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U is for Unfaithful Finances between Couples is a Real Thing

Financial infidelity

 

Money arguments between couples are nothing new.

Money is the ‘Number One’ cause of stress in relationships, and continually having financial arguments is a top predictor of divorce.

Have you ever purchased an item without your partner being aware? Do you have a secret account to hide certain purchases from your partner? Many believe these small “white lies” help avoid conflict in relationships, but I prefer to believe honesty is the best policy.

Unfortunately, according to CreditCards.com and its latest financial infidelity poll, 19 percent of U.S. adults in committed relationships (approximately 29 million people) are hiding a checking, savings, or credit card account from the partner.

As a financial advisor, I would not promote withholding important financial information from your partner. This signals a lack of trust, and financial decisions made by one partner generally impacts the other partner. We as a society know that honesty is critical for any relationship to work properly. If one partner is hiding debt from the other, it’s typically just a matter of time before the truth comes to light. And when it does, it will likely have a major impact on the relationship in other areas – not just money matters.

The good news is that your partner is not engaging in a physical or emotional affair. But you are experiencing what is called financial infidelity. Having any secrets exposed between a couple will likely break a trust that will take much work to fix.

If you find out your partner has been practicing financial infidelity, you will need to address the matter immediately with calm and reason. It may be best to seek counsel from a therapist to help you navigate the cause behind the financial infidelity and the proper course of action to take going forward. Once you’ve established the true cause of the financial infidelity, seek advice from your financial advisor.

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