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Marriage Forecasting --
Changing the Climate of Your Relationship One Conversation at a Time

by Dr. Tim Muehlhoff
  2010 (InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove, IL)
All rights reserved [192 pages].

[Answer 14 of 20 questions correctly to receive
8 hours of continuing education credit.]

Chapter 1: What are Communication Climates? (p. 19-30)
1. Communication climate is the overarching sense of value and satisfaction couples feel as they interact with each other and go about daily activities. There are four key elements of a communication climate: acknowledgment, trust, expectations, and commitment.
______ is often expressed by eye contact, touching, asking questions, and allowing the person to speak uninterrupted.
a. acknowledgment
b. trust
c. expectations
d. commitment

2. ______ is what helps a couple get through marital conflict.
a. Knowing that they can exit the marriage if it gets too demanding or difficult
b. Affection
c. The assumption of a future together
d. Financial stability

Chapter 2: Environmental Press: Why Marriage Can Be a Struggle (p. 31-41)
3. On average, couples in the United States divorce sometime in the first seven years of marriage. However, it takes couples an average of _____ years to find a rhythm in their relationship, to adjust to married life, and work out relationship kinks.
a. 3 to 4
b. 4 to 6
c. 6 to 8
d. 9 to 14

4. According to divorce statistics,
a. more divorces occur among non-Christians than occur among Christians.
b. more divorces occur among Christians than occur among non-Christians.
c. the divorce rate is the same for Christians and non-Christians.

Chapter 3: Improving Your Communication Climate (p. 42-57)
5. If I am practicing mindfulness, and my wife is upset, I should NOT
a. tell her not to feel that way.
b. put back into words what she just told me.
c. ask her if there's anything I can do for her right now.
d. offer to pray for her right now.

6. Which is NOT true?
a. Husbands and wives should often acknowledge to their spouses the positive things they do for one another.
b. Wives connect with their husbands primarily through conversation.
c. Husbands connect with their wives primarily through doing things together.
d. Our spouse was designed by God to meet our deepest needs.

Chapter 4: Strengthening Trust in Your Climate (p. 58-67)
7. Which is NOT true about marital trust?
a. How I handle money will affect whether or not my spouse trusts me.
b. Doing what I say I'm going to do should give me credibility with my spouse.
c. If a husband broke his wife's trust but has not reestablished good behavior, it will not take long for his wife to trust him again.
d. Infidelity can hinder the children's capacity to trust their future spouses.

Chapter 5: Talking Your Way into a Supportive Climate (p. 68-81)
8. The purpose of empathy is to
a. elicit sympathy.
b. acknowledge the emotions of another.
c. agree with someone.
d. render objectivity.

9. While certainty language discourages alternative views, provisionalism welcomes them. Which is NOT an example of provisionalism?
a. "The way I see the issue..."
b. "One way to look at this is..."
c. "Perhaps a possible solution is..."
d. "That will never work."

10. There are 2 levels of communication taking place during every conversation or argument between married couples: the content level and the relationship level. The content is what they are talking about. The relationship level is the amount of liking, responsiveness, respect an effectiveness that exists between them.
What has the greatest positive impact on the relationship level at any given moment for a married couple's conversation?
a. Minimizing distractions at the moment (i.e.. young children).
b. Abstaining from alcohol.
c. How they are speaking to one another, for example, with provisionalism rather than certainty.
d. How recently they shared intimacy with each other.

Chapter 6: Taking a Reading of Your Marriage (p. 82-92)
11. Which is NOT true about a healthy marital climate?
a. To take a reading of your marital climate, first determine how you feel about the climate, then imagine how your spouse feels, then check your perceptions with your spouse.
b. A healthy martial climate is when both you and your spouse feel valued.
c. If a reading shows a turbulent climate, couples can turn this climate around by renewing their commitment to each other.
d. Wives especially should take a reading of their marital climate frequently and then discuss this with their husbands.

Chapter 7: Calling a Truce (p. 93-102)
12. Which is NOT true about a marital truce?
a. There can't be a truce unless both the husband and the wife keep it.
b. A truce is a conscious decision to cease hostilities with your spouse. It is a decision to temporarily avoid controversial issues and overlook the offensive actions of each other as you seek to strengthen the overall climate of your marriage.
c. The goal of a truce is to create the right circumstances to address key issues in your marriage.
d. If your spouse breaks the truce with an unkind remark, you should keep your part of it by "overlooking the offense" (Proverbs 19:11)

13. Marital researcher John Gottman says that couples who want to strengthen their marriage must have ___ times as many positive moments as negative moments.
a. two
b. three
c. four
d. five

Chapter 8: Changing How We View Conflict (p. 103-115)
14. Which is NOT true?
a. Marital conflict is inevitable.
b. According to John Gottman, occasional martial conflict motivates us to improve our communication.
c. In today's climate of divorce, a healthy Christian marriage is evidence to others of God's love and grace.
d. Satan primarily tries to destroy marriages in dramatic ways.

Chapter 9: Seven Principles for Making Disagreements Productive (p. 116-128)

15. When assessing a conflict between you and your spouse, you should ask yourself these questions:
(1) What set off the conflict?
(2) Explain the conflict from your perspective.
(3) Explain the conflict from your spouse's perspective.
(4) What kinds of emotions does the conflict arouse in you?
(5) Why do you think you feel the way you do about the conflict?
While each of these questions is important, the two most helpful questions above are:
a. (3) and (5)
b. (2) and (3)
c. (1) and (5)
d. (3) and (4)

16. The goal of seeing your marital conflict from your spouse's perspective is to produce ___ in you, which indicates to your spouse that you care about the emotions he or she is experiencing over the conflict.
a. agreement
b. empathy
c. shame
d. remorse

17. A win-win solution for martial problems, which comes from the Latin for "middle way", is called a
a. concession.
b. truce.
c. resolution.
d. compromise.

Chapter 10: The Necessity of Forgiveness (p. 129-142)
18. Which is NOT true about forgiveness?
a. Forgiveness is surrendering your right to get even.
b. If you still hold a grudge against your spouse, you haven't really forgiven him or her.
c. God commands us to forgive others, because He has forgiven us.
d. You cannot forgive an unrepentant spouse.

Chapter 11: Hurricane Warnings -- When Conflict Turns to Abuse (p. 143-158)
19. Which of the following is TRUE about abuse?
a. Only 9% of women who suffers from assault by their partner call the police.
b. 25% of women and 30% of men regard violence as a normal and even positive part of marriage.
c. 85% of male batterers witnessed domestic violence in their homes.
d. All of the above.

20. What should a Christian wife immediately do if she is physically hit, slapped, or pushed by her husband?
a. She should call the police. The Scriptures teach that our governing authorities were designed by God to stop evil (Romans 13:3).
b. She should call her pastor.
c. She should do nothing if the husband makes a genuine apology and promises to never do that again.
d. She should reflect on anything she perhaps said or did to make her husband angry.

[BONUS QUESTION]
Chapter 12:Our Communication Climate with God and Why It Means Everything (p. 159-173)
21. What does theologian John Coe say is the reason why God allows Christians to experience feelings of being abandoned by God?
a. Trials help us to learn what we really believe about God.
b. Difficulties help us to grow in character.
c. God wants us to see all that our fluctuating feelings are not a proper measure of His presence with us.
d. Suffering teaches us to be thankful for what we really have instead of focusing on what we don't have.