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82 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Precious love-saving guide for partners and ex-partners
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...
Published on 26 Sep 2003 by Wade Miller Knight

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78 of 86 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misunderstanding of Abuse
This book is not about emotional abuse. It is about dysfunctional relationships where each person brings their own baggage to the relationship and how that can be dealt with. This is fine, and it does this okay. However it cites films as sources of enlightenment and cites no actual research at all.
But the crucial problem is that this book talks about abuse as...
Published on 17 Aug 2010 by Kay


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82 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Precious love-saving guide for partners and ex-partners, 26 Sep 2003
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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.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars highly recommended; very clearly written, 23 July 2007
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I can't recommend this enough. Packed with clearly presented information, easy to read, clear exercises, plus she herself was abusive and worked through it, so is completely speaking from a place of real informed balance and empathy.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 15 Aug 2009
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This book gives great insight into what has been going on in your abusive relationship. It helps you acknowledge, understand and stop the abuse. Also pointing out that sometimes the only answer is to GET OUT!!!!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for anyone been through emotional abuse/neglect, 16 Jan 2012
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This book is a must for anyone who has been through emotional abuse/neglect or had a very critical parent. I bought it because I was fed up of my husband being emotionally abusive, as I read it I realised I too was being abusive, neither of us intentionally. This book was a real eye opener and really helped me understand myself better and help improve my relationship with my husband and children. An excellent book highly recommend.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best support item an individual can have !, 4 Sep 2010
The book has open my eyes to a lot of ongoing issues in my life that not even the doctors could resolve in my 11 year stretch of suffering. This book has now equipt me with the mental tools to deal with all emotions in my life and i haven't even finished the book! The author touches on some subjects that will bring tears to your eyes as you look at the page and think its "you" she is talking about. The author has made me realise that I am not innocent either as much as you are a victim you are an abuser, but its not about hiding the fact, it is about addressing it before it affects all your loved ones around you. The book has made me see how my response to situations have been wrong if not made the situation worse. This book will make you start from the begining, from childhood to help you identify where it all went wrong. I never knew there were so many types of abuse in existance. This book makes sense 100%. You may not always like what you are reading but read on, it does not portion blame but allows you to identify where you or your partner may be going wrong, whether it really is time to call it a day or how to relsove the situation.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb book, 31 Mar 2011
Has been a life saver, with so much wisdom that even rereading it years later, gems still appear, cant rate it highly enough.
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78 of 86 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misunderstanding of Abuse, 17 Aug 2010
This book is not about emotional abuse. It is about dysfunctional relationships where each person brings their own baggage to the relationship and how that can be dealt with. This is fine, and it does this okay. However it cites films as sources of enlightenment and cites no actual research at all.
But the crucial problem is that this book talks about abuse as though it can be accidental. If it is accidental and your "abuser" cares that you are hurt by their behaviour, then it is not abuse - it is unfortunate dynamics emerging because of past experiences. This can be worked on through therapy in a way that should not be attempted in cases of real abuse. The cases described in the book are not cases of abuse, but normal emotional difficulties in a relationship that have lead to destructive behaviours.
For a real insight into abuse, which is stunningly accurate and well researched, read "Why Does He Do That?" by Lundy Bancroft. The title is off-putting and simplistic but the content is not.
If you are not in an emotionally abusive relationship but are looking to heal the wounds in your relationship brought about by past experience and destructive patterns of relating to each other, then this book may be interesting.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotionally abusive relationships., 13 Nov 2011
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A must for every couple (and for any person actually) if you want to understand how to stop the pain chain.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars helpful to me but warning bells about sharing with partner, 15 Aug 2013
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this book was eye opening and helpful to me. I felt like someone understood my strange relationship dynamics at last. I'm not going mad and the problems are not all in my imagination.

However, the author suggests the book is for the abused and the abuser to work on together. I'm not sure this would always be a good idea. I can see how the main abuser in a relationship could use it as another 'weapon' of abuse. They could use the lists of symptoms and behaviours to claim the 'victim' has done the abusing and the abuser is the abused one!

If you buy this, I would say be cautious about sharing with an emotional abuser, espcially if they are manipulative as well. But otherwise I found it helpful as it explained a lot and gives steps to recovery and getting stronger emotionally. It helps if you feel there is something you can DO to help yourself.

If your partner is manipulative, read this alongside "In Sheep's Clothing" by Dr George Simon and get a slightly different take on the situation. They both understand the dynamics of abusive relationships but have a different approach to dealing with them. That will give you insight and options to think about.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting, 16 Aug 2012
This book has brought to light some of the many issuse my family history has. I given this book to family members who have found this book a little disturbing but also a very interesting idea of what we do that affects others. Anyone who feels they might be affected by emotional abuse should read this book as I'm sure a lot of people out there don't realise that they are probably emotionally abusive as well . I hope that the people who read this book take stock of there lives and make the appropriate changes to lead a more forfilling life . Good luck to all who start there journey .
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