and a clear picture of the mentality of the abuser. Trust me, they are not seeing it the way you are. We all make the mistake of thinking that our spouse's understanding of love is the same as our own, which is why we just don't understand WHY they do what they do to us.

Be prepared to see everything in a whole new light. (For some of us, the first light we have seen in a long, long time.)

This book gives you hope.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 21, 2014
Format: Paperback
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.
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