In a recent marriage counseling session, a couple Andy and Dina came in visibly stressed. When I asked them what happened Andy said that they were fighting over money.

“We are spending too much money recently and need to cut back but she doesn’t want to,” he said. “Well, we’ve been working really hard lately and deserve to have fun. All I wanted is to go on a weekend getaway,” Dina responded.

Money is one of the most common topics couples fight about. It’s one of those perpetual issues—issues that surface over and over again despite having discussed them and seemingly resolved them before. In fact, talking about money is hard for almost any person.

The topic usually brings up anxiety, hopes, dreams, regrets and much more. No surprise then that when two people with two different perspectives are involved it becomes even more complicated. However, there’s one important insight that can change the way you talk about money forever:

The problem is not the money itself, but that which money symbolizes.

Think for a moment what would happen if you had double the money that you currently have. What will you do with it? Perhaps you start thinking about that holiday you always dreamed of or that car you always fancied. Maybe, instead, you immediately plan how much you will put aside for retirement. Or maybe you would like to donate some of that money or lend it to a friend in need. Why did you choose these things and not others? It’s because they reflect certain values that you hold. Now consider that your partner will have their own associations and feelings about the finances and, most likely, these will differ from yours…a recipe for an argument?

It doesn’t need to be. When we realize that money acts as a symbol for certain values and that we all have very different views and feelings about money, it makes it easier to understand our own and our partner’s perspectives on the subject.