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The Emotionally Destructive Relationship -- Seeing It, Stopping It, Surviving It
by Leslie Vernick, LCSW
© 2007
(Harvest House Publishers: Eugene, OR)
All rights reserved [256 pages].
[Answer 14 of 20 questions correctly to receive
10 hours of continuing education credit.]

Chapter 1: What Is an Emotionally Destructive Relationship? (p.21-45)
1. Phil and Joan are professing Christians and have been married for 30 years. Neither one feels loved, respected, or valued by the other. Joanneís pattern is to verbally attack, demean, and humiliate her husband. Phil withdraws and distances himself until he canít take it anymore, and then he explodes. The author says
a. there is no hope for this couple.
b. Phil and Joanne should get divorced.
c. they need to love and pursue God more than they love and pursue their own desires.
d. they are not really Christians.

EMOTIONALLY DESTRUCTIVE RELATIONSHIPS
1. Abuse -- physical, verbal, emotional, and sexual
2. Overprotective, overbearing
3. Overdependent
4. Lying
5. Indifferent, Negligent

HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS
1. Commitment and care
2. Honesty and Integrity
3. Mutual Respect
 

Chapter 2: The Consequences of an Emotionally Destructive Relationship (p. 47-61)
2. If youíre in a relationship that lacks mutual caring, safety, honesty, or respect, and you regularly feel anxiety, fear, shame, anger, or despair, then your emotions are warning you that
a. you should get out of that relationship.
b. you need to make yourself stronger and more resilient.
c. you are co-dependent.
d. you are in a destructive relationship.

3. Many young boys living in homes where their fathers ____ wrongly learn that men have more power than women do. They may even think that God entitles them to act this way because theyíre men, and that the Bible teaches that being the head of a home means that they should always get to have their way.
a. abuse their mothers
b. drink alcohol
c. have stronger personalities
d. have loud voices

Chapter 3: What Makes Relationships Difficult and Destructive (p. 63-78)
4. If youíre in a destructive relationship, you canít change the other person or control what he or she does or says. But if you want to break free, you must
a. learn to avoid this person as much as possible.
b. choose to believe what God says about you, not what the destructive person says.
c. stand up to this person, showing no fear.
d. apply firm boundaries to what you will tolerate and what you will not tolerate.

Chapter 4: Destructive Themes of the Heart -- Pride, Anger, and Envy (p. 81-99)
5. Which example of pride is acceptable?
a. feeling good about your accomplishments.
b. not answering to anyone but yourself.
c. not allowing your judgment and decisions to be questioned.
d. believing that you are always right.

6. According to Mart Rutland, the author of Behind the Glittering Mask, envy is
a. the desire to have what another has.
b. materialism.
c. a longing for more that I have.
d. the longing for another not to have.

Chapter 5: Destructive Themes of the Heart -- Selfishness, Laziness, Evil and Fear (p. 101-113)
7. A person whose primary orientation is self becomes ____ when he doesnít get what he wants.
a. depressed
b. quiet
c. angry
d. sad

8. Carl and Diane had been married for 20 years. During that time,Carl did not like to talk with her or go anywhere with her. He enjoyed television, sports, beer, and his friends. Their marriage died because of Carlís
a. selfishness
b. laziness
c. evil heart
d. fear

9. During Jack and Franís marriage, Jack committed multiple adulteries. Each time Fran would unleash her own anger and pain by threatening to hurt herself, hoping that Jack would feel guilty enough to stay with her. She kept allowing Jack to move back home when his other relationships failed because
a. she was practicing Jesusí teaching to forgive seventy times seven.
b. she was making restitution for her angry threats.
c. she was afraid of ending up alone without him.
d. they had children who needed their father.

Chapter 6: The Truth About Change -- You Can Stop Living This Way (p. 117-132)
10. Regarding Biblical authority, headship, and submission, which is TRUE?
a. Husbands are not called by God to submit to their wives (Ephesians 5:21).
b. If husbands are harsh with their wives, the husbandsí prayers will be hindered (I Peter 3:7).
c. If a husbandís wife is not submissive, he should become more forceful with her.
d. God made husbands head of their wives, so wives must do whatever their husbands say no matter what.

11. If a wife is physically or sexually abused by her husband, she should immediately call
a. her pastor.
b. her parents.
c. her best friend.
d. the police.

Chapter 7: The Truth about Choices -- They Have Not Been Taken from You (p. 133-144)
12. Debra responded to Samís problem with pornography by making him focus his eyes downward whenever they went out together so that he wouldnít be tempted to look at a pretty woman and lust after her. Sam was not allowed to watch television without Debra present and she held the remote control so that she could change the channel if objectionable content came up. The author says that Debraís actions were
a. inappropriate because they did not involve Sam taking responsibility for his own actions.
b. inadequate because more boundaries needed to be put into place.
c. appropriate because husbands need to be accountable to their wives regarding sexual purity.
d. helpful because they would limit Samís exposure to lustful situations.

