Marc's Reviews > The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize It and How to Respond

The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans
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's review
Nov 30, 09

bookshelves: non-fiction, relationships
Read in November, 2009

To sum this up:
1) If your relationship with someone is not absolutely wonderful then the man is an abuser.
2) If the woman saying “stop” does not immediately fix the issue and turn it into a wonderful relationship then the end the relationship.

This book was a slow read for me and I ended up needing to renew the library book two or three times to give myself time to finish it. Part of what slowed it down for me is the book is very detailed. There are many lists with 10 to over 20 items each. I was struggling with why some of these were separate items as they seemed redundant. One possibility that came to mind is the author was taking a shotgun approach in that a reader may say to herself “that item fits me perfectly” and rejecting other items simply as they did not fit as well.

I also felt that far too little attention was given to how to respond to abuse. The first 125 pages are about the problems it causes, recognition, etc. There’s a 20 page section on responding, and then it’s on to recovery and looking back. I also disagreed with the response that was advocated which is to just say “stop” and to walk away if the person does not immediately stop. Maybe that would work if the abuser was simply unaware of how an innocent remark was being interpreted.

I do feel the book would be value to someone who is currently, or was involved, in an abusive relationship. He or she can use those lists to identify things that are or have been wrong. I feel that recognition is a huge part of the battle. It will also help in that victim will understand that he or she is not alone.

The book was of value to me in that it made me more aware of potential interpretations and impact of what I say.

This is the type of book that needs to be re-read several times. There’s a lot of detail and a person is likely to start skimming over spots as it seems repetitive or non applicible.
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