I have read the other reviews posted and I am troubled by the ones that are negative.
When I first started reading this book, I was rather put off by the author's frequency of referring to himself as an expert. By the time I got to the second part of this book, I understood why he felt the need to do that. It is very difficult to call abuse what it is. It is EXTREMELY difficult to put the "abused" label on the way one has lived for 40 years of their life. What the author reports as being abuse was what I had accepted as "normal" male behavior. It was very easy to say to myself "But all guys do that." By the end of the book I was able to see that no, all guys don't do that. This book helped change my life. I now see that all men do not act that way. Not all men are manipulative. Not all men are untrustworthy. Not all men are emotionally destructive. I had accepted some of the lies that abusive men had told me about my character as truth. I believed that God saw me that way as well. I have been able to look at examples of how I have been treated and realize that it really was abuse. How I was treated was not my fault. I was treated poorly not because I am unloveable or stupid, but because I was involved with abusive men. I have also seen some of those patterns of abuse acted out by my adult sons and accepted by my adult daughter from her husband. I have been able to bring those behaviors to their attention and show them how the abuse they witnessed towards me, and the abuse they received as children, affected how they relate to other people as well. All of them have responded favorably to instruction. There is hope.
The only thing that I really did not like were the "bad words". Some of them were really raunchy. I have heard all of them directed at me though, so I guess the printed use of examples also serves a purpose.
By the way, my ex-husband is also a born again Christian. Only one of my children will go anywhere near a church- because of his example of what a "Christian" is.
Of special interest is the fact that my ex-husband said to me "At least I didn't beat you." I didn't tell him that is a direct quote out of the book. An example of what verbal/emotional abusers say to make a woman believe that how he treats her is not abuse. I guess I am supposed to feel lucky that he only left my heart and soul a bloody, battered mess.
Author admits that his methods rarely work. Most of the men he works with are there under court order for anger management. For sake of time and space, I ditto the other 1 star ratings. One of the worst books I have ever read.
In the past week and a half, I have been studying nonstop in order to help a loved one overcome being the victim of verbal and physical abuse in her marriage. Lundy Bancroft's experience with 2000 men who abused women rings very true in light of my loved one's experience and with all the literature that I have studied so far. I bought two booksâ€”one for my loved one and one for me--and between the two of us we have studied the entire book. It fits her experience almost perfectly and lines up with multiple sources that I have read on the internet and in the library.
I find it interesting that one of the most negative reviews detailed here was written by a man who allegedly abused his "ex-beloved." When I study the literature, I understand that this type of reaction to the truth in this book is very predictable by someone who has been abusing another personâ€”denial and lack of responsibility for their own actions is typical. The other very negative review cites page numbers and paraphrases what he considers to be inaccurate or ludicrous statements; he rarely directly quotes the book and almost all of his criticisms are clearly out of context and often inaccurately represent the author's point.
I am a strong evangelical, conservative, student of the Bible, believer in the Bible, believer in the Christ of the Bible, obedient follower of the Bible, and a teacher of the Bible. So I did not appreciate the author's blaming God's injunction against Eve in Genesis chapter 3 as a cause for some religious Christians becoming abusers. That passage or any part of the Bible cannot be an excuse, reason, or cause for anyone to abuse someone else unless the abuser has taken the Scriptures way out of context. And the author did not point that out, but seemingly preferred to blame the Scriptures themselves as a cause of abuse.
Even though the author does not seem to have a high regard for Scripture nor does he use Scripture in his book, he clearly develops a strategy of dealing with both the abused and the abuser that falls in line with Scriptural principles. He preaches a tough loveâ€”it's both tough and it's love. He has seen what works and what doesn't work, and unfortunately too often nothing works because the abuser does not do the hard work that it takes to overcome his faulty way of thinking.
The approach in Why Does He Do That? so far has been very helpful to my loved one and me to get her started on a new life that hopefully will help the abuser reconcile himself to God, to his wife, and to his marriage. In order for this reconciliation to happen successfully, the abuser must have appropriate tough love from everyone around him. I have already recommended this book to many family members and friends and I am in the process of ordering several copies to be sent out to those who do not yet have a copy.