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Not To People Like Us: Hidden Abuse In Upscale Marriages

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  104 ratings  ·  13 reviews
This important book brings the ignored population of abused upper-income women to light, revealing for the first time the depth and severity of "upscale abuse"

How is it possible for a highly educated woman with a career and resources of her own to stay in a marriage with an abusive husband? How can a man be considered a pillar of his community, run a successful business a
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Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 16th 2001 by Basic Books (first published August 24th 2000)
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 ·  104 ratings  ·  13 reviews


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Brian Sullivan
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Finally someone breaks the consiracy of silence. Domestic Violence is not just a poor mans problem.
Perri
Dec 11, 2018 rated it liked it
I read this after Big, Little Lies, the case histories were interesting and I do think this group of women is probably understudied, underrepresented and misunderstood. But I was hoping for a bit more narrative, -this was just a too text-booky for me. Also a tad repetitive beginning with the phrase "people like us".
Ivan
Feb 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Basically a scientific confirmation of what I have heard from my Chinese ex-girlfriend - "It is stupid and dangerous to marry a rich man - no one becomes rich by being nice to people, most rich husbands hit their wives, have serial mistresses, spend their money for themselves and have terrible character flaws". I think that this book should be a part of school curricula in an abridged version, both for boys and girls - to destroy the terrible myths of Cinderela, Prince Charming and other terribl ...more
Metoka
Jul 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
A very good read. I would recommend this, especially to counselors in training and women in general. This is a population that goes undetected, due to the implicit "shoulds" that surround the myth of money and marriage = happiness. What was astounding was the number of women who were more educated than their husbands who were verbally and physically abused by them. I know after what I have seen in internship, this book is a very useful addition to my library. It serves to remind me, as Shug Aver ...more
Erin
Apr 21, 2016 rated it liked it
After I read Liane Moriority's Big Little Lies, she referenced this book and I thought I'd check it out. It is definitely more of a case study, based on statistics, and research. It took me awhile to read because it wasn't necessarily riveting. But the information was well displayed and she makes a very valid case about domestic violence in upscale homes. It's definitely an issue that is often hidden yet no less tragic. Worth perusing.
Ligaya
Sep 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Eye-opening book about abuse within marriages, concentrating specifically on wealthy families. I read this 17 years after its publication and it seems dated in focusing solely on the wealthy wife and ignoring same-sex unions or battered men. Also, very little focus on getting help for the perpetrator. Despite that, there is a lot of great information in getting the victim to realize the situation they are in and how they can deal with it. I hope the author will update this book!
Est
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A highly relevant read whose literary quality deeply contrasts its tacky cover.
Kendall
Jan 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I was turned on to this book from The Husband's Secret and, though it was an interesting read, it was much more clinical than I anticipated. Clinical meaning this seems like an excellent resource if you're a therapist but otherwise it's a lot of skimming over minute facts and report findings.

In all, there were some fascinating facts about children from abusive marriages, a list of common traits in the abuser AND the abused, and would be a good resource if you're concerned about a)yourself or b)
...more
Jeanne P.
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Domestic abuse shelters would not be a good fit for a woman from an upscale marriage. Even the size of her house is a barrier to anyone knowing how she is abused. The privileges her children enjoy (music lessons, etc) deter her from leaving. Mainly, her destroyed sense of self worth -- even if she is a professional in the corporate world -- keeps her from leaving. She can't talk to anyone, since her women friends are married to her husband's co-workers. From the outside, her marriage looks idyll ...more
Cortney
Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
I just happened to pick this book up over the weekend and could not put it down. My sister-in-law has to read it for one of her psychology classes and it is utterly fascinating. The author has interviewed numerous "upscale women" who are women that are educated with college degrees, have their own job and financial security but yet are involved in abusive relationships and can't or won't get out. The stories that are told are heartbreaking and I don't understand the logic these women think but I ...more
Brittany Jam
Nov 13, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Horrific.
Gloria
Apr 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who is interested in class or abuse issues
The title says it all. Well researched and wonderful case-studies. Abuse happens in across all classes, but it can be harder for those who can't talk about it.
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Susan Weitzman, Ph.D,. L.C.S.W., is a psychotherapist, educator, researcher, national lecturer and litigation consultant. She was on the clinical staff of the Department of Outpatient Adult Psychiatry at the University of Chicago for 12 years and hastaught for many years at the University of Chicago's Graham School for Continuing Studies and Loyola University's School of Social Work in Chicago. Dr ...more

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55 likes · 27 comments
“Consider these traditional theories of domestic abuse:
- Learned helplessness suggest that abused women learn to become helpless under abusive conditions; they are powerless to extricate themselves from such relationships and/or unable to make adaptive choices
- The cycle of violence describes a pattern that includes a contrition or honeymoon phase. The abusive husband becomes contrite and apologetic after a violent episode, making concerted efforts to get back in his wife’s good graces.
- Traumatic bonding attempts to explain the inexplicable bond that is formed between a woman and her abusive partner
- The theory of past reenactments posits that women in abusive relationships are reliving unconscious feelings from early childhood scenarios.
My research results and experience with patients do not conform to these concepts. I have found that the upscale abused wife is not a victim of learned helplessness. Rather, she makes specific decisions along the path to be involved in the abusive marriage, including silent strategizing as she chooses to stay or leave the marriage. Nor does the upscale abused wife experience the classic cycle of violence, replete with the honeymoon stage, in which the husband courts his wife to seek her forgiveness. As in the case of Sally and Ray, the man of means actually does little to seek his wife’s forgiveness after a violent episode.
Further, the upscale abused wife voices more attachment to her lifestyle than the traumatic bonding with her abusive mate. And very few of the abused women I have met over the years experienced abuse in their childhoods or witnessed it between their parents. In fact, it is this lack of experience with violence, rage, and abuse that makes this woman even more overwhelmed and unclear about how to cope with something so alien to her and the people in her universe.”
3 likes
“But if he is angry at the world for doing him harm, why does he take it out on his loving partner? Couldn’t he just as readily express his rage by playing racquetball or pounding pillows. His ideas about her role seem paradoxical. On the one hand, the narcissistic husband has vested his wife with tremendous power. She is necessary for his self-repair, but instead of valuing her and seeking comfort in her arms, he beats and humiliates her. Because he sees her as available to meet any and all of his needs, he releases his rage and any self-hate at her; such an act helps him ultimately feel powerful again, making him realize he is not weak and shattered.
When the narcissistic man eels the terror and rage associated with his own internal fragmentation, his outburst restores his sense of power and control. He turns the anger expanding within him away from himself, toward his wife. He insists that she’s the defective one, she’s to blame, because she has not met his needs. Such acts of externalization are key to the NPD batterer. His violent behavior restores his self-esteem. He believes that his actions are not his fault; he is just trying to take care of himself.”
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