Mr.&Mrs. Issue 03/March 2014 - Page 3

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It Means: She's implying a lack of responsibility on your part. This raises issues of control and insecurity, and highlights both partners' need for order, Sherman says. Women tend to be more security-minded than men, adds psychologist Warren Berland, Ph.D., so you probably have different tolerance levels for spending.

Battle Tactics: Schedule budget talks. Have a sit-down with paper and pencil (or computer and software) to go over spending and debt levels. Negotiating lets her discuss the issue—but as you sympathize, make your case. Use "and" statements rather than "but" ones. ("I understand you're nervous, and I also want to buy this new plasma TV. How do we figure this out together?")

What You Win: You get the TV—as long as you set aside a few hundred for something she wants. Wygant warns that women can view a big purchase as something that will compete for your attention. If ever there were a time to splurge on a pair of $200 jeans for her, this is it. "She'll think of you every time she wears them," Wygant says, "which lets you make love to your plasma all you want."

The Intimacy Fight

Opening Volley: "Why does everything have to be sex, sex, sex all the time?"

Index

Battle Tactics: When she disses your buds, it feels like a personal insult, because friends are directly tied to identity and ego. Hold your ground and try this sneaky attack: Invite her to an event with your friends, suggests David Wygant, a Los Angeles–based dating coach and the author of Always Talk to Strangers: 3 Simple Steps to Finding the Love of Your Life. "She wants to spend time with your friends, but a lot of this has to do with her not wanting to be the invisible girlfriend, and knowing you're not cheating on her."

What You Win: Peace. "Once she's out, she'll realize your friends are harmless geeks, and she'll never want to join you again," Wygant says. Sherman has a trick play that works: Include her in one of your regular pool or bowling nights—and let her pick her team. Competition—either with or against each other—is well established as an aphrodisiac.

The Money Fight

Opening Volley: "Do you really need another gadget?"

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Our town

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