We know that cheating and affairs happen everyday in marriages – even the strong marriages can be affected. However, did you know that financial infidelity is just as common in marriages today?
What is financial infidelity?
Financial infidelity is when you do anything financially that you hide from your partner. Some common examples are:
- Opening a credit card without their knowledge
- Buying something and then hiding it
- Having a secret bank account
- Giving or lending someone money without your spouses knowledge
Financial infidelity isn’t about asking permission. It is about making a financial decision without having a conversation with your spouse which then leads to having to hide it from them. Financial infidelity has grown in recent years in conjunction with more people being independent minded. I saw some statics in researching for this blog as well as this week’s podcast that completely blew my mind.
- 39% of people think that financial infidelity is ok
- 16% think it is ok if it involves bigger sums
- 56% spend money without their spouses knowing
- 27% hesitate to talk about money with their spouses
Just like sexual infidelity, financial infidelity has no place in a marriage and will destroy a marriage just as quickly. If you feel the need to hide anything financial from your spouse, there is a much deeper issue looming that needs to be addressed.
In my first marriage, I was judged for everything I bought. He and I had very different taste, but he was so controlling that if I bought something he didn’t like, he was very mean about it and indirectly would forbid me from wearing it. Because of this, I would hide anything that I bought that I knew he would hate. And then I would wear it only when he wasn’t around. The issue in our marriage wasn’t money – it was a control issue. It was all about his need to control everyone around him – his way or the highway.
If you are committing financial infidelity or suspect your spouse of it, take a step back and try to figure out what the bigger issue is – control, selfishness, low self esteem, etc. The deeper issue has to be addressed before the infidelity can stop. Otherwise, you are just putting a band aid on a big wound.
I need to say it one more time – financial infidelity is just as harmful to a marriage as sexual infidelity. There is a trust that is broken in both situations and it can be challenging, if not impossible, to mend. Secrets kill everything – relationships, careers, health, etc. It’s not worth it. No purchase or secret bank account it worth what it will do to your relationship. Be brave enough to stop the secrecy and address the bigger issue! You’ve got this!