Really great list. I like the advice about being helpful rather than critical. It's easy to tell someone "They need to be doing better." It takes much more effort to do the work yourself in order to capture the savings. I.e. Cooking as an alternative to eating out. Packing a lunch that they will love, cleaning the house rather than having a cleaner (Using a cleaner is borderline to a justifiable reason for an Annulment in my book, but cleaning is a credible example.) Overall creating solutions by playing to your strengths is an answer.
I'm fortunate enough to have a partner that has always been fairly tolerant of my cheap* and frugal* behavior. I convinced her to ready Early Retirement Extreme, which was probably a bad place to start, but it did have the effect of further clarifying a starting point of what my 'needs' and 'dreams' are. Her initial reaction was that we were going to be living in a trailer park depriving ourselves or something along those lines. After things sinking in that we could still enjoy ourselves she became much more accepting.
Next, what started as one of the biggest obstacles, really created a huge synergy. We hit a major roadblock when it came to having kids. I was pretty certain I did not want to have any (Expensive, constraints, etc.) She was very certain she did want to have them. Being in our early 30's began to push this into a "Now or never" type of situation. Without a solution on this, splitting up seemed to be a likely outcome.
First I read a book titled "Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids" By Bryan Caplan. I didn't care for the writing style. A two star rating would be generous for this book. - However it was what I needed to read, and by the end of it I was more amicable to the idea of having kid(s). I reached the conclusion that the biggest reasons I didn't want to have kids were:
1. Money - Kids are expensive.
2. I hated my job. - Having kids would make having that job, or a similar crappy job necessary.
3. Raising a kid is today's modern society. - Both parents working full time, while the kid(s) go to daycare just doesn't speak "Family Values" to me. Sure some kids may love daycare, but what's the point of having kid(s) you don't spend time with?
4. Environmental impact of having a child. - If you care about the environment you understand this reason already.
5. Fear of divorce / broken family - Most people don't like talking about this, but this is a big fear for many people. While some people just "Go with the flow" and "Worry about the consequences later" having a child with someone conjured up images of "Paying child support for a kid you never see." etc.
We talked about these things, and I showed her the posts on MMM's child bearing expenses. At some point in time I convinced her to read the full list of MMM blog posts. She started buying used baby items on Craigslist / Close 5 at great prices. We would get a good enough deal that even if she had second thoughts about the item, she would turn around and sell the item for a profit.
Also, I took some time off from my work to decide whether I wanted to start my own business, go back to my career, or change careers, and/or be a stay at home parent.
I apologize that our scenario can be duplicated by very few people. The points to take away from myself and Ops post are: ****
1. Put forth the effort.
2. Be positive. **
3. Make use of your strengths.
4. Be balanced. You and your Sig. Other both have a unique set of needs.
5. Display excellent communication skills. ***
6. Be patient.
7? This is touchy subject since you're certainly "In love." But (especially) if you don't have kids, or a similar obligation, you might consider whether you are compatible to be together long term. I.e. Are you satisfied being with someone set out to undermine your financial well being? In our case, we both had something "We had to have." and we were fortunate enough to both get what we want with minimal sacrifice.
* Cheap is oftentimes bad. Frugal is typically a positive trait. By nature I'm cheap, but I've been trying to become more frugal.
** I haven't always been positive, but I've been much more positive in the last few years, than previously.
***I am convinced your financial communication often reflects your overall communication as a couple. If you're fighting over money, I'll put my money on there being other issues you are having communication problems with as well.
**** I am giving credit for any of these that represent Ops post. Some may only be my opinion.