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Book: "The Verbally Abusive Relationship" by Patricia Evans

Started by Pearls, June 11, 2013, 08:04:18 PM

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This book changed my life. 

I was in a difficult marriage and my husband was often verbally abusive.  I kept thinking that if only I could communicate to him in a way he could understand, then things would be different.  Then I got this book and was shocked to read what could have been my own story right on the pages.  That is when it finally dawned on me that things would never change.  It wasn't my communication problem, it was his unwillingness to want to save us.

If anyone is living through the terrible pain of verbal abuse, please read this book.  It was a little bit biased against men (as if men are the only ones who verbally abuse others), but it was immensely helpful in looking at how simple conversations can escalate into verbally abusive exchanges, and what the abuser is consciously or unconsciously trying to do.


I love this book! I have a copy that I've had for years, full of my own notes and markings. It helped me make sense of things and to understand what behaviors really aren't "normal." Also, it made me see some things that I was doing that I should not have been, which helped me grow and improve myself as a person. I've still got a long way to go, but this book is an excellent tool! Thanks for mentioning it, Pearls!


I'm glad you also found the book helpful.  I learned some communication skills for myself in this book too.  I hope I didn't come across as taking none of the responsibility for my relationship problems.  I have plenty of room for improvement!


Oh, Pearls, you didn't come across that way at all! It's kind of a strange story, though . . . .

I would argue that when you are in an unhealthy marriage and you are told that *everything* you do is wrong (and you are very young and immature), it's easy to go into a defensive mode. It wasn't until I had been away from DH for a really long time that I could look at this book and see that yes, he did some stuff that was really, really horrific, but I made some mistakes too. (I found the sample conversation very early on in the book about the salad being cold/cool exemplary of my situation.)

However, with that said, I would argue that my transgressions were not to the same degree, but that's really neither here nor there. I never should have been with him in the first place. I always always always felt trapped with him and my bad behavior was my lashing out in a situation in which I felt there was no way out.

This, then, is what I'm struggling with today. How do I forgive myself?


That book was and is my bible. It has helped me, but not always,...otherwise I wouldn't be at this site. :(...Still, it's interesting to discover yourself over and over again in this book,...and a sort of relief to have the situation labeled.
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
            -- Michel de Montaigne