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The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize It and How to Respond 2nd Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 326 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1558505827
ISBN-10: 1558505822
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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

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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: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (326 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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 you...do not let them...read this book and learn how to save yourself
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By A Customer on February 8, 1997
Format: Paperback
I was in a relationship for 3 years that during the entire time, I was confused as to why I felt the way I did even though 'he' never did anything and I was 'just imagining things'. Well, my friends gave me this book and I was stunned. I thought verbal abuse was very obvious to the victim--like yelling or sarcastic remarks. Well it's not and unfortunately I experienced all forms of it in my relationship. It can be subtle abuse or outright. It can make you feel like you're insane. Normal conversation can erupt into the verbal abuser accusing you of meaning something you never meant, then he denies ever getting mad, you repeat what he first said and he denies ever saying and says you're just picking a fight, etc. If this has ever happened then read this book--it will save your sanity. I cannot begin to describe how helpful this book has been. Verbal abuse comes in many forms--and the abuser will always deny they did anything wrong and will blame you for everything. Don't be conned anymore by the abuser into putting up with their abuse because 'it's your problem and you need to work on yourself'. It's not true--they have the big problem, you need to recognize it, protect yourself, and if it's bad enough leave the relationship. There is an entire chapter on how to respond to the different forms of abuse. So if it's your mother you can finally stand up without giving in to the guilt. I have recommended this book to many, many people. I wish I had read this years ago so I would have never put up with what I did. If you can recognize it, you can stay away from it. This will expain what is going on with them--finally someone who explains what is happening! I think this should be required reading in highschool so everyone can stay clear from these people. Get it! Now
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