          When you are a continuous victim, an unwilling and resentful martyr, or a
          participant in a string of destructive relationships, you must identify your
          part of the pattern in order to break free and become healthy. Instead,
          many of us attempt to remedy the relationship by taking responsibility for
          the other personís feelings or problems even if he or she doesnít admit to
          having a problem or doesnít really want to change.
 

Chapter 8: The Truth About Speaking Up -- Your Voice Deserves to Be Heard (p. 145-160)

          Whenever we try to change the status quo of a relationship, we will face
          resistance. We hate to do it because others may feel unhappy, uneasy,
          angry, or disappointed. They might attempt to stop us and return the
          relationship to the way it was. Itís important to know up front that when
          we initiate a change, we will need to press through this awkward and
          uncomfortable stage until a new pattern is established that everyone can
          live with. Sometimes that never happens. Others might be unwilling to
          change or stop doing what is upsetting. They might not want to compromise
          or negotiate to improve the relationship. We cannot change or control
          another person, but as we mature, we can influence and invite them to
          change too. -- p. 147
 

 

          One of the characteristics of a destructive relationship is a regular
          disregard of the felt needs, feelings, or concerns of the other person,
          and an attitude that says, ďMy feelings, needs, and desires always come
          first.Ē If you choose to not confront this attitude of entitlement, the other
          personís pattern of disregarding your feelings will continue. --p.151
 

13. Which would be the most appropriate way for Barb to confront Annís habit of stopping by Barbís home without an invitation?
a. ďAnn, why donít you ever call me before you just drop by?Ē
b. ďAnn, how come you think more about yourself than the other people?Ē
c. ďAnn, I would appreciate it if you would call me ahead of time the next time you would like to stop by.Ē
d. ďAnn, did it ever occur to you that your stopping by might be inconvenient for me?Ē

Chapter 9: The Truth About Standing Up -- You Can Become a Champion of Peace (P. 161-175)
14. What did Francine finally do to help her husband, Frank, take responsibility for his temple?
a. Each time Frank began losing control, Francine would leave and stay overnight in a hotel.
b. She bought her husband Gary Chapmanís book, The Other Side of Love: Handling Anger in a Godly Way.
c. She called the police and they talked Frank into calming down.
d. She had family and friends gather to lovingly confront Frank about his temper.

15. In this chapter, which is NOT true?
a. The author gently kicks her clients in the shins in order to teach them to stand up to destructive people.
b. Standing up to destructive people doesnít work if you are then accused of being non-Christian, mean, abusive, and controlling.
c. People who refused to listen or acknowledge their wrongdoing were treated differently by Christ than those who humbly acknowledged their failings.
d. Sometimes a temporary marital separation is necessary when one spouse is an unrepentant, destructive person.

Chapter 10: God Sees You and Wants to Heal You (p. 179-193)

16. Regarding her motherís rejection and contempt, the author surrendered to God when she
a. broke off all contact with her mother.
b. continued to hope for her mother to change.
c. forgave her mother.
d. established boundaries for her motherís destructive behavior.

             The Lord tells us the secret of abiding in Him is to quiet ourselves,
             externally as well as internally, so that we can know He is with us and
             in us (Psalm 46:10). Isaiah knew this secret when he told the Israelites
             they would find Godís strength in quietness and trust (Isaiah 30:15).
 

17. In the Bible, what does God say about we Christians?
a. He will calm all our fears (Zephaniah 3:17).
b. It gave Him great pleasure to adopt us into His own family through Christ (Ephesians 1:4,5).
c. There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1)
d. all of the above.

Chapter 11: If You Let Go, You Will Grow (p. 195-210)
18. Which is NOT recommended regarding our bad emotions?
a. Holding onto resentment is a good example of punishing the offender.
b. Make a choice to let go of bad emotions.
c. Doing something helpful for someone can lift our spirits.
d. Seek professional counseling if you regularly experience depression, suicidal thoughts, self-hatred, or rage.

Chapter 12: When Youíre Properly Nourished, You Will Thrive (p. 211-224)
19. Which is NOT true about interacting with a destructive person?
a. Treat that person like you would treat a stranger.
b. Have no expectations of a positive encounter.
c. Be cordial, but donít get too close.
d. Treat them just like they are treating you.

A Special Word to People Helpers (p. 237-241)
20. Which of the following does the author advise to do when counseling people in an abusive relationship?
a. Look for things the victim might have done to provoke the abusive incident.
b. Do marriage counseling with the victim and abuser.
c. Act as a temporary rescuer because the victim is in no state of mind to think for himself or herself.
d. At the close of counseling sessions, ask clients if you can pray for them.