Return to Book List

The Emotionally Destructive Marriage -- How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope
by Leslie Vernick, LCSW
(Waterbrook Press: Colorado Springs, CO
All rights reserved [240 pages].
[Answer 17 of 25 questions correctly to receive
9 hours of continuing education credit.]

PART 1 -- Seeing Your Marriage Clearly
Chapter One: Are You In an Emotionally Destructive Marriage? (p. 7-27)

1. The author developed 61 statements to help a wife determine if she is in an emotionally destructive marriage. Which of the following was NOT one of these statements?
a. My spouse calls me names, such as stupid or worthless, or uses sexually degrading terms.
b. My spouse threatens to leave me and take the children.
c. If I don't agree with my husband or do what he wants, I have a price to pay.
d. Sometimes my spouse says he is sorry, but his behavior never changes.
e. My spouse badgers me until I give into his demands.
f. My spouse refuses to listen to my point of view.
g. My spouse has injured me.
h. My spouse tells me that he's the one who is being mistreated by me.
i. I have no voice regarding how our finances are saved or spent.
j. I feel physically ill around my spouse.

Chapter Two: The Three Essential Ingredients in a Thriving Relationship (p. 28-37)
2. If John requires Mary to account for every penny she spends, but he doesn't account for any of his expenditures, then he is violating the marital principle of
a. mutuality.
b. reciprocity
c. freedom.
d. respect.

Chapter Three: Five Patterns That Destroy a Relationship and Damage People (p. 38-59)
3. A husband who decides how his wife spends her free time, what she wears, the friends she chooses, how much time she spends with her family, where she goes, and what she does, is using
a. reactive abuse.
b. controlling abuse.
c. deceit.
d. dependence.
e. indifference.

4. Which is TRUE?
a. It is acceptable to lie to your spouse if telling the truth would make your spouse too angry.
b. A healthy form of dependence is: I need you to love me in order for me to be okay.
c. If a wife is married to a man who offers her no more than a sexual connection, she can, in time, learn to manufacture feelings of warmth and affection for him.
d. Being married does not give husbands the right to gratify their sexual needs apart from their commitment to the spiritual, physical, and emotionally well-being of their wives.

Chapter Four: Where Is God in All of This? (p. 60-72)
5. Biblical evidence that God empathizes with spouses in destructive marriages includes
a. God was grieved when He saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth (Genesis 6).
b. God lamented over the people of Israel when they were unfaithful (Jeremiah 1-6).
c. Jesus grieved over the stubbornness of Jerusalem for killing the prophets (Luke 13:34).
d. All of the above.

6. This chapter is about
a. how to divorce your destructive spouse.
b. maintaining one's safety and sanity in a difficult marriage
c. using temporary separation as a "wake up" call to a destructive spouse.
d. calling the police when things become violent.

PART 2 -- Change Begins with You
Chapter Five: What's Wrong with Me? (p. 75-89)

7. Which is NOT true?
a. When you give someone the power to define you, you also give them the power to destroy you.
b. Your core value does not rest on the words of your husband or your mother or your father or your children or even your best friend. It rests on God, especially His great love for us.
c. To grow in self-reflection, ask yourself "Why?" questions.
d. It is possible for one's marriage to become idolatrous (i.e. too important to you).

Chapter Six: When Trying Harder Becomes Destructive (p. 90-101)

8. Which is NOT true?
a. There is no cookie-cutter approach to being a godly wife. What would be the right thing to do in one marriage could be the absolute wrong thing to do in another.
b. Most women who keep trying harder to please their husbands do so because that's what they believe God expects them to do.
c. The Hebrew word for "helpmate" is "ezer", which means a warrior who stands alongside her husband, fighting God's way to bring about his growth and his good.
d. The Bible teaches that only wives must submit to their husbands, who have the final say in all decisions

9. Christ portrayed headship or leadership as
a. a general commanding an army.
b. a servant washing people's feet.
c. the ability to persuade and motivate others.
d. sitting in the seat of honor at a banquet.

Chapter Seven: Build Your Core (p. 102-117)

10. If an estranged husband tells his wife that he has changed, she must first observe his behavior over time to see if it is true. This is the core principle of being
a. committed to truth and reality.
b. open to growth, feedback, instruction, and feedback.
c. responsible for myself and respectful toward others without dishonoring myself.
d. empathetic and compassionate toward others without enabling people to continue to abuse and disrespect me.

11. When a wife responds wisely when her husband does not treat her well, and she guards her heart from being overcome with evil, she is adhering to the core principle of being

a. committed to truth and reality.
b. open to growth, feedback, instruction, and feedback.
c. responsible for myself and respectful toward others without dishonoring myself.
d. empathetic and compassionate toward others without enabling people to continue to abuse and disrespect me.

Chapter Eight: Get Prepared to Confront Wisely (p. 118-130)

12. The author says that, in her experience, conservative Christian churches tend to give more support to husbands, perhaps because pastors may view frustrated wives as unsubmissive, or so bitter that they are seen as the provoker and cause of the marital problems. But Laurie was able to convince her pastor that her husband had some serious problems with abuse, suspected infidelity, and financial deceit. How did she do this?
a. She threatened her husband with divorce unless he confessed to the pastor.
b. She called the police and filed charges of abuse against her husband. She then showed the pastor a copy of the police report.
c. She showed the pastor documentation of these behaviors in the form of credit card charges, text messages to another woman, his cell phone bill, and the specific words he called her.
d. The pastor visited their home and witnessed some of the husband's inappropriate behavior.

