The fancy chocolates have been eaten; the gourmet meal digested and the expensive flowers have died. Another Valentine's Day is over, and so is the money you put into it. In fact, if you're one of the millions of Americans who have credit card debt, you might regret your spending when the credit card statement arrives next month, especially if it turns into an argument with your partner over money.

A recent Money Magazine study found that 13 percent of couples say they fight about finances many times every month. "Worrying about individual finances is a strain by itself, and throwing another person's financial habits into the mix can sometimes be overwhelming," says Kara Kaiser, regional president, M&I, a part of BMO Financial Group, in a press release.

The recession hasn't helped matters in the romance category either. In 2011, the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia conducted a study to learn how the recession was affecting marriages in the United States. The study found that 29 percent of couples felt the economic downturn had brought financial stress to their marriages. On the flip side, another 29 percent reported feeling a deeper commitment to their marriage on account of the recession.

Recession or not, experts agree that it's important for couples to be open about their finances, and especially their financial life together. A poll conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) found that nearly 25 percent of respondents would not tell their spouse about their personal financial problems for fear they'd worry their spouse, shed light on debt their spouse didn't know existed or hurt their relationship.

"Even if well-intentioned, withholding financial information from a spouse is not a sign of a healthy relationship, either emotional or financial," says Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC, in a press release.

While it's always a good idea for couples to be open with their debt, budget together and establish shared savings goals, the NFCC says it's particularly important to establish this habit early in a relationship, especially before a couple gets married. "People bring financial baggage into a relationship that they often don't deal with until there is a problem, making it challenging to have a constructive conversation," says Cunningham.

Kaiser recommends that couples discuss four main topics: budgeting, prior debt, savings goals and major purchases.

Establishing a budget that includes spending money on everyday expenses like gas, as well as more fun activities like eating out will get the two of you on the same page in terms of knowing where your money goes. This can help eliminate future arguments about money.

Additionally, knowing your partner's outstanding debt, whether it is a student loan or a credit card, can help you understand each other's spending habits and help you figure out a plan to eliminate debt.

Setting up shared saving goals and discussing major purchases can also help couples be on the same page when it comes to talking about their individual dreams and goals so that they can compromise on what they want to build together.

When planning to discuss finances, the NFCC recommends that couples create an appointment with each other and have a conversation that's casual and non-threatening so that you can be honest with each other. It's important that couples be open about their personal finances and share any debts they have. Both partners should be willing to work together to eliminate debt and try to understand spending patterns. If you have different philosophies about spending habits, talk about them and try to understand where each other is coming from.

Once you know your current financial situation, you can work together to come up with a plan to pay bills and save money. "Court records show that financial stress is one of the main causes of divorce. Taking action now could prevent a disaster later," says Cunningham.