Having purchased quite a few books on this topic, I found this one to be the most down to earth, relative one I have read. Leslie, thank you for this book, and I thank God for it as well. I can tell that He inspired it's simplicity and clear cut direction I cannot say enough good about this well written, clear thinking, biblically sound book about the devastating effects of unhealthy relationships. I have heard this author present her material at the American Association of Christian counselors conference. She speaks with authority, compassion, and grace.
She gives clear direction for identifying abuse and standing up against its hurtful, damaging effects. I am so grateful to finally have a biblically based, boundary honoring way to address the pervasive, persistent pattern of crazymaking that is the life of abuse victims and perpetrators. She addresses the challenge for the church people who can get sucked into the vortex of confusion. Above all she desires to lead people to honor Christ in their journey and to not bow their knee to fear or intimidation or manipulation, hallmarks of abusive strategies.
If you or someone you love is suffering from the powerless, helpless, confusing mind warping of an emotionally destructive relationship, this book will offer hope and strategies for surviving and thriving. Subject: Interpersonal relations -- Religious aspects.
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Subject: Christianity. COM Terms He is more likely to describe himself as adaptively following the path of least resistance than as a victim living under the thumb of someone more powerful. In my experience, emotionally abused men do not live in fear, even though they are ill-treated and far from happy. In contrast, fear is an alarm system whose threshold of activation is designed to adapt to a dangerous environment. In other words, the more you experience fear, the more sensitized to possible danger you become.
That's why you might be unnerved by a moving shadow after seeing a horror movie. The usual reaction to fear is hypervigilence. Thus women notice more of what the abusive partner is doing and are more likely to have their thoughts, feelings, and behavior controlled by the abusive partner. Indeed, it is almost impossible not to think about things that make you afraid when they are in proximity: Just try to ignore the sleeping sabertooth tiger in the next room.
In many ways, emotional abuse is more psychologically harmful than physical abuse.
Create a Loving Relationship free from Abuse
There are a couple of reasons for this: Even in the most violent families, incidents tend to be cyclical. Early in the abuse cycle, a violent outburst is followed by a honeymoon period of remorse, attention , affection, and generosity — but not genuine compassion. The honeymoon stage eventually ends, as the victim begins to say, "Never mind the damn flowers, just stop hitting me! The effects are more harmful because they're so frequent. The other factor that makes emotional abuse so devastating is the greater likelihood that victims will blame themselves.
If someone hits you, it's easier to see that he or she is the problem, but if the abuse is subtle — saying or implying that you're ugly, a bad parent, stupid, incompetent, not worth attention, or that no one could love you — you are more likely to think it's your problem. Emotional abuse seems more personal than physical abuse, more about you as a person, more about your spirit.
It makes love hurt. If you suspect that you are in an emotionally abusive relationship, take the Walking on Eggshells quiz. If your score indicates that you are walking on eggshells, the site will lead you to information on what to do next. Although occasional instances of abusive behavior do not constitute an abusive relationship, they certainly raise the risk of ruining health and happiness.
Unconstrained by compassion, they can lead quickly to chronic resentment and, eventually, contempt. That's because we tend to form emotional bonds with an expectation that those we love will care about how we feel.
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When loved ones fail to care that we are hurt, let alone inflict hurt upon us, it feels like betrayal. Failure of compassion in a love relationship feels like abuse. Merely refraining from abusive behaviors will do nothing to improve a relationship, though it may slow its rate of deterioration. To repair the harm done, there must be a corresponding increase in compassion.
That means both parties have to return to caring about how the other feels, even when they disagree about the ideas or interpretations of the facts that go with the feelings. The inability to distinguish objections to a loved one's behavior from value for the loved one is at the heart of emotional abuse. You can and must negotiate about the behavior you don't like — you can even condemn it — without devaluing the person you love. Developing self-compassion is the key to increasing compassion for loved ones. Self-compassion is the ability to recognize when you are hurt, with a motivation to heal or improve.
Of course, the latter is complicated with people you love. With them, you must recognize that when you are angry, you feel devalued or unlovable -- you perceive your loved one to have said or done something to devalue you. With self-compassion, you have two alternatives to anger and retaliation. Since the real problem is that you feel devalued or unlovable, you will move toward a real solution, i.
In the history of humankind, no one has ever felt more valuable and lovable by hurting loved ones. Hurting or devaluing him or her further can only make it worse.
Neither anger nor compassion solves problems in love relationships. But compassion puts you in a position where you are more likely to solve the problem to everyone's satisfaction.
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At the very least, you will never be emotionally abusive with compassion. Think of times when you have been angry at someone you love and compare those times to when you have felt compassion for those you love. In which emotional state were you more likely to get the most favorable outcome?
The abusive dynamic is the same for all attachment relationships. See it described in the following post:. The following was an email I sent after I left my emotionally abusive husband, it was in response to him telling me has a new woman. I hope it hits home for others.
I have found peace. I now live in a house that I am no longer judged. I do not have to worry about how my actions please or displease anyone other than myself. I do not have to worry about going to dinner and being yelled at in a restaurant.
Book Review: The Emotionally Destructive Relationship by Leslie Vernick – Calluna
I do not have to look at walls with large dents from a child being thrown into them and think about the pain they felt when it happened. The wounds of the past will never heal for me or the kids but we are managing. The kids have both told me there is a certain peace at my new home that there never was at our old home, I silently agree. You are not involved with the emotional side of how this has impacted the kids, I am. I am the one who wipes their tears and listens to their concerns. My relationship with you is not amicable, I admit that. There is just too much from the past that will never resolve and too many current issues that just add to the wound.
For that, I am mad. However the benefits of the safety and peace the kids and I experience greatly out weigh everything else and we are in a much better place. Glad there's peace! Your kids deserve it and yourself as well.