Here's a humorous take on money arguments between couples: "There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who enjoy saving carefully for the sailboat they plan to buy one day. And those who buy the sailboat on credit so they can have the fun of sailing right now. Inevitably, the two marry each other."
If you're in disagreement over money issues, Sit down with your partner and each agree to write a money autobiography. Start by describing your parents' attitudes about money. What did money symbolize to you at age 10? 15? 20? 30? Is it Success? Security? Fear? Lack? Desire? Power? Pleasure? Do you have a particularly strong memory, happy or sad, that involves money?
As you read yours and your partner's autobigraphies, you'll begin to see where your attitudes, assumptions, and values came from. It can help you understand your partner's seemingly erratic behavior around money; and can help each of you make some behavioral changes. In my GRACE ON THE GO book about money, I include this prayer:
"Dear God, my partner and I share so many values.
But money differences are driving us apart.
Help both of us realize that our spend-or-save choices
Are neither right nor wrong.
Help both us of us listen to each other's point of view and
Seek to understand.
Help both of us agree on our financial goals
And help us find a middle way to get there."