Each person, in his attempt to find security, affirmation, happiness and harmony in his life, searches for ways in which he can most effectively create the world he desires. Some people have become programmed to believe they can do this only by controlling the situations and people around them. Others believe that matters work out better when they let things flow. Some prefer not to confront problems or issues, especially when that entails the possibility of conflict. Others cannot hold themselves back from rushing head-on into conflict with whoever voluntarily or involuntarily obstructs them from getting what they want.

Most of us, however, function through some combination of these attitudes. There are times when we feel we must control ourselves and make efforts toward change and / or toward confrontation. There are other times when we feel it is best to let things work out by themselves. Our motives in each case may be different. One may avoid acting upon some problem out of fear or lack of self-confidence. Another may do the same out of an inherent wisdom or faith that, in this case, it would be best to let the situation work itself out. Still another may realize that his problem is an internal one and that the solution must be found within him or her, and not through controlling others.

Two people living or working together may have difficulties when they are used to handling situations in different ways. Such conflicts may arise concerning how to raise their children, how to manage their financial affairs or how to respond to relatives or social situations. One may believe it would be irresponsible not to control the children, while the other may feel that such control will harm them or obstruct their own inner discrimination and creative thought. One may feel insecure or guilty if he is not able to closely regulate his children’s activities, while the other may feel this could destroy their self-confidence and self-acceptance.

One may feel that money must be set aside for the future, while the other may feel the family should enjoy life and use their financial resources in the present. One may feel people must always conform to the demands placed on them by relatives and social programmings. The other may feel that this is hypocritical and unnecessary.


Another common source of misunderstanding and conflict between couples is their differing needs for sex or affection. Usually in the beginning of the relationship, these needs are similar, but as the years pass, one starts to feel less desire or need than the other. This puts them both in a difficult position.

The one who has a greater need feels rejected by the other when there is no warm response to his or her approaches. This often creates the misunderstanding that the other does not love, care for or is not interested in him or her any more. In some cases, this may be true. In others, love and interest are still there, but there is simply less need in one than in the other for their expression in this particular physical way.

A vicious circle ensues. The one who feels rejected pressures the other for contact and eventually starts to express negativity. The other feels pressured to have a type of contact he or she does not desire and builds up various defense mechanisms. One form of defense may be avoidance and preoccupation with other matters. Another may be aggressiveness. Even illness might be used as an excuse.

Both feel wronged and alienated. This is accentuated when one or both cannot distinguish between sex and affection. Even when one may feel less desire for sexual contact, often this person’s need for the expression of affection remains. Often, however, he or she avoids any type of affectionate contact with the fear that it may lead to sexual feelings. This cuts them both off from each other in terms of "energy and feeling transfer," which is usually essential for their health and growth process.

How we approach these conflicts will depend upon the roles through which we usually function in order to get what we want. We might approach each of the above and other conflicts with a combination of roles. We may seek to get what we want playing the victim, the interrogator, the intimidator or the distant one.

In the next chapter we will share a simple technique for dealing with such need conflicts. Later on, we’ll discuss how to free ourselves from the roles we play when seeking to control others in order to satisfy our needs. Then we will be able to approach these problems more maturely, lovingly and effectively.

From the book "Relationships of Conscious Love"
by Robert Elias Najemy

Author's Bio: 

Robert Elias Najemy, a life coach with 30 years of experience, has trained over 300 Life coaches and now does so over the Internet. Info at:
He is the author of over 20 books, 600 articles and 400 lecture cassettes on Human Harmony. Download FREE 100's of articles, find wonderful ebooks, guidance, mp3 audio lectures and teleclasses at .
His books The Psychology of Happiness, Remove Pain with Energy Psychology and six others are available at