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But He Never Hit Me
The Devastating Cost of
Non-Physical Abuse to Girls and Women

"This is definitely the most important self-help book I've ever read. It spoke directly to me in a compassionate and clear way, while also giving me directions for looking at my relationship problems and cleaning them up. Before I read But He Never Hit Me, I didn't even know I had these difficulties; I just knew that I wasn't really happy with my life. This book spoke to me in a very profound way. I read a lot of books, for my profession, every year and But He Never Hit Me is by far the best I've had the pleasure to read. This book will stay with me for a long time."

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"I just finished reading, Destructive Relationships, and I can't believe how much it's opened my eyes to how I was conducting my life and all the unhealthy relationships I had!  I knew I was unhappy and couldn't figure out why my life and relationships weren't working. Now I understand completely. 

I feel so empowered now and confident about my future. I've already started making positive changes. I just don't know how to thank you enough!"

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"Your book, But I Love Him" literally saved my daughter's life.  She was dating an abusive boy for nearly 2 years. He was very controlling and had recently introduced her to drugs and a depraved lifestyle. She ran away with him twice. We tried everything and didn't know how to get through to her.  We read your book and started talking to her differently and looking at our part in the relationship.  We started seeing small changes in the way she behaved toward us.  We finally gave her the book to read. She was initially resistent but then read it all in one night, highlighting it as she went.  She broke up with him less than 2 weeks later.  You and your book have been a miracle in our lives. We can't thank you enough for the work you do and for saving our daughter's life and our relationship with her."

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Good Housekeeping Magazine

Dating's Ugly Little Secret
Abuse: The Warning Sings of Out-of-Control Teen Relationships

One of every three girls will experience some sort of dating abuse before she graduates from high school. Is your daughter one of them?

In "But I Love Him: Protecting your teen daughter from controlling, abusive dating relationships," (ReganBooks $25), psychotherapist Jill Murray gives parents insight into the dark side of teen dating, how and when relationships turn abusive, and the right way to intervene.

Her tone is direct, if not harsh. For instance, she refuses to refer to girls as "victims" and makes clear that an abuser at any age — 12, 15, 17 — is cruel on purpose.

"I want the book to have my voice and the way that I talk to people, which is reasonably confrontational," Murray said in a recent interview. "I want to get parents and teens into the thinking process rather than the feeling process real quick."

In the book Murray starts by shattering common misconceptions about domestic violence. One, that if a person doesn't have a black eye or broken arm she's not being abused. Two, that abuse happens only in adult relationships.

Emotional and psychological abuse are most common. And most people who fall into these situations had their first bad experiences as teenagers, one-third, according to widely publicized statistics. But Murray, who got the idea for the book while treating battered women in Southern California, says the numbers would be higher if more people understood what constitutes an abusive relationship.

"I haven't met a woman yet in discussing this book who hasn't said, 'Eww, I remember a certain boy in school,' " Murray said. "I think most of us can identify with this in one way or another, but we wouldn't have considered it abusive."

Indicators of abuse

Murray's book gives parents enough information to begin a dialogue. Murray gives some indicators of abuse:

  • He is jealous if she looks at or speaks casually with another boy.
  • Since dating him, she has become critical of her appearance, talents or abilities.
  • She makes excuses for his poor behavior.
  • She frequently cries or is sad.
  • She spends less time with family and friends and is compelled to be available to him when he calls or pages her.
  • He frequently roughhouses or play-wrestles with her.
  • He demeans her, then laughs and tells her he was only kidding or that she's too sensitive.
  • She frequently has to explain herself to him or say she's sorry.

An abuser, Murray says, usually comes from a home where physical or emotional abuse takes place. He punches holes in walls or pounds his fists when angry. He blames his girlfriend for problems and accuses her of things she hasn't done. Many times an abuser will seem kind and devoted to outsiders, but is jealous and obsessive behind closed doors.


copyright (c) 2000 Mercury News

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© 2005 by Jill Murray. All rights reserved. The author of this book does not dispense medical advice or prescribe the use of any techniques as forms of treatment for physical or medical problems without the advice of a physician, either directly or indirectly. The intent of the author is only to offer information of a general nature to help you in your quest for emotional and spiritual well-being. In the event you use any of the information in this book or on this website for yourself, which is your constitutional right, the author and the publisher assume no responsibility for your actions.