13. In the section "Prepare to Talk About What Destructive Behaviors You Want Stopped and What Consequences You Will Enforce if He Refuses," what were some of the consequences the wives came up with?
a. Judy said she would no longer tolerate her husband's angry outbursts in the car. Until he changed, she would drive herself.
b. Keri said she would no longer tolerate her husband's barrage of verbal abuse. The next time he did it, she would call the police and file a protection order against him.
c. Abbey said she would no longer tolerate her husband's control over everything she did. She would continue to work part time and open a separate checking account.
d. All of the above.

PART 3 -- Initiating Changes in Your Marriage
Chapter Nine: Learn to Speak Up in Love (p. 133-146)

14. Jim's wife gave him a choice: either attend a ten-week group for men who had been abusive, or live alone. What happened at the group that convinced Jim he was abusive?
a. Hearing the other men's stories gave Jim the courage to face his problem with abuse. (133)
b. The group leaders made Jim think about how his wife and daughter felt when he went into one of his rages. (134)
c. Jim remembered times he had been abused as a child.
d. Both "a" and "b".

15. Which is NOT one of the three non-threatening questions that a wife can ask her husband?
a. "Are you happy?"
b. "What do you see as our most important goal or challenge as a couple if we're going to improve our relationship?"
c. "Are you willing to work hard to improve our marriage?"
d. "What kind of husband and father do you most desire to be?"

Chapter Ten: Stand Up Against the Destruction (p. 147-161)

16. Using a strategy to confront her husband, Joanne did all of the following EXCEPT
a. meeting her husband in a public place so he would be less likely to escalate.
b. having her support team call her 30 minutes into the meeting to check on her well-being.
c. telling him she was electronically recording everything he said.
d. remaining calm and in control.
e. refusing to get drawn into manipulative statements such as, "You're just as much at fault for our marriage as I am" and "You think you're better than me."
f. telling that this is an opportunity for him to listen and decide whether or not he is going to comply. If he wants to talk about what she can do to improve, they can do that at another time.
g. asking him to not interrupt her, and, if he did, she got up to leave.
h. beginning her talk with positive observations about her husband.
i. giving specific examples of his unacceptable behavior.

17. After Joanne's confrontation, her husband, Darryl, agreed to
a. use respectful language without sarcasm, screaming, or cursing.
b. never destroy possessions.
c. not touch his wife or the children in anger.
d. share all financial information with his wife.
e. acquire an accountability partner.
f. go to counseling and attend a group for abusive men.
g. All of the above.

18. The author listed seven possible consequences that can be used when a husband resorts to destructive behavior. Which was NOT included?
a. End the conversation.
b. Refuse to drive anywhere together.
c. Exit a situation when he is escalating.
d. Call his parents and report his destructive behavior.
e. Initiate church discipline.
f. Withdraw sexual privileges.
g. Separate into separate bedrooms, bank accounts, or ask him to move out.
h. Call the police if he is physically abusive or destroying property.

Chapter Eleven: When There Is No Obvious Change (p. 162-177)
19. The author believes that separation is a good choice when a wife
a. is tired of being married.
b. is afraid or in danger
c. doesn't like anything about her husband anymore.
d. encounters a man who treats her with decency and respect.

20. The author views divorce as
a. a bargaining tool to get a destructive husband to change.
b. hurtful to children who often are quite resilient despite living in a destructive family.
c. a last resort but necessary if the family's safety is at stake.
d. financially undesirable.

Chapter 12: Necessary Changes for a Marriage to Heal (p. 178-192)

21. A husband who truly accepts responsibility for his behavior would say something like this:
a. "I would like to promise that I'm not ever going to slip up, but nobody's perfect."
b. "Some days are simply going to be one step forward and two back. Other days will be better."
c. "I think a good day for me is when my wife is also trying as hard as I am."
d. "It is not acceptable for me to ever treat my wife in a destructive way."

22. As a destructive husband changes, he can grow in self-awareness by asking himself 4 questions every day. These questions include all of the following EXCEPT

a. What did I accomplish today?

b. How did my body feel today? (tense? relaxed? stressed? tired?)
c. How did I treat people, particularly my spouse, today?
d. Were my actions in line with the person I want to be?
e. In what nonsexual ways did I show my spouse that she's important to me and I care about her today?

Chapter Thirteen: Restoring the Destructive Marriage (p. 193-206)
23. Ray and Shirley separated one year ago because of Ray's violent behavior. Which of the following is the BEST way for Shirley to know that Ray's behavior is changing for the better?
a. Ray says he has changed and is no longer violent.
b. Ray's counselor says that Ray is no longer violent.
c. Ray has kept all of Shirley's boundaries, such as not coming to her house unless she permits him.
d. Shirley cannot really know whether or not Ray has changed.

24. In order to restore sanity to a marriage, which of the following beliefs held by the husband must be changed?
a. "My wife should stop doing things that upset me."
b. "God says a woman's role is to serve the man."
c. "Sometimes my wife is responsible for me losing my temper."
d. All of the above.

25. In Appendix B, the author says that a wife in a destructive marriage usually goes to counseling first. If joined by her husband, he is usually there to hear what she says about him, not because he sees himself as part of the problem.
a. True
b. False