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Special section Love and money -- oil and water?

This Valentine's Day learn how to live in financial harmony with your partner and work together toward long-term goals.

Teamwork makes the expensive dreams come true

The art of compromise
Of course, sometimes both parties can't get exactly what they want when they want it. Those circumstances also call for compromises, but in a different form. Rather than buy the house with both the workshop and the elaborate pink nursery, a couple might defer one party's desires on the condition they'll be satisfied as soon as possible.

"The overlying issue is that you never have enough money, so you've got to make choices, and that's where the rub comes in," says Nowka, the CFP. "Maybe this year we get the WaveRunner and next year we get the diamond bracelet."

The bottom line? Both newlyweds and long-time couples should understand that people enter into marriages with hang-ups, wants and needs. That makes communication and teamwork essential for any pair contemplating 30 years of mortgage debt or a $20,000 world tour bill.

"It's about the decision-making process and how they go about making those decisions that's important," Peck says. "They need to sit together to decide what the goal is -- what the joint goal is -- and then figure out their strategy on how to get there."

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-- Updated: Jan. 30, 2007
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