Oh, That’s Why We Had Conflict!

That’s why we had conflict. This is the next part in the series about meeting each other’s needs.

First I told you about the benefits of listing each other’s needs.
Next came information about the troubles you can avoid by doing the list-building exercise.
Following that was instruction on how to create, rank, and use your list.
Today, I’ll be revealing some of the reasons that you may have had conflict in your marriage.


In this post, I’m going to talk about using the information you get from the list-building and ranking process to its best advantage. Utilizing it will help you in your marriage.

After looking at one another’s list, you may say, “Oh, that’s why we had conflict, I didn’t realize the importance that my spouse placed upon that particular need within his or her life.”

You want to realize what it is that causes you to have different perceptions of your needs.

Different Backgrounds

First of all, everyone has differing backgrounds.

I’ll give you an example.

I grew up in a family that enjoyed going camping. When I was young, we went tent camping. Later on, we got a little camping trailer. Then later my parents got even more elaborate trailers and at one point after I had gotten married, a very nice motorhome.

On the other hand, my wife grew up in a family that had never gone camping. So it was an experience for her. To her credit, she was willing to do that a few times. But see the excitement and fun things I remembered were not there for her as they were for me.

Different backgrounds can sometimes cause conflict.
Different backgrounds can sometimes cause conflict.

I have to admit that some of the camping trips that we had after we got married, had a lot of uncomfortable things happen, which would not help in the future.

So if I felt a need to go camping, or desire, maybe not so much a need, then her desire would not be nearly so great. First of all, she did not have the great memories that I did, and secondly, she had some uncomfortable experiences to look back to.

Now, I’m not saying that she would never go camping again. Although that might be the case. But I realize that her need for that is not nearly as great as my need and her need to perhaps avoid it is much greater than it would be for me because of my optimism and hoping that I can have a joyful experience again.

We did have one or two good camping trips later in our marriage, but I have to admit that most of them have not been as joyful as those two.

That’s an example of the differing backgrounds.

Different Interests

Conflict can arise when your interests don't match up.
Conflict can arise when your interests don’t match up.

The second area is in our interests. You have different interests. Some of those interests are long-standing interests that you develop early in life. As you followed those interests, you got good at some of the skills that were associated with those interests. You’ve experienced some feelings of success in those areas and that made you feel good, so you continued on.

Some of your interests may have come about more recently.

One of my interests came in the area of construction work. I did not do a lot of it when I was young. I had watched my father and others do some construction work but I mainly was relegated to going and getting things and was not taught very many of the skills that were involved.

Then my wife and I came to a point in our lives, where our income was so sporadic, that we did not think that we would qualify for a loan in order to build a house or even purchase a house that had already been built. We didn’t have a piece of land upon which we could place a house. So I developed an interest in construction.

Also when we had some home repairs earlier in our marriage, our income a lot of times did not make it easy for us to just call a repairman to come out. And so I started learning about things and how they worked and did that out of necessity.

But I also became very interested in how things worked. The electronic things and construction things.

Also, later on in my life, I became interested in computers and programming, I learned a little bit about programming in basic, but there is so much you can do with computers that don’t involve certain types of coding.

So I became very interested in that. My wife is glad for me to learn more about that although sometimes becomes a little expensive when we get some new computer equipment or things like that.

On the other hand, I have been able to monetize those things to a certain extent, and it has certainly turned out well in our lives.

For instance, I have three books that are on Amazon right now. It’s because of my interest in computers and word processing and developing websites and things like that, that I have been able to complete those.

Feelings of Success or Failure

Feelings of success or failure can have an impact.
Feelings of success or failure can have an impact.

I mentioned in an earlier post that men like feelings of success, and don’t like feelings of failure.

They’re not a married couple, but two counselors worked together and wrote a book. They said that one of the major things that a man did not like in marriage was the feeling of shame. It was not the shame that came from doing something evil, but more like the shame of not doing something well.

So, when we look at the needs that are listed, sometimes those needs are related to things that are related to our successes or failures in life. The things that make us feel good are things that we perceive to be important, and the things that make us feel uncomfortable will be placed lower on our lists.

You have the two lists and have ranked the items on them according to the order of importance to you. Then you have traded that list with your spouse. You might have found some revelations in doing that. You might have found some things there.

As you look at that your mate’s list, you might say, “Oh, that’s why we had some conflicts in the past. Because I didn’t perceive this one thing to be as important as my wife or husband.”

Take your list and discuss it with your spouse. The premade lists that have come from the research on marriage may also cause you to have a discussion about something the two of you have never talked about within your marriage.

Books on marriage
Books on marriage

I hope this has been helpful to you. If you would like more posts like this, you can click here and it will take you to my marriage blogs.

As I mentioned earlier, I have 3 books currently available on Amazon. Two are on the topic of marriage The first is “21 Ways The Principle of Leaving Will Benefit Your Marriage” and the second is “From Mountains to Molehills”

For aspiring writers.
For aspiring writers.

If you happen to be interested in writing, my most recent book is “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death” which is also available on Amazon.

That’s all for now. I wish you the best in your life and marriage. Have a great day.

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