When couples come to Honeck for money coaching, she starts by talking about their personal ideas about money and marriage. She asks them to talk about how money was used in their parents' home and the financial ideas they were taught or observed as children.
"When they hear each other share from a nonjudgmental place, they can begin to come together on strategies that work for the two of them," she says. "By working from the belief standpoint, instead of from the problems, they can stay open to consider new alternatives."
Simply talking about each other's history may not be enough. "Ask a lot of questions of each other about why you have the history and habits you have," Ballou says.
If these conversations reveal that you and your partner aren't compatible in dealing with money, consider reaching out to a financial counselor. "Once there is respect, acceptance and the ability to work as a team, then it's a matter of deciding if you are in agreement about where you are going," Ballou says.