Marian Volkman reviews
The Verbally Abusive Relationship
by Evans, Patricia
How to recognize it is very well covered here. How to respond is much less certain. I have recommended this one many, many times, both to clients and other practitioners. Evans does a great job of differentiating between personal power and power over another person. If you have any doubts about whether you are in a verbally abusive relationship, on either side of the equation, this book will help you to see what is.
As for what to do about this situation, I do not recommend that you take her advice on how to confront an abuser, or that you use this book in a purely self-help context. A relationship based on domination reaches its own equilibrium. Upsetting the balance of power can sometimes have dangerous consequences. Ideally both people in such a partnership should have effective, competent counseling to ease the transition in a change of the basis of the relationship. That said, it’s hard to beat this book for clarity on a subject that can be very confusing, in that the person in the abusive role blames anything and everything on the other person.