Not Exactly Love: A Memoir

Not Exactly Love: A Memoir

by Betty Hafner


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It was 1969, and all the rules were changing, when Betty, a woefully single French teacher on Long Island, met the handsome but edgy new teacher at her school, a hippie just back from Woodstock. His vitality opened up a new world to her—but when they married, his rages turned against her, and often ended with physical violence. Like millions of women who discover they’ve married an abusive man, Betty was forced to make daily decisions—to suppress her feelings or risk confrontation, to keep it secret or report, and ultimately, to live with it or leave.

Part memoir, part warm-hearted look at the ’70s, and part therapeutic journey, Not Exactly Love: A Memoir is an intense and inspirational story of a woman who grew from her experience.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631521492
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication date: 10/11/2016
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Betty Hafner has written monthly book reviews for more than a decade in The Town Courier newspaper in Montgomery County, MD. She wrote two practical career-change books that stemmed from her workshops for adults—Where Do I Go From Here? published by Lippincott (2001) and The Nurse’s Guide to Starting a Small Business, published by Pilot Books (1992). With an MS in counseling, Hafner considers herself a teacher and counselor by trade and by nature, but she also loves telling stories through her artwork, photographs, and writing. She lives outside Washington, DC with her husband.

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Not Exactly Love: A Memoir 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite Not Exactly Love by Betty Hafner is a memoir that falls into the genre of family and relationships. This is a book that would appeal most to a mixed audience of adults and young adults who are interested in a memoir about a woman in an abusive relationship. Betty was a single French teacher on Long Island in 1969. Her entire life changed when she met a new teacher named Jack who was fresh out of college. Jack was a hippie just back from Woodstock with strong opinions, an angry temper, and a controlling attitude. Betty and Jack hit it off from the beginning, but as Betty began to see more of Jack’s temper, she began to make excuses for him inside her head. These excuses continued and she eventually married him. When Jack turned his temper on her, she was forced to decide when and if to confront him. Will Betty report Jack for his abuse or will she stay silent and keep it secret while learning to live with the abuse. Not Exactly Love by Betty Hafner was a very somber book, but that is to be expected considering the type of life the book describes. Betty Hafner has a wonderful writing style that really shared the mentality of a person heading into an abusive relationship and how a person ends up in a relationship with an abuser. Betty’s thoughts and excuses really opened my eyes into how easy it is to end up in an abusive relationship once you start making excuses for someone’s anger/temper. As a psychology student, I found that this book helped me to get a better grasp on the nature of an abusive relationship than any psychology textbook.
Jewelsey More than 1 year ago
It’s 1969, on Long Island, NY, unmarried and single French teacher, Betty, meets a handsome new science teacher named Jack. He is an edgy hippie type guy and the couple seems to have a lot in common. He is handsome and charismatic, and Betty falls hard for him. His energy and spirit attracted Betty and brought new things and ideas to her. Her life seemed to have opened up and blossomed because of Jack. But Jack also had a bad temper, which was a warning sign that Betty reluctantly ignored. It wasn’t until after they married that jack’s temper turned to rage and abuse toward Betty. Overtime the mental, emotional and physical abuse escalated to an unbearable intensity for Betty. Betty’s life became a living hell. She was forced to make difficult decisions daily. Should she stay silent, share it with others, confront Jack, report him. It was a daily struggle. A daily nightmare. How long would she take his abuse? Why does she continue to stay? Will she ever gain the courage to leave him and gain her sanity and freedom back? Will she choose to live with him and his tangents and abusive nature, or will she leave him for good? Betty Hafneranswers all things questions in her wonderful personal account and memoir, Not Exactly Love. Not Exactly Love is a poignant compelling story of one woman’s life in the face of abuse and how she finally gets the courage to leave. This is the true story of domestic abuse and the strength it takes to face up to it and get the hell out. Just like many women who are in the same situation, it wasn’t that easy for Betty. She had to, little by little, with help and support, gain the courage to leave. Exceptionally written, Not Exactly Love, is an easy smart read. Betty is a refined, intelligent woman that handles life with grace and class. How she got herself into this situation, how she manages to survive it, and how she gets out is what this story is about. She tells how hard day to day life is with the manipulation and fear that is always looming. She tells of how she evolves and grows in her self-esteem and strength that had been previously stolen from her by her abusive husband. “Why do many, if not most, women stay in an abusive relationship—and how do they overcome the fear in order to leave? Betty Hafner’s memoir is a heroic study of a woman and her strong will, as well as a working guide for women who are also in an abusive marriage or relationship. Betty’s story will help give some women the strength and courage they need, as well as some clear insight and advice. I believe this book should be put into the hands of single young women so they can recognize the warning signs before it’s too late. Not Exactly Love is set in the 1970’s. Things were very different back then. Women didn’t have the support that they do now. So it was especially difficult for Betty back then. But, what I also loved about it being set in the 1970’s, is that it took me back in time to a more easy simple life. I was able to reminisce with a smile on my face. Don’t get me wrong, this story is definitely filled with emotions such as anger, sadness, distress and ultimately hope, joy and victory. This is an inspirational read that readers can’t miss. It is, hands down, the best memoir I have read in a long time. It’s a cautionary tale. Betty Hafner shows readers that domestic abuse is the silent tormenter, because she had to keep it to herself at first. Her courage to come out and get help and plan her escape astounded me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didn't want to stop reading, being so caught up in her narritive. I could feel my stomach tense up reading of the abuse at her husband's hand. This should be required reading for anyone considering marriage.
Holly More than 1 year ago
Not Exactly Love is the story of a woman who overcame a horrible relationship to find her happy ending. It's 1969 on Long Island, NY, a single French teacher Betty, meets a handsome but edgy new teacher at school by the name of "Jack". As Betty falls for him, she soon discovers that he isn't what he seems but she still marries him knowing what he is. With the years passing by and nothing is getting better, only worse. Betty is forced to make the ultimate decision before something truly bad happens to only find her happy ending! This book hit home for me because my bio dad was exactly the same as "Jack" until my mom had to make that ultimate decision to get myself and her out of that situation. Every time I read a book like this one, all I can think about is the ones that didn't escape in time from a person that looks so normal on the outside but so evil on the inside. This is a must read for anyone who is living or lived through something like this or knows someone who might be in a situation like this, who knows it just might give them the courage to want to do something about it. Thank You to Betty Hafner for sharing your story and for being one of the lucky ones that made it to the other side to find true happiness! I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from the Author!
AlishaBrown More than 1 year ago
Have you ever asked “Why doesn’t she just leave him?” when learning of domestic violence? We often view domestic violence situations through the lens of 'Sleeping with the Enemy', but Hollywood drama is misleading. Not Exactly Love is a realistic view inside an abusive relationship. Live through the seventies and the entanglement of an abusive marriage in Betty Hafner's memoir. Journey with her as she struggles to shake off society’s social conditioning (teaching women to not rock the boat and to put their needs last) in order to save herself. Often while reading I said to myself, ‘I remember those feelings from when I dated so-and-so.’ Fortunately my life lessons were gentler than Betty’s and strictly emotional abuse, not physical. This book it is insightful and riveting and definitely worth the read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another story about a bad marriage. Hard for me to finish this long agonizing book. Save your money on this one, there are so many much much better books.