The following seven secrets have worked very well for over 22 years in my marriage and for many other couples too. Follow them, adapt them to work in your own marriage, and you'll be on your way to having what we all want -- a happy marriage!

1. Communicate

2. Meet each other’s needs

3. Learn to resolve conflicts

4. Grow with each other

5. Agree on money matters

6. Love and respect

7. Maintain a commitment to the marriage

Agree on money matters
One of the leading causes of arguments and conflict in marriages is because of a difference in how money is perceived and handled. The real issue, however, never involves money per se. Fights over money are rarely about money in the first place. The fighting is just a manifestation of more general issues in the relationship and what each brings to the relationship with regards to attitudes about money.

We bring to our marriage our own individual money paradigm or money blueprint. The issues, both financial and psychological, that play into even the simplest disagreement over money are more than enough to cause tension. Ask yourself the following questions to determine the source of your money blueprint and the possible money conflict you are responsible for in your marriage:

Are you a saver or a spender, and which money style did you marry? What does money mean to you -- freedom, security, adventure, and power, being taken care of? How were you raised to handle money, to talk about money? Do you trust your spouse to make good financial decisions, or do you feel the need to stay in control? What does the word lifestyle mean to you and to your spouse?

From the list above, consider your attitude about money as well as that of your spouse. You may be proficient with understanding tax law and investment strategies whereas your partner is just plain-old frugal. Both are important skills and both are necessary in today’s economy.

Therefore, rather than criticizing your spouse for his or her lack of 401(k) expertise you may feel is very important to the family’s long-term financial success, celebrate the fact that your partner’s frugalness may be the very thing that gets your family out of debt right now. Both are important so combine your financial strengths and attitudes to put up a better fight against the expenses you face now and in the future.

Another strategy to help you avoid “money fights” is to think like a financial unit. More importantly, try to stop thinking like Two and start thinking and acting like One.

For that, you need to agree on a set of shared goals and hopes and a few shared values. You may always have values that differ from your spouses, but you need to see eye to eye about certain aspects of your financial life so that your priorities are aligned and balanced.

Finally, don’t let fights over money fester. There is no question about the necessity for having money in order to live the life you want to live. But be careful about what you choose to fight about. Is a knock-down money fight about a $50 purchase really necessary? Bad feelings and perhaps mistrust will ensure. What is the cost of that?

Next: Secret six of a happy marriage: Love and respect

Author's Bio: 

Alex Blackwell is the author of The Next 45 Years - a website dedicated to sharing and creating happiness, life balance and success for the rest of our lives. To read more inspirational stories and articles, please visit: http://www.thenext45years.blogspot.com