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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Helping Your Children Develop Healthy Dating Relationships by Dr. Jill Murray

It’s difficult to be a parent these days. When we look at the world in which we are raising our kids and the many negative influences to which they are exposed on a daily basis, it’s any wonder we turn out the wonderful children we do!

The fact is that children are dating—or becoming interested in dating—at an earlier age than when we were teens. It’s not uncommon for boys and girls to have “dated” a half dozen partners before they enter high school. I believe that the media and liberal, unsupervised Internet use is largely to blame for this phenomenon, but nevertheless, it is a fact of our children’s lives. As parents, we want to be certain in the messages we give them, both in our speech and in our actions.

Because of the reasons I’ve just mentioned, unhealthy, abusive teen dating relationships have reached epidemic proportions. The national statistic is that one in four girls--and one in six boys—will be the target of an abusive relationship. As a therapist and national speaker on the subject, I have found that as shocking as that statistic may be, it is actually woefully understated. Most people consider only physical abuse to be abusive, so the much more common areas of abuse—verbal and emotional abuse—are not included in the stat. I believe that about half of teenage boys and girls will become involved in this type of dangerous relationship before high school graduation.

As a parent, it is important for you to understand and recognize important warning signs of an abusive relationship so that you can help your child quickly:

  • Before my child met their partner, s/he had more friends than he/she does now.
  • S/he used to be more outgoing and involved with family, friends, school activities, and/or place of worship.
  • S/he frequently cries or is very sad.
  • If the partner pages or calls my child, s/he has to get back to him/her right away.
  • There is a desperation or urgency about the relationship.
  • S/he is jealous if my child looks at or speaks casually with a friend of the opposite sex.
  • S/he makes excuses for the partner’s behavior or takes the blame.
  • The partner calls my child demeaning names, then laughs and says s/he is only kidding.
  • The partner needs to know where my child is, who s/he’s with, and what s/he’s doing at all times.
  • My child frequently has to explain him/herself to the partner or often says s/he’s sorry.
  • The partner has a “tragic” home life and my child feels a need to help for fix it.

Do not wait until you see bruises or other physical signs of abuse on your child. An abusive relationship often does not get to this level, however verbal and emotional abuse are just as—if not more—dangerous.

Talk to your children about love as a behavior, rather than a feeling and encourage them to judge their friends and potential boy or girlfriends solely on the behavior they see. Teenagers lead with their hearts, not their heads, and this way of thinking invites clear thinking. Talk with them about the media influences they see—such as music videos on MTV and music lyrics—and the ways in which they are demeaning to relationships and encourage unhealthy partnerships as well as violence as an acceptable means of resolving conflicts.

With your help, your children can begin to develop healthy relationship patterns that will last them a lifetime.

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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.