Is our marriage absolutely perfect? Of course not. We do have the occasional argument, and after a day of so of stony silence my Darling and I will share a cup of coffee and talk about it and she'll let me know just why I was so wrong – which is almost always the case (I am a husband, after all). But we have never argued over money, not even once. I guess this is because even when we're running a bit short on funds, money just doesn't mean that much to me.
That, and she's a lot better with money than I am, which I suspect is true in most marriages; the wife will waste money on the mortgage, utilities, diapers, and food, whereas the husband will buy Really Important Things like computers and HDTVs and a four-wheel-drive truck that will never be used for its intended purpose. From the very beginning, we've always shared the same bank accounts and have kept nothing from each other – I can trust my Darling to manage the money well and she can trust me to listen to her on financial matters (even if I do sneak the occasional trip through Starbucks).
If I could point to a single trait that keeps us so close, it's that we both believe strongly in the importance of humility. It was Cicero who said that humility is the greatest of all virtues, and the parent of all the other virtues, and I think he is right. It is this that enables us to be "us" instead of "me" and "you." We do have pride, but we both try to keep it on a leash, to use pride only as it should be used. We also try to help each other with right conduct – on deciding what's the right thing to do even if it's against our own self-interest. Of course I have to be very careful about how I let her know that there's a more appropriate way to do things, but this has been a wonderful way to teach our sons the value of diplomacy.
All this would seem to indicate that she's the boss, but that is not the case. I am without question the head of the household, and I try to implement what I learned in the military when it comes to authority within the household. On a ship, the Captain (CO) is in charge, but it's his second-in-command, the Executive Officer (XO), who gives most orders and makes most decisions concerning the crew and the operation of the ship. The wise CO allows the XO pretty much free rein to make those decisions and lets the XO know that he (the CO) has his back. The wise XO comes up and discusses all significant decisions with the CO first, and the CO will normally buy off on most or all of those decisions. By doing so, for good or ill the CO takes responsibility for all decisions that the XO makes, but still has the opportunity to personally approve of or deny any significant proposals by the XO. This is how a wise CO keeps from micromanaging the ship, keeps himself above the petty squabbles that are part and parcel of shipboard life.