The Evaluation and Treatment of Marital Conflict: A Four-Stage Approach

By Philip J. Guerin Jr.; Leo F. Fay et al. | Go to book overview

8
The Treatment of Stage II

THE WORKMANS, a couple in their late twenties, came to CFL's clinic requesting marital therapy. Sheila Workman had called and described the presenting problem in the following way: "We are really getting on each other's nerves, and our marriage is in trouble for the first time. We're both really scared and hope you can help." They had been married for five years. All four parents were alive and well, and the couple lived about fifty miles from both families of origin. Each spouse had two siblings, all of whom were doing well with their lives except for Sheila's youngest sister, a senior in college, who was depressed over not getting into medical school and the breakup of a five-year relationship with her high school boyfriend. Jack's older sister had just delivered her first child, a daughter, and this event had reawakened in Sheila her long-held desire to be a mother. Jack was still unsure about when they should have their first child.

JACK: After five years of breaking my ass to please you and satisfy your every whim, not to mention your mother's, you can come in here and complain about our marriage. You're beyond being satisfied; nothing, nothing would be enough.

SHEILA: I know you've done a lot for me and that you love me, I just

-186-

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