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I want to post up some book reviews, books which I found helpful, books which I didn't find all that helpful for my own situation.

I want to point out that this post is more to do with controlling men and emotionally abusive men - the scenario where you are just hugely confused and don't know what is going on.




If someone is beating the hell out of you get intervention and call the police. Tell your family and your friends or contact a support network.


If someone is calling you names (verbal abuse) then he does not love you, No partner should call you names ever.


No form of abuse is acceptable or OK or something you deserve.

No one who abuses you loves you.


I am out of the relationship now and have been for 2 years but due to other things I stalled on looking into what happened for a long long time.



When I did start reading I quickly realised I really wanted to know why this guy had done what he did to be and also what I could do in order not to get involved with a guy like him ever again so those are my main two criteria for the book reviews I will post.



I dated him for only 7 months and he turned out to be emotionally abusive.

I had never experienced someone like that in my life and had no idea about common traits in people like that. There are many common traits.



If you are currently in a situation with someone and are experiencing any of the following then it's highly likely you are with someone who is controlling (with potential to become abusive in some way) or emotionally abusive.



In no particular order:



Possessiveness and jealousy.



Isolating behaviour - requesting that you do not see your friends/family or makes attempts to plan other things when your partner knows you have things planned with friends/family.



Your partner needs to know where you are, what you are doing, who you are with a lot. They ask questions on these subjects a lot.



They put you down.



They tell you that you are wrong often.



They tend to try to make the relationship move on quickly when you may well not be ready for it either sexually or in terms of wanting to move in together or marry. If you have expressed you are not ready and they are pushy with you and not respecting your wishes and feelings this is a bad sign.



They tend to say that all of their exes were crazy.



They are very good at not taking responsibility for things - all of the exes were fully responsible for their past relationships ending but also you will find that they blame bosses, their parents, their bank manager, the waiter at the restaurant, literally anyone but themselves for anything that ever went wrong for them (this one is a very common trait).



Many of them are seen by others as great and easy going people. These are people who have never dated this person though.



They can be very judgemental of others.



They can question your choices - even down to clothing that you wear.



They can attempt to dominate your time and believe that your down time is there for the purpose of being with/interacting with them.



Also, they can be wonderful one moment and then controlling/abusive the next. If they do this you will find they likely apologise for their bad behaviour and then charm you all over again until the next time they decide that something is your fault.



There doesn't have to be all of these signs but these are just some that are very common and also both men and women can be controlling and or emotionally abusive. It's not gender specific.



Plus, the signs can be very subtle and seem almost flattering (jealousy, really wanting to be with you and spend lots of time with you early on).



On to the book reviews.

There are books here which I have read plus a few that I would like to read also but for those I have read I will give a breakdown of each and my thoughts about them.



Books that I read in the order I read them and what I thought of them, good bad and in between:



The Jealousy Game by Mandy White ? Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists

The Jealousy Game by Mandy White.

This was my first purchase and was a free book on Kindle when I got it.

I have just gone to look and it's now at 99p on Amazon.co.uk but is still free on Amazon.com

First off, if you don't own a Kindle then you can download a Kindle app for your phone or PC for free.



This was my first 'I need to figure this out' read and it's just a short read and took me only a couple of hours but it seriously hits home about how your future could unfold if you continue with the guy who displays any of those signs above.

This is a roller coaster of a read and is very well written.

It's not nice, not pleasant and it's not a story. This is one of the most blunt reads of what could happen if you stick around.

My ex was in there up to a point but from what I had experienced with him there were way too many sure signals that he could have potentially become the guy toward the end of the book.

Don't dismiss this book due to it's price nor it's short length.

It can seriously open your eyes.

This was the quick kick start that I needed in order to investigate further into why I had dated him, why I was at risk of meeting someone just the same as him next time and what I could do to ensure that would not happen.



Mandy White is a short story writer in the main but this book is as I said not a story. She is spot on with so many things. I simply cannot fault this book.





