Think There’s No Financial Infidelity In Your Marriage? You’re Probably Wrong!

by Sep 16, 2019

According to a 2018 survey by the National Endowment for Financial Education, two out of five adults who have combined their money in a relationship admit to committing financial infidelity against their partner. And 75 percent of those people concede that their deception affected the relationship. My suspicion is that there are even more, but they just didn’t admit it.

Financial Infidelity Realities

What exactly does that look like? And why is it happening so much? Money.com took a deep dive on this issue a few years ago and the points raised by Author, Molly Triffin still ring true. The why is rooted in the psychology behind the behavior. They found that a power imbalance in relationships could spark financial infidelity. If one spouse feels controlled by their partner, they may do some secret spending as an act of rebellion. Also, shame about one’s financial position and trying to cover it up contributed to deception. This was the situation in Part 1 of this series.

Financial infidelity can also be sparked by having differing money philosophies that gained roots in childhood. If you grew up with spenders as models and married a saver, things could seem totally backwards to you. Maybe you were told you weren’t smart or had teachers that made you feel insecure. Understanding your money style is critical in getting a handle on your habits. Understanding those styles as a couple will also help you begin the conversations on what kind of financial guidelines need to be in place for the success of your family.

Finally, turning a blind eye to the household finances can also leave you wide open to financial infidelity. I continue to be surprised that some women still shy away from money issues. I hear things like, “I’m not very good with money. I’d rather let him handle it.” “I spend the money and he manages it.” Anyone still in this mode must break out of it – and soon! In fewer than 20 years more than 60% of our nation’s investable net worth will be in the control of women. Now is the time for us to step up and become good stewards of the wealth that we are creating. Knowledge is power and will go a long way in preventing Financial Infidelity from coming to your doorstep. You’re probably right, that there is no Financial Infidelity in your marriage when you know what’s going on.

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