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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

If you take these talks seriously, your spouse's behavior won't seem so mysterious and irritating. And maybe you'll know how to complement each other's strengths and weaknesses. Don't try to force your partner to undergo a personality transplant because the result will likely be rejection.

"It's very healthy to admit who you are when it comes to money," Gurney says. "Too often I see people coming in who try to give up who they are and it backfires. You need to know what you can't give up, as well as what you wouldn't mind giving up."

Preventing future money squabbles
OK, so you understand each other's financial psychology and you have put yourself into your spouse's spending shoes. You have achieved a measure of peace. How do you prevent quarrels over money from ever happening again?

Try gluing a sheet of rubber onto your back and lying on the front step. If you are willing to become a doormat (and a large, squishy one at that), you can banish all money fights forever.

However, if you and your spouse each insist on standing up for yourselves, the experts give some pointers for increasing peace, love and understanding -- although you'll still clash occasionally.

When you sit down to discuss financial matters, set family goals -- and include the children in these discussions.

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