No one likes to fight, but most couples don't know how to stop. In fact, they often don't even know how the fight started in the first place.
Take Tom and Candy: they just got married. Their years of dating were filled with music festivals, mountain climbing, bookstores, 5K runs and clever text messages. And now they are ready to start their lives as husband and wife. They are eager to share everything — their early mornings and late nights, their tiny porch out back, the bathroom counter, the Sunday morning paper and their finances. Turns out, some things are more difficult to share than others.
Lugging her shopping bags through the apartment, Candy finds Tom in his natural habitat: hunched over the computer deep in thought. "Hi honey, I'm home. Look what I found for your mother! Am I the best daughter-in-law or what?!"
Tom looks up, sees all the bags, and says, (louder than necessary for such a small house) "What? What's all that? She doesn't need all that stuff!"
"Are you kidding? She will love this! This stuff has "Anne" written all over it!"
Tom: "What? Written all over the receipts? No. Take it back. She doesn't need all of that!"
Ding, ding: the fighting begins. The worst part? This was only the beginning of their fights about money.
They fought about: dinner at home again or somewhere new, buying a gym membership or running in the park, giving gifts or just a note, lattes at the drive-thru or a cup of joe at home, brand name groceries or generic ones, installing a sprinkler system or dragging the hose, and etc. On and on and on the list goes, and eventually days turned into years.
Would they ever stop fighting?...Will you?
Can you stop fighting and save your marriage before it gets torn apart? We say: Absolutely!
Try these three practical ways to stop fighting and save your marriage:
1. Identify your differences.
We all have our differences. And, every individual approaches money from a different viewpoint. We are born with a natural attitude toward money, hard-wired right in.
Watch a kid with a stash of candy and you'll get an incomplete, but fairly accurate look at how they will view money. Do they give it away without much mind? Save it all for later? Consume every ounce on the spot? Orchestrate some trades for their favorites? Or completely ignore the candy in favor of cartoons or the new puppy?
Observe this and you'll see, what we call their Money Personalities: their unique, natural approach to money. Every individual thinks about money differently: we have from childhood. Mix those differences up into a relationship and people experience misunderstandings, tension, fights, and sometimes divorce.
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