Most helpful positive review
85 of 86 people found the following review helpful
Precious love-saving guide for partners and ex-partners
on 26 September 2003
A lovely book. Engel comes from love and empathy for abusers and abusees alike and is wonderfully free of judgements. A moving, highly readable and deeply usable guide to how to recognise and then stop patterns of abuse when we are in the habit of giving or receiving it. An inspiring read, and manual, for counsellors and a potential lifesaver for human happiness for everyone from the multiply divorced to the person who's just shouted at their partner for the first time ever. But not for those who believe abusees are victims (poor me)and abusers are monsters: Engel holds that blame benefits no-one and everyone, if willing, can grow and learn new, loving, abuse-free habits that esteem both themself and their partner. Written in wonderfully plain jargon-free English (except that she refers to "borderline personality disorder").
Engel defines emotional abuse as "any non-physical behaviour designed to control, intimidate, subjugate, demean, punish or isolate another person" i.e. everything from blaming to sulking, demands to insults, domineering to overinquisitiveness. [So if you've lived with someone for more than a month and never ever given or received emotional abuse, click here for your halo:-)]
Beverly focuses on emotional abuse but but her techniques could be equally transformative for people who give or receive physical, sexual or verbal abuse. Similarly, the book is all about lifepartners but can be adapted to other close relationships e.g. parent/step-parent to adult child.