How to Spot a Dangerous Man Before You Get Involved: Describes 8 Types of Dangerous Men, Gives Defense Strategies and a Red Alert Checklist for Each, and by Sandra L. Brown ? Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists

How to Spot a Dangerous Man Before You Get Involved by Sandra L. Brown



This book has different chapters which relate to different types of abusers.

It starts out outlining abusive types and common traits and reasons for them - to be honest that section is now somewhat unmemorable but I didn't skip reading any of it.

The other chapters it has focus on different types of abusers:

The permanent clinger

The parental seeker

The emotionally unavailable man

The man with the hidden life

The mentally ill man

The addict

The abusive or violent man

The emotional predator



There are also other chapters in this book which focus more on you and what you can do.

The chapters above though - my ex was in several of them. Don't do like I did and read just a chapter or two and think you have him nailed. Your man will be in many if not all chapters in some way or another.

I discovered this myself when I posted on here in response to someone about signs of a physical abuser. Each chapter has a checklist of signs to look out for.

I discovered that my ex has 21 of the signs of a physically violent abuser. :(



The checklists are good for reference. I could not get this on Kindle but I am glad I have it to refer back to.







Toxic Relationships: Recognize A Toxic Relationship & Learn How To Fix It Or Forget It by Sarah Goldberg ? Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists

How To Deal With Manipulative People: Learn to Overcome Manipulation Techniques and Manipulation by Sarah Goldberg ? Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists

Toxic Relationships and Manipulative Relationships by Sarah Goldberg.

These are both pretty short and were OK but not terribly helpful really, they just reiterated what I had already learned.

I got them as a box set on Kindle and they were free at the time.





Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them: When Loving Hurts and You Don't Know Why by Susan Forward ? Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists

Men who Hate Women and the Women who Love Them by Dr Susan Forward.

This has some great reviews online but for me, well, I didn't finish it. I will make it a goal to read the whole book.

For me it went off into tangents that I found to be of not a lot of use.

I didn't want to feel empathetic that my ex might have had a bad childhood - I met his parents and spent Christmas with his whole family including his sister and her hubby, great couple but my ex hated..no loathed and despised the man who he would not even call his brother in law and they were awesome people and really lovely to be around.

One morning me and the brother in law sat and had a chilled out brunch and I found out then that my man had not told any of the family anything about me at all - not a thing. So we had a good old chat about me and who I was.

The only one person who caused an issue at Christmas for the 5 days we spent there was my ex. He was the one who stirred things, shouted, was passive aggressive and he was the one who I asked to stop shouting his head off at his father when Christmas dinner was being served.



The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence by Gavin de Becker ? Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists

The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker

Good book but I found this to be of more use when confronted with a stranger and how to really think and act on 'get me outta here' if you feel threatened.

I would give this book to a daughter of teen years if I had one.

I would also recommend it to anyone who travels alone.

Fear is to be respected.



Toads, and the Women Who Kiss Them. Aunt Alex's Army Manual: How to Free Yourself from the Narcissist by Alexandra Nouri ? Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists

Toads and the Women who Kiss Them. Aunt Alex's Army Manual. How to Free Yourself from the Narcissist by Alexandra Nouri.

I read this after a long break from reading anything. About a year - and I didn't feel like dating - not at all.

It still had nagging questions that were bugging me so I got this.



Whoa!! :D:

Fun read! It has you laughing out loud as well as skipping back a few pages to really apply it to yourself and your relationship.

It explained away all of my questions that kept coming back to keep me awake at night.

It's actually supportive too - you feel like you have Aunty Alex with you.

This is an awesome treasure and as important to me as The Jealousy Game was in the beginning.

It makes everything..EVERYTHING that my ex said and did 100% clear.



So. You're in Love with a Narcissist. by Alexandra Nouri ? Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists

So You're in Love with a Narcissist by Alexandra Nouri



OK, so, I haven't read this book but based on the one above I would go for it if I were involved with an abuser.

I may well read it just for the read because I know it will be good, informative. harsh but also funny.



Jerk Radar by Stephen T. McCrea ? Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists

The Jerk Radar by Steve McCrea.

I found this by accident when I came across a website by accident.

