Financial infidelity is when one partner in a relationship has hidden or secret financial information from their counterpart. This can be a major problem for couples because secrets, by definition, create distance and distrust between the couple – creating a seemingly insurmountable rift that could ruin a marriage. However, it’s important to remember that while some sources have found that 25% of couples have committed financial infidelity, many sources agree that the actual number may be closer to 10%.
But whatever the real number is, one thing’s certain – financial infidelity is becoming an increasingly common problem in marriages. The good news is that there are ways couples can deal with this issue and restore their relationship. Read on to find out how.
What Causes Financial Infidelity?
The root cause of financial infidelity is money: Couples may feel that they’re not making enough, or that their partner isn’t spending it in the right way. They may think there’s not enough to go around and start hiding funds or purchases from their spouse because they don’t want to face conflict over money.
Being in debt is another root cause of financial infidelity, since someone who has lots of debt may feel the need to hide purchases from their partner for fear that this person will judge them or ask them to pay it off.
What are the Signs of Financial Infidelity?
There are many signs that indicate that a couple is dealing with financial infidelity. Some include:
• Overspending or creating debt
• Declarations of bankruptcy or overdue bills
• A sudden decrease in the amount of time spent at home and an increase in the amount of time spent at work
• Becoming defensive about personal spending and refusing to discuss it, saying things like “It’s none of your business”
• Surprise gifts that come with no card or note, to hide the fact that they were purchased
How Can Couples Avoid Financial Infidelity?
The only way for couples to avoid financial infidelity is by communicating about their financial situation, both the good and the bad. This means discussing all their purchases and setting financial boundaries as a couple. While this may feel like an invasion of privacy at first, saying things like “I’m worried about your spending” is much more effective than hiding purchases, especially if those purchases put the family in debt.
How Can Couples Deal With Financial Infidelity?
The best way to deal with financial infidelity is to talk it out. If you realize that your partner has been hiding purchases or debts, don’t start accusing them – simply ask what’s going on. Listen carefully to the answer and try to understand why they made their purchase. Then work together to find a good solution for the future, like establishing credit card limits every month. Remember that success isn’t always measured in the amount of money one makes, but in the number of problems, one avoids.
What’s The Takeaway?
While no one wants to start a marriage off with financial infidelity, it can be avoided by communication and open-mindedness. If you think your partner has done this in the past or is doing it now, talk to them about it instead of hiding purchases yourself. If you feel like money is a problem in your marriage, try talking to a counselor or therapist who can help you fix the situation. Remember that financial infidelity isn’t always committed by one partner – sometimes both partners are responsible for their own part in the relationship’s problems.
While this article is written from a Christian perspective, it can help those of all religions or those that have no religion.