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Darling, you need a financial makeover...

A recent Thrivent Financial/Kiplinger Survey of Family Finances showed that many couples would give their spouse or partner a financial makeover, if they could.

Nearly two in five Americans (39 percent) with a spouse or partner said they most wanted to increase their beloved's earning power. Women were more excited to reshape their partner in this fashion than men, (43 percent vs. 36 percent). More than half of those ages 25-34 (53 percent) said they most wished they could increase their spouse's ability to earn more. Just one in four pre-retirees (ages 55-64) would change their partner in this manner.

Three in 10 respondents of both sexes said they wished their partner would discuss money issues more. Two in five seniors (42 percent) said they most wanted their partner to "talk money" more.

Twenty-three percent of respondents with a spouse or partner reported they wanted their mate to be less of a spendthrift. Men were slightly more likely than women to desire this change (25 percent vs. 21 percent). Those ages 35-44 (30 percent) were the most likely age group to desire this transformation in their partner.

Seventeen percent of all respondents with a partner said they simply wished their spouse did his or her share of routine money management duties. Men were more likely than women to desire this change (19 percent vs. 14 percent). One in four seniors (25 percent) desired this change in their mate.

One in 10 respondents said they wished their spouse/partner was less of a tightwad, with 13 percent of pre-retirees and retirees most likely to wish their partner would loosen his or her proverbial purse strings.

"Without good communication, couples can easily drive off the cliff of financial harmony," said Patrick Egan, director, Asset Management, for Thrivent Financial. "Each partner in a relationship needs to understand the values around finances that are important to his or her mate. Discussing these values and setting aside uninterrupted time to discuss goals, dreams and joint financial performance can go a long way to ensuring you financially understand the one you love."

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