As part of her prepracticum class, Jenna observed an experienced psychologist interview a middle-age couple, who wanted to discuss their relationship and consider the possibility of divorce. The wife felt that she had no separate identity. She wanted to get a college degree and start her own career. Whenever she discussed it, however, she noticed that her husband became overcontrolling, long an issue in their marriage. Inevitably, any discussion of her attending school led to hostile argument, followed by long periods of uncomfortable silence, and an enduring irritability on both sides. After a stressful promotion at work that added to his duties, she noticed that her husband had become even more controlling than usual, which led to even more frequent arguments. His most frequently used interpersonal strategy was now the only one he could apply to their relationship.
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