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268 of 271 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars why does he do that
Before I read this book,and after reading several other books on verbal and emotional abuse,I was not sure what was going on in my marraige.After reading this book,I am sure .There is no doubt.I wish I had read this 10 years ago,when i first married.The author portrays several different types of abusive men--my husband is there.Your husband will be too, if you suspect you...
Published on 9 Nov. 2005 by janecraven

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book for those trying to get an understanding
Good book for those trying to get an understanding. Most men seem to be acting to say what they think you want to here during the first few months to get to manipulate you. be smart and set healthy boundaries for yourself. Another book is Malignent Self Love by Sam vankin
Published 8 months ago by Ellie Mass

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268 of 271 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars why does he do that, 9 Nov. 2005
Before I read this book,and after reading several other books on verbal and emotional abuse,I was not sure what was going on in my marraige.After reading this book,I am sure .There is no doubt.I wish I had read this 10 years ago,when i first married.The author portrays several different types of abusive men--my husband is there.Your husband will be too, if you suspect you are being abused in some way.Or,the book will clear up for you whether it is abuse or not.This book is a diamond, a must have read,for any woman who does not understand why her husband acts the way he does.Through understanding the abuser,and his methods, his power over you is gone.He keeps you confused deliberatley,but this book blows that away.Even if you are too scared to take the book home, keep it at a freind's house and read it!!It has changed my life.I feel strong and most of all,clear and certain.There are lots of other books on the subject but this one is unique because it leaves no room for doubt.And to know that what is happening is true and it IS him,not YOU, gives you back your self esteem and hope for the future.Read it and be free from his influence.Look at your husband in his true light.
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90 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book gave me the courage I needed. BUY IT, 6 Feb. 2008
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I had been in an emotionally and verbally abusive relationship for 9 months when I saw this book and bought it for the following reasons:

My boyfriend managed to isolate me from most of my friends to the point where i was sneaking out of work in my lunch hour to meet them in secret. I had to do this because if I told him I was meeting them he would say bad things about them and cause an unbearable atmosphere. Meeting them after work was not an option because he insisted on picking me up from work every single day (come rain or shine) - I only live a short 10 minute walk from work......

I have very little family anyway, making me a really vulnerable target ...

I was criticized for talking to my friends on the telephone. I had my home line disconnected and only used my mobile phone. Then i was criticized for using this. I kept it switched off most of the time just to stop him from having a go at me for incoming calls and text messages. (But he kept his mobile on 24/7).

He liked to make sure I was at home (whilst he went to the pub and clubs). In his mind I was safe at home and wasnt going to go off with any one else. He knew exactly where I was leaving him free to enjoy nights out.

The verbal abuse was much worse when he was drunk or stoned.

He would ignore me for several hours at a time and then suddenly start calling me 'love' and asking me what was wrong!

He made nasty comments about my figure, hair, personality, saying i have no sense of humour, telling me to 'lighten up' . Always complimenting other women in front of me and making a big show when greeting attractive women he knew. If i so much as mentioned another man he flew into a rage.

There would be periods of utter conflict and then suddenly he would be the most wonderful man in the world.

He would tell me to "shut the fu*k up" just for asking him if he wanted to turn the TV over.

The countless breakups and reunions with this man broke my heart to pieces. I never thought I would have the courage to leave. Every time i tried to leave he got back under my skin, promising to change, but never really admitting he was wrong.

He often confused me in arguments. Saying I had said things that I hadnt said etc.

I ended up thinking I was going crazy and that he wasnt really that bad. The above is just a brief, undetailed summary of the full catalogue of horrible events that happened to me whilst i was with him.

When this book arrived I hid it from him and started to read it. Many things jumped out at me and i began to see him, not so much of a boyfriend, but as an ABUSER. Keep that word in mind.

I kept referring to the book to give me the strength I needed and thankfully I got away.

For a few days after leaving him I put notes up around my home to remind me of all of the bad things he was to me "possessive" etc and i put a note on my bathroom mirror saying "i want my life back".

To any one in an abusive relationship, please be careful. Buy this book if you can. Try to leave and if at first you dont succeed, keep trying and read the section on Traumatic Bonding.

You will get there in the end.

