Thursday, October 16, 2014

Financial Infidelity

Is financial infidelity affecting your relationship? Are you, or your partner, keeping secrets about money with each other?

Financial infidelity, lying to your spouse about money (assets, debts, purchases, etc.), happens in about 30% of all marriages or relationships with combined income. Disagreements and fighting about finances (financial infidelity) are a leading cause of divorce.

According to a 2014 survey by the National Endowment for Financial Education, one spouse admits to lying to his or her partner about money, in 1 out of 3 marriages. In that same survey, more than 75% noted that this financial infidelity and dishonesty has adversely affected their marriage.

Money and the control of money is crucial to many people. We all develop styles of handling finances (frugal, spendthrift, saver, etc.) from our childhoods and experiences that we have as we mature. When two halves of a couple have the same style, money is often not a problem. When styles are different, that can lead to stress and conflict or financial infidelity.

Financial Infidelity Self-Test
Answer these questions honestly about yourself and/or your partner.

1. Is it hard to talk about finances with each other?
2. Is one of you likely to become argumentative or defensive when the money is discussed?
3. Do you know each others' style or relationship with money and can you respect any differences as part of a healthy balance?
4. Do you know each others' salary and any other source of income?
5. Are any large purchases made without consulting the other?
6. Are any large purchases “hidden” from the other?
7. Are you financially naked with each other?
8. Do you know each others' passwords? Credit card information? Checking accounts?
9. Do there seem to be big gaps between income and debt?
10. Do you know how much total debt you have as a couple as well as any individual debt?

If you answer “yes” to many of these questions, you are not alone. Remember, 1 in 3 couples do have problems with money and experience financial infidelity. In future posts we will share suggestions with you.

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