December 10, 2011

The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans

This was one of the better books I've read on the subject. It offers clear insight into the problems of mentally/verbally abusive relationships without adopting the “blame the victim” mentality so many of the other books had. For someone struggling with their decisions already, those types of books only make things worse. Although, this book, like the others, has suggestions for how to make things work with your abuser which doesn't help either if they don't want to pursue it. It just makes you feel like you didn't do enough if other people had agreed to recognize what was going on but your partner wouldn't. This book could also be potentially useful for those in abusive situations that aren't intimate relationships as well.

The first part of the book helps you to evaluate your own experience and whether or not your relationship contained verbal abuse. It also focused on what the author calls the two types of power and why one of them isn't healthy. It explores these powers and how people use them within the relationship. Most importantly, this chapter focuses on the consequences of the abuse. Part two goes more into depth on the different types of verbal abuse and trying to change it. There are also sections discussing therapists and children in the relationship.

I found this book helpful when it talked about recognizing the signs of abuse. Often victims of abuse don't trust their own judgment after being talked down to so long that they can't personally see whats happening to them. This book helps provide a checklist for validating the experiences. Also, if you are still in the relationship, it does give a couple tips for trying to make the abuser see the light so to speak and get help. The problem with this is that for people who have already left the relationship or who's partners won't recognize that they need help, this part is rather useless and instead makes the abused feel worse as they think there was more they could have done, when really they couldn't.

There are good and bad books out there and I would rate this as one of the better ones. It still won't meet everyones needs but hopefully can help some people.

The Verbally Abusive Relationship
Copyright 1992
217 pages

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