Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Financial Infidelity: What Can I Do?

Some folks who are even in the best of marriages find that their spouse has been hiding debt, purchases, bank and credit card accounts or money from them and are devastated by uncovering the information about financial infidelity.

A first reaction is rarely the best course of action. Rather, it is recommended that you take time to calm down and clearly think through the situation so that you can make a calm decision about how to handle the knowledge of financial infidelity.

Here are some suggestions for how to handle financial infidelity in your relationship.

1. Make a date to talk with each other about your finances, goals and plans. Be sure it is in a neutral setting. Can you go out for coffee? Sit on the deck? Choose a place that promotes calm and neutrality. Never talk when either of you are upset, defensive or angry even if you believe that your partner has been financially deceptive.

2. Frame your thoughts, questions and ideas in neutral and non-judgmental ways. For example, start your conversation with phrases like:
“I think we have different philosophies about money and I would like to see if we can come up with a plan that will fit for us both”.
“There are spenders and there are savers, in this relationship, we have one of each. Let’s see if we can find a way to balance each other out.”

3. To further ward off financial infidelity, be sure that each of you does have some discretionary money on a regular basis. Each of you will be more likely to follow through with a plan if you do have some money of your own that you can spend without consulting with or “reporting” to the other.

4. Talk out loud about money differences. Respect the fact that there is more than one way to make things work and there can be a “middle” ground.

5. Agree to be open and up front about all money and debt. Hiding only brings about more hiding, feelings of betrayal and anger about financial infidelity. Acknowledge that you may see this differently and agree to talk out loud about the differences rather than hiding them.

6. Be willing to change yourself and your spending and saving habits. No one is right about everything and you do have to give in order to get.

7. Keep a positive attitude as you two talk together. Find ways to emphasize ideas like “there is a solution here, we just have to keep working toward it” or “we are a team and together we can figure this out”.
Would you like more ideas for ways to handle financial infidelity? Check out our articles on Counseling Relationships Online.com.

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