Return to Book List

10 Lifesaving Principles for Women in Difficult Marriages
by Karla Downing
© 2003.
(Beacon Hill Press: Kansas City, MO) All rights reserved [160 pages].
[Answer 11 of 15 questions correctly to receive
7 hours of Continuing Education credit.]


Chapter 1: Understand Scriptural Truths (p. 7-21)
1. The author believes a husband loses his “functional authority” over his family when he
a. demands submission from his wife in order to control, dominate, and manipulate her.
b. refuses to admit a problem he really has with Internet pornography.
c. is an alcoholic (drunkenness).
d. all of the above.

Chapter 2: Reach Out (p. 23-35)

2. If a husband tells his wife he doesn’t want her to attend a support group, she should
a. quit the group.
b. tell him to mind his own business.
c. tell him the purpose of the group is not to discredit him but to get help for her. Then she should keep attending the meetings.
d. invite him along to meet the group members.

Chapter 3: Change Yourself, Not Him (p. 37-54)
3. The best way for a wife to stop obsessing about trying to change her husband is to
a. eliminate behaviors that give her information about him (watching him, checking up on him, asking him questions).
b. do more nice things for him.
c. get him to regularly attend a men’s accountability group.
d. understand her childhood patterns and past relationships.

4. In a difficult marriage, many “normal expectations” will be unfulfilled. Which is the best strategy for a wife whose husband never takes out the trash?
a. Keep asking him politely to take it out.
b. Let it pile up and overflow until he takes it out.
c. Have her children take it out.
d. Take it out herself with a good attitude.

Regardless of how difficult your husband is, you can find something in him to appreciate. Maybe he’s good-looking, keeps a job, plays with the kids, is witty, fixes cars, is smart, works hard, helps around the house, supports your interests, or tries to stay sober. Whatever it is, notice it and compliment him for it. Showing your approval will encourage your husband to do more things you can approve of. Your attitude could be a powerful motivator for him. Approval is like a gift; it softens the receiver’s heart toward you (Proverbs 18:16) (p. 54)

Chapter 4: Detach with Love (p. 55-68)
5. If a husband says to his wife “I wouldn’t need pornography if you weren’t so fat,” she should
a. develop an exercise program.
b. takes no responsibility whatsoever for his pornographic habit.
c. get angry with him.
d. explain to him how pornography degrades women.

6. When a husband is being angry and argumentative, his wife should
a. listen politely without saying anything inflammatory.
b. tell him he is being unreasonable and immature.
c. try to be rational and agreeable.
d. talk to him later when he calms down.

Chapter 5: Nurture Yourself (p. 69-81)

7. Which of the following is “constructive guilt”?
a. A wife who feels guilty because she can’t cook.
b. A wife who feels guilty for past sexual sins.
c. A wife who exercises more self-control after feeling guilty for losing her temper.
d. A wife who feels guilty when her husband gets angry.

Chapter 6: Facing Your Fears (p. 83-98)

8. For a Christian wife who is deeply committed to staying married, what can she do to reduce her fear of divorce when her angry, alcoholic husband tells her, “If you don’t like it, leave.”
a. She should realize that he is as afraid or more afraid of losing her than she is of losing him.
b. She should tell him the truth about how his alcoholism affects their family and set boundaries on what she is willing to tolerate.
c. She should acquire job skills if she doesn’t already have them.
d. all of the above.

9. Which is a reliable source for determining God’s will?
a. an inner voice
b. Biblical teaching
c. a strong feeling
d. a sign

Chapter 7: Speak the Truth in Love (p. 99-110)

10. When a wife says to her alcoholic husband, “When you drink, I’m going to sleep in the other room. The smell and snoring keep me awake,”
a. she is being honest and is responding in an appropriate manner.
b. she is being rude and offensive.
c. she is being too extreme and will decrease their marital affection by sleeping in the other room.
d. she is not giving him enough information; she needs to elaborate on her reasons for leaving their bedroom.

Chapter 8: Set Boundaries (p. 111-128)

11. A wife catches her husband looking at pornography on the computer. Which of the following describes an appropriate boundary she establishes?
a. She agrees to participate in uncomfortable sexual acts with her husband in order to please him more and hopefully reduce his need for pornography.
b. She disconnects the computer and allows him to use it only when she is in the room.
c. She believes him when he says he looked at it accidentally and will never do it again so she does nothing.
d. She is familiar with the teaching of Jesus Christ in Matthew 5:28, that a man who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery in his heart. However, she reasons that Jesus could not possibly have equated mental lust with actual adultery, since the consequences of a man sexually being with another woman seem much greater than a man just looking at an image of a naked woman. So she sternly warns her husband to not look at pornography on the computer again.

12. Which is NOT an appropriate expression of a boundary?
a. “When you calm down, I’ll talk to you.”
b. “Stop calling me names, please.”
c. “No.”
d. “You’re a jerk.”

Chapter 9: Make Your Children a Priority (p. 129-147)

13. A mother who listens effectively to her children will
a. reassure them that “Everything will be OK.”
b. tell her husband everything they told her.
c. express empathy for what they are feeling.
d. give them solutions for feeling better.

14. In many families, husbands and wives have different approaches to disciplining children. The author humbly admits that, as a mother, she yelled too much and her husband used passive-aggressive anger. In retrospect, the author concludes that
a. they hurt their daughters and they should have gotten help to change.
b. God will work out all things for good.
c. there are no perfect parents and they did the best they could do.
d. children are very resilient; their daughters will overcome whatever harm was done.

Chapter 10: Enter God’s Rest (p. 149-160)

15. What can a wife do who is having difficulty letting go of past hurts
from her husband?
a. Her husband should ask forgiveness for all the specific ways he has failed her during their marriage.
b. She should decrease the boundaries she has established for his destructive behavior so he feels more trusted.
c. She should focus on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy of her husband (Philippians 4:8).
d. She should monitor her husband’s activities more closely to verify that he really is trustworthy.