I hope you’ve been following our blog series on Financial Infidelity. If you haven’t but would like to start, you can view the prior blogs here.

According to a recent survey by the National Endowment for Financial Education, one in three adults who have combined their money in a relationship admit to committing financial infidelity against their partner.  And 76 percent of those people concede that their deception has affected the relationship.  I’m suspicious that there are even more who just didn’t admit it.

What exactly does that look like and why is it happening so much?  Money.com recently published an article on this topic that shed some light on this issue. Author Molly Triffin discