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Special section Love and money -- oil and water?

Both people in a relationship can't spend money with reckless abandon, which explains why savers and spenders frequently get together and then drive each other crazy.

Opposites attract -- even when it comes to money

Not everyone subscribes to the belief that couples polarize. "Married couples can be all over the place," says Susan Zimmerman, a chartered financial consultant and psychotherapist in Apple Valley, Minn. "They can be opposites or they can be more alike -- but they will have one difference, and that is where the strife comes from."

Dr. Kathleen Gurney, a psychologist and author of "Your Money Personality: What It Is and How You Can Profit From It," takes a different approach. Through her Financial Psychology Corp. she offers the Moneymax Personal Profile to help individuals understand their money management styles. She divides people into nine money styles: safety players, entrepreneurs, optimists, hunters, achievers, producers, high rollers and money masters.

Those who noticed that the previous paragraph listed only eight styles might belong to the ninth: perfectionists.

"It's easier if your styles of handling money are similar, but here, as with other characteristics, opposites attract," she Gurney says. "I recommend having a serious talk about your financial preferences before differences erupt."

Achieving domestic tranquility
When you have an idea of how you and your spouse fit together financially, how do you achieve domestic tranquility? First, get rid of your hang-ups over talking about money.

"Money is a touchy subject for most people," says Celia Ray Hayhoe, an assistant professor and cooperative extension specialist in family financial management at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a certified financial planner. "It's the last taboo. A lot of people say they discuss money all the time but what they do is fight over money."

Money is the No. 1 subject of marital quarrels, and it's one of the main reasons for divorces, Hayhoe says.

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