2. The scenario: I make more money than you/You don't earn enough money.
The size of your paychecks has potential to be a perennial hot button topic. And can bring out the worst in the best of couples.
Tessina says all that bragging about the size of a paycheck, or belittling a partner about the size of their pay is hurtful and destructive to a relationship.
Forgo the fight: Should the words “I make more than you…” make their way to the tip of your tongue, Tessina suggests swallowing them instead of saying them out loud. "It's better to say, 'Do you think our combined incomes are enough to support the household or reach our goals?' than to be hurtful or belittling," she says.
Instead of blurting out something hurtful try looking to other contributions you both offer the household. Make a list of the monetary and other types (raising the kids, errands, picking up the household slack because of not working as many hours, etc.) of contributions you both make to see the roles each of you play and look at how those roles complement each other.
3. The scenario: What you see as a want your partner sees as a need.
One of you thinks a pair of designer shoes or sunglasses is an absolute necessity; a need. After all, those new sunglasses will help you prevent headaches caused by the sun. But the other one isn't sold on the need aspect and deems the potential purchase more of a want or a luxury. And this squabble is ignited time and time again, over things like new shoes for the kids, replacing the family jalopy, replacing the roof or purchasing a new appliance.
Forgo the fight: Instead of fighting over individual wants and needs, look to a technique called "matched pairs" to find mutual wants and needs. Start with you and your partner both making lists of all the things you want to buy or afford — those cool new golf club, a new car, the kids' braces or even a new refrigerator.
Then compare lists to pair up similar items on the list. Any pair that matches is an obvious goal to work toward, or purchase to make if it fits into your budget.
The remaining unmatched items on the list become obvious wants that should receive less priority because they're not mutual. Then start a want account and allocate a portion of your income to the account to fund the mutually agreed upon wants.