More to the point, in The Man Who Studied Yoga that engineer turned writer clearly defined a problem which has eluded this engineer for decades.
She is too sharp-tongued, and she does not often give Sam what he needs most, a steady flow of uncritical encouragement to counteract the harshness with which he views himself.
Ok so maybe this engineer still isn't convinced that THE problem has been clearly defined BUT rather A situation. When someone abuses my inner child, I am told that I am responsible for feelings and that I am free to choose to act rather than react. Would this not also be true for Sam?
Well I think so, but if you read the rest of the story you'll find that they both need to work on their relationship skills. As Mailer pointed out, "Unhappily it is more complicated than that."