Home Page

Sacrificing Our Selves for Love

Why Women Sacrifice Health and Self-Esteem... And How to Stop

By Jane Wegscheider Hyman and Esther Rome, in cooperation with the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective.

 Sacrificing Ourselves for Love "... speaks directly to women vulnerable to the fear that either their looks or behavior isn't "good enough" and presents useful strategies for change."
-- Cindy Pearson, Program Director, National Women's Health Network 


  • Help for women with anorexia and bulimia
  • The pressure to have cosmetic surgery
  • Why were we misled about breast implants?
  • Body image exercises
  • Accepting ourselves
  • Examples and effects of abuse
  • The mind of an abuser
  • What to do if you are in danger
  • Helping a friend or relative
  • Saving ourselves
  • The costs of physical love
  • Subservience in the bedroom
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Guidelines for safer sex
  • Choosing ourselves

    Many women and girls risk health and well-being in order to please others. In an unflinching look at this pervasive problem, Sacrificing Our Selves for Love explains society's role in promoting this sacrifice and provides exercises to counter societal pressure. Powerful personal testimony from women who have suffered and decided to change is highlighted throughout:

    I basically took it day to day ... you know, it was hard for me to allow myself food. I had to teach myself to eat like a normal person. I would slip, and I would binge and purge, and want to fall back into my bad habits. I basically had to teach myself: "I am a living organism. I need food for nourishment."

    When I looked in the mirror, it was like cutting my body up into different pieces and evaluating the pieces, as if it was some sort of thing ... I would really focus on different parts and then rip those parts apart, being hypercritical. It was a violent way to look at my body. It's the way men look at women's bodies. It's the way people look at pornography -- a violent look.

    I remember being in a relationship with the guy I ended up marrying. He was already abusing me. All I wanted to do was please him, like the little kindergarten student getting the star on her forehead. That kept me going a lot of times. "Well, he's going to be proud of me if--." Maybe subconsciously it was, "Well, he's not going to yell, scream, and hit me if--, if I prove I'm not stupid anymore, if I stop doing what he said is aggravating him."

    Sacrificing Our Selves for Love is currently out-of-print, but is available from OBOS. To order please send a check or money order for $10 (this includes shipping costs) to:

    Our Bodies Ourselves
    5 Upland Road #3
    Cambridge, MA 02140

    Excerpts from Sacrificing Our Selves for Love





    Home I Resource Center I Support Us! I Press Room I Site Credits I Feedback I Contact I Privacy I Site Map