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Greenleaf Book Group
Run Like Hell
After enduring marriage to the infamous “Wolf of Wall Street,” Nadine Macaluso, PhD, made it her passion and life’s work to help women understand, escape, and heal from their own trauma bonds with pathological partners. At age twenty-two, Nadine married Jordan Belfort, the nefarious stockbroker portrayed in the Hollywood blockbuster The Wolf of Wall Street. Their marriage began as a fairytale, but once they were bonded, Jordan’s “mask” began to slip, and acts of infidelity, narcissistic abuse, insatiable greed, and uncontrollable drug addiction became Nadine’s nightmare. The horrific relationship gave Nadine the inspiration to become a psychotherapist specializing in narcissistic abuse, trauma bonds, and complex PTSD. Her private practice quickly flooded with women recounting an all-too-familiar story of abuse with a pathological partner. In Run Like Hell, Nadine brings her personal experience and years of expertise to readers, explaining • the mental health of the pathological lover (PL), • the traits of women who are the perfect “victims” of these PLs, • how women can leave a trauma bond safely, and • how these women can heal. Perhaps even more importantly, Nadine shows how women can be surthrivers of these trauma bonds and go on to have healthy, positive relationships and lives, armed with knowledge and awareness.
In this raw, straight-talking, but ultimately heartening guide to healing from intimate partner abuse and trauma-bonded relationships, Macaluso explores how to understand these relationships of abuse, manipulation, how to safely get off “the Merry-Go-Round of insanity,” how to recover emotionally afterwards—and, crucially, how to grow and thrive, with the tools to recognize unsafe men. Macaluso draws from her personal story of being married to the infamous "Wolf of Wall Street" and her expertise as a marriage and family therapist advocating for women she calls "surthrivers," offering hard-won advice (“Never tell an intoxicated partner you are leaving”) and crucial understanding, support, and validation.

"We are often pawns in a love game we do not understand," Macaluso writes, and Run Like Hell, packed with eye-opening research and detailed case studies from a host of women, is a comprehensive guide on the complexities of trauma bonding, the types of behaviors and signs to look out for in potential partners, and safe ways to break free from toxic relationships with PLs (“pathological lovers”). With empathy and insight, Macaluso lays out the who, what, when, where, how, and why people are likely to trauma bond and the people who seek to manipulate and control them, laying bare "pathological lovers” and their motives, patterns, and manipulative tactics—and also how women can get trapped by them.

Macaluso proves especially compelling when addressing the shame, guilt, and embarrassment that can keep women silent when it comes to abusive relationships. Run Like Hell salves the stigma attached to falling prey to charming, charismatic men who turn out to be manipulative and controlling, offering commiseration and a path out of the nightmare. Throughout, Macaluso and the women whose stories she shares speak hard truths (“Your PL will always flip the script and claim to be the victim”) that could help readers make major changes. Positive, informative, and urgently necessary, this guide demystifies these relationships in inviting prose and with ample heart.

Takeaway: Standout guide to leaving and healing from toxic relationships.

Comparable Titles: Jackson MacKenzie's Whole Again, Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey’s What Happened to You?.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A