The website was called Hidden Hurt Domestic Abuse Information

And the book is mentioned in the home page on the left.

I was interested so got a Kindle copy.

I am almost through this book and it is just as brilliant as Toads is.

This will sound perhaps odd but it skims big common traits that can come over as vague in a book.

This book is great for the small details of INCREDIBLY SUBTLE abuse.

There are comments in there from people in abusive relationships too and we are really talking some major things but also the minor things which leave you scratching your head but also leave you feeling that it's such a tiny thing that why would you speak to a friend about it or post a thread on here about it.

If you are in or have been in an abusive relationship you will KNOW what I mean.

This book has signs to watch for, ways to be question things and alerts you when to really just get the hell away.

It's also very hands on just like Toads and is not a psychology manual or anything of the sort.

I totally recommend both this and Toads plus The Jealousy Game as a kick start.



Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft ? Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists

Why Does He Do That by Lundy Bancroft.

This has been on my wish list for a while but I haven't read it yet.

I looked it up on Amazon a few months ago and again clicked on 'please can we have a Kindle version'.

It's now, finally on Kindle. :)

It has brilliant reviews. I have no idea if it'll be for me but I am very tempted to check it out.



Every single one of these books had one same message which was to trust your gut instinct.

On that basis I can't fault anything I have read to any massive degree.



I didn't listen to my gut.

If you are reading this you also didn't listen to yours.



The Jerk Radar sums up gut instinct beautifully!

The author, Steve bought some chicken. It was expensive chicken and he bought quite a lot of it treating himself and his family.

The chicken had been cooked just once and was in the fridge.

It had been there 2/3 days. Steve was hungry. Saw the chicken, had a gut instinct that it might be off but convinced himself that it would be good to eat.

He sniffed it, thought about how much money it had cost and how much was left of it, he also hated seeing food go to waste and he decided to override his gut instinct and chose to believe it would be OK so he made a sandwich.

It was not the tastiest sandwich but it was OK.



The next day he had a mild intestinal upset..all day.

He threw the rest of the chicken out after he had made the sandwich.



He CHOSE to believe it was good and he CHOSE to ignore his instinct.

It didn't do him any good.



The price you pay for not trusting your instinct can be a high one.

It can mean life or death.



I am no expert, I am just someone who wanted to know the heck what happened and why.

I wanted to learn.



My Mum's first husband was brutally violent towards her. She left him with only the clothes on her back and thankfully later she met mine and my brother's Dad.

My Mum passed away when I was 17 so I never much had chance to find out from her what the relationship was about nor how it transpired.



Aside from reading up on things you can just post here, there are some great people on here who will support and help.

I never did start a thread except for my first when I didn't know what had happened to me.

I have posts dotted all over this site and this place has also helped me to see what was not OK in that short relationship.



Gems xx

Edited by a LoveShack.org Moderator
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  • 3 months later...
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I did read Why Does He Do That.


It's a pretty long read but there were sections I could skip as they weren't relevant to me.


What I will say though is that if you are in any kind of situation that you consider is off this book will tell you - yes TELL YOU whether it's potentially abusive.

I only dated my guy for 7 months and I had OMG moments on most pages of this book.

I read it on Kindle and I highlighted so much that was relevant it got silly so I stopped.

So much of it was spot on..100% spot on.


It ranks alongside my favourite books in my first post.

Without reading back my faves were (honestly I haven't) : The Jealousy Game. Toads and Jerk Radar.

I have probably got one of them wrong but these ones stick out to me and I remember them as being amazingly good. If I haven't then hell they were good!

The Jealousy Game I will never forget the fear it gave me (in a protective of me way and anyone else who told me anything similar to what I had experienced) It's a quick read and hits home right there and then.

And the others - the total education to subtle signs BEFORE you hit the signs where you don't know what to think or do.

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These abusers act very calm and rational while you're going crazy. They subtly know how to degrade you while blaming you. You feel less than them and lose respect for yourself because that's the point.


I am reading lundy bancrofts book and it's quite good but I think he assumes abusers don't know what they're doing

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