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At a time when the wisest action isn’t clear, what do you do when a husband and wife are both sure they know what to do–but it’s not the same thing?

Even at the best of times, couples tend to polarize into oppositional stances about money and other issues. Stress and uncertainty may make them all the more likely to attack each other for their differences.

When you get together with a couple like this, make time to validate or affirm aspects of each person’s position in some way. If the tension gets too heavy, you may have to meet with each spouse separately, hearing them out and helping them see parts of their partner’s position that they can agree with. Once they both feel heard and respected, you may be able to encourage them to explore compromise solutions where they each get some of their needs met.

Help them see that although it’s impossible to predict the future, they can improve the chances that it will be a happy one by finding solutions they can both live with. Even if these compromises end up costing a little money, they may be worth it for the sake of mutual respect and marital harmony.


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