There is a life of peace waiting for you.
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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I so wish I had had this book years ago, 9 Dec. 2006
Diane Kerry (UK) - See all my reviews
I initially got this book because my sister in law had left my brother, and I wanted her to have all the help she could get in coming to terms with what had happened to her. However before I handed it over I decided I should read it, to get some understanding, and OH MY GOD! I so wish I had had this book twenty years ago to give to my mother, as well as for myself. Lundy Bancroft peels away all the last hiding places for abusers, he helps you focus on how easily it is for the woman and child to get slowly suffocated and manipulated, and how abusers coerce everyone around them into helping them perpetuate their abuse. It has helped me focus not only on my sanity, but how I can support and encourage other women in coming to terms with what is happening to them and their children. I am now in a happy, supportive, loving relationship, but kissed a lot of toads before I got here, maybe if I had read this book as a young woman I would have recognised abuse sooner, not accepted that it takes two to make a fight, and stopped blaming myself for all the 'stuff' that the abusers in my life feel its their right to dump on the world! I have two beautiful sons, but I really believe that every woman should read this book, as should every person coming to terms with what someone they care about is experiencing, both the abuser or victim. Only then can they see for themselves if and how they are being manipulated, what they can do to avoid being used and how they ultimately are not responsible for the choices the abuser makes, and how to confront the abuser instead of apease them.
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160 of 167 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the best book I have read....., 25 April 2006
Angela (Basingstoke, England) - See all my reviews
about abusive relationships. I have read numerous books in the past year telling me how I may be co-dependant, how I enable my partner to abuse me, that if my behaviour changes his will change and that basically, I am the problem, not him. While these books have given me an insight into myself and have helped develop a strength and understanding I did not have before, they still focused on me being the problem. However, any changes I did make did not change my husband's behaviour and these books reinforced his attitude, that yes, I am the problem and I need help.

Lundy Bancroft spells out in this book in no uncertain terms that I am not the problem, that my partner is the abuser and a bully and it is his problem and he needs to acknowledge it and get help for it. I do not enable him to abuse me - Bancroft states in the book 'Abuse is wrong; you are responsible for your own actions; no excuse is acceptable; the damage you are doing is incalculable; your problem is yours alone to solve' - he is addressing the abuser. I can hold my head high now, I have worked hard on myself and become a better person for it, but I am not the controlling, manipulative female dog my husband keeps telling me I am. This book has made me realise the extent of the damage he has caused our children - he doesn't abuse them directly but watching their mother be abused has created untold problems for them - they are violent towards each other, they have low opinions of females in general and they are basically in turmoil themselves. This book has created a clear path for me - I need to protect myself and my children from the harm my partner is causing on a daily basis. Thank you Lundy Bancroft for giving me the ammunition to blast a doorway into a better life for myself and my children.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read This Book!, 9 Mar. 2011
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Having just ended an abusive relationship this book helped to make sense of all the 'nonsense' that surrounded it. I wish there were more therapists and programmes like it here in the UK.It made clear the patterns and behaviours of abusive men, both emotionally and physically, and Lundy clearly describes all the manipulations and thinking that goes on 'behind the scenes'...he is no fool and I'd just love to be in one of his groups when someone tries the clever talk that may work with his partner but certainly doesnt work with him.There was alot about how difficult it can be to get away from an abusive man, all the ways he may try to get you back or make new promises. However, in my case,it was the opposite....his feet hardly touched the ground! Having never been challenged before (and I did actually say that after a break,if he acknowledged his issues and got some help, I would be open to getting back together) he just blamed it all on me and I was the "heartless" one for dumping him! After 2 years together, in a relationship that at least in the beginning was (I thought) close and loving, it was incredibly hurtful how quickly my ex could just drop me,no calls, not having anything to say at all, just dropped my things off and left them outside my door! I realise now that ,for him, what passes as love is really just about control and getting his own needs met...and if I wasnt prepared to always let him be right,make his feelings a priority (and mine non existent)and to never upset him with a different opinion...well then, goodbye. It was refreshing that Lundy doesnt make me another codependent woman.Although he explains how the abused partner fits in with the dynamic,and I have looked long and hard at my own patterns, it helped me to know that there was nothing I could do if my ex chose (and it is a choice, not that old chestnut "but I was abused as a child myself") to behave in such a self centered way.He made clear (which had originally puzzled me) why these men are so reluctant to change...when they get to have a committed relationship totally on there own terms, without any of the hassle of compromise or working things out,can do as they please and dump their own issues on the poor unfortunate who is their partner (ok now I get it).And yes,before the guys protest, it is possible that its the woman who can be abusive to the man in the relationship.When you guys are so downtrodden culturally,socially,politically and in such huge numbers, not to mention physically...then maybe I can give more of a sympathy vote.Having said that More Men need to read this book who are genuinely puzzled by there own behaviours...change may be difficult but not impossible. Lundy shows you how.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real gem, can save you hours of sleepless nights, 11 Sept. 2010
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I was a bit skeptical about this book. There was a guy that I couldn't understand and his behaviour towards me was always like he was 2 people, one of them charming and cute, the other one driving me mad. At one point I couldn't take that any more and decided to leave but had constant doubts if it was right - still remembering how good I felt with the nice one. I would never have called him "abusive" though. He's never intimidated me physically, he's never even raised his voice. He is always polite, sticks to the norms, doesn't argue - how can that be abuse?
Yet, when I was reading this book it was like walking out of the fog. I've recognized so many patterns I've lost the count. I finally realized why he treats slightly better our mutual friends. Most importantly though, I realized how this could have ended - because of the way abuse tends to escalate.
This book is based on a solid research (the author worked with over 2000 abusive men AND their partners), has fantastic "real world" examples where you can really recognize yourself. It's definitely not like some of the self-help books, reiterating over and over again similar mantras and giving you silver bullets for solving all the problems. It may be difficult to take in because of one message - if you happen to be with a truly abusive man, chances that he'll change are slim, and that is even if he works with professionals. It also explains why it is so unlikely, how to recognize signs of this in advance, and how to recognize if he really is changing.
Buy this book no matter what's your situation. If you never met an abusive man - it will help you recognize and avoid him in the future. If you're in the relationship and have doubts - it will help you understand what's happening and most importantly, why. If you already left but still have doubts - it will help you believe it was the right choice.
If you're a man, or a girl in a happy relationship, still buy this book - it's important that more people understand how abusers work to be able to support abused women. Mine was a really mild case, if I may put it this way, and luckily he happened to mistreat other people a bit as well - yet I still needed support from other people to confirm "yes, it's not you, it's him". I can't imagine how it feels to be left all alone, with everybody saying "he's such a nice guy, what's your problem" - and after reading this book you'll understand how easy it is for friends to fall into this trap.
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88 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NOW I KNOW WHY HE DID THAT, 4 Jun. 2007
My mum died in march, 12 hours later my husband walked out leaving me alone with our 4 children aged under 8 ( my dad died a few years ago) -of course it was my fault he left and when i ask him to explain his actions i get the reply "well if you don't know i'm not telling you! i really didn't know which way to turn - having time to think i began to realise that this wasn't the first time he had withdrew emotional support from me . late one friday evening i was looking on amazon for a new book and somehow came across this one - i read the reviews - ordered it and then camoflaged it inside the sleeve of a sophie kinsella book! it just meant that i could read it without the amy of the children seeing what i was reading. Well what i shock i was in for - my god - i now realise exactly what i have been experiencing over the past 10 years. the times i have been left reeling by accusations, orders, put downs etc etc . It is easy to read but hard going - i have cried all the way through it - the realisation of how i have been manipulated and had my confidence shot at.

I am still grieving for my mum but i am getting stronger, i don't know what will come of our marriage - hes still living at his mums ( he wants to know if i am jealous of this!) but what i do know is that i am better than him - i do not use abuse and aggression to make my point. Lundy has made me realise i am not to blame it is not my shame .....
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book!, 4 Feb. 2011
This is such a brilliant book which brings up a lot of points that make sense to me. He dispells certain misconceptions that a lot of people have about abusers such as the most common one "people who abuse have been abused themselves". This isn't true but used as an excuse, as he points out there are a lot of people who have been abused during their childhood but don't grow up to be abusers. A view I've held all along and he also points out the difference between a non abusive man and abusive man is that a non abusive man WILL NOT use his abusive past as an excuse. Unlike the abusive man. He tackles other misconceptions as well such as he's insecure, his mother mistreated him so he hates all women(abusers generally aren't misogynists they can respect female bosses etc on the outside but usually have contempt and disrespect for women),he has anger problems-"He's not abusive because he's angry but angry because he's abusive". He also talks about the high and unrealistic expectations that male abusers have of their female partners. He talks about the real reasons such as control and manipulation. Sadly I recognised the type of people who assist the abuser and takes his side against the woman's, titled in the chapter "The abuser's allies". An abused woman may hear all different types of conflicting information that will confuse her greatly such as "you need to think about the children", "He's a human being too, he needs help as well","Deep down he's not a bad person" and then "yes he is a scum bag, you need to leave him". He also gives real life accounts from male abusers and their partners and their two seperate accounts of their relationship. Very interesting to read. This author also points out the attitudes of some "professionals" who sadly back up the abuser. Such as a therapist who was seeing one of the men in Lundy Bancrofts abuse programs. This one therapist didn't even see his partner or speak to her in any shape or form and yet he/she felt the need to ring Lundy up and tell him this man shouldn't be on his program and that his partner was possessive, crazy and his client was suffering from low self esteem as a result of this. Lundy asked whether he/she had councelled them together or spoke to her alone on the phone. The therapist said no. So he took this man's word as truth and didn't even bother asking the abused partner her version of the story. Lundy pointed out that an abusive man is not a reliable source on abuse. He points out some professionals that only become judge's, police etc to abuse their power over people and very scarily relate to the abuser. They may become annoyed with an abused woman because they think she's causing trouble by "playing the victim". He advises on how you can overcome these types of people by asking for a domestic violence case worker or representative. Finally I challenge anyone who says this book is sexist against men. Lundy Bancroft is a man himself and makes a point of stating that abusive women do exist who mistreat their male partners as well as pointing out abuse in gay/lesbian/bisexual relationships. It is just a fact he is stating when he says that there are more men who abuse their female partners. He asks how is it sexist to point out abuse? Are we all supposed to turn a blind eye to the fact that the majority of abusers are male? This leads to him dispelling the other myth of "there's as many abusive women as there is men". He says it's humiliating for any victim of abuse to come forward whether that's male or female. This book is enlightening not just for women who may or may not be suffering from abuse but for everyone. If we can point out to people who are assisting or ignoring abusers, we can make them aware of some of the problems in society and the attitudes that cover up abuse or punishes the woman instead of the man. The abuser is very good at getting people on his side by twisting things around so the woman is at fault, hiding his true self from everybody else, the abuser thrives on people's confusion. He wants to remain a mystery so that he doesn't have to take responsibility for his actions. In short he plays on people's ignorance.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bible to the psychology of abusive men, 26 Dec. 2006
I had always known the psychology behind the abuse I suffered in my relationship yet I needed a voice that would confirm my fears and expose that my partner was indeed abusive, I needed someone to confirm my own reasons of why he behaved the way he did and to confirm to me that it wasn't because he was a troubled soul but that he indeed possessed an abusive nature that seeked to destroy. In my pain and confusion caused by the shock that I felt torn apart that I carried emotional bonding and attachments to my perpertrator and the situations that made me feel trapped I couldn't escape so easily and his anger intensified with every act of freedom I tried. I wanted to be told that I was right to fear, that I wasn't confused or mad, that someone indeed understood what I was trying so hard to say myself and that my analyses of my perpertrator where not due to my imagination. That abusers can only abuse one person in their life for whatever reason and this doesn't make them redeemed men. That women can be sexually abused by the man they love and its still a crime, he is equally like the stranger for he is no longer the man the woman loved, that image is an illusion created for the entrapment of the victim.
I wanted to find evidence to claim I was right to label my so called partner an abuser and thanks to Lundy I have that proof that I can quote from not only a professional but someone who as entered the mind himself of abusive men and exposed their ugly souls. I would recommend this to anyone Lundy doesn't attack the victim he gaves her value and understanding. I was sick of having to be told how to recognise mr.right from wrong and being patronised, blamed and further punished by society beacuse I was unlucky in a relationship. Nobody choses an abuser, the victim is not a masochist who enjoys it, yet she needs to have that validation in her convinctions and because society and friends follow social myths she feels alone. She needs to be made aware that she is not alone and with this book she won't be.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saved what could have been a lifetime of pain, 23 Jun. 2014
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I never write reviews but this book has literally saved my life, and hopefully the life of my son as he could have quite easily picked up the same disgraceful behaviours my ex partner displayed - Hopefully he still won't as long as he doesn't see his mum treated with great disrespect by his dad and/or pick up his dad's self-centredness. Anyone with any incline that their partner displays any form of abusiveness should have a read of this - get it delivered to a family member/friend's house or something if you need to and just read it when you visit. I thought my ex was just a lovely guy with a lot of issues and I felt sorry for him, even when he kept doing awful things to me over and over - he's now been unmasked as, how did the caseworkers in the women's centre (where I ended up visiting as a last resort) put it "one of the most clever and dangerous manipulators" they've dealt with. This guy actually conned me into thinking I had postnatal depression and psychosis. I thought I was good at reading people, how wrong I was - until I read this book... Right eye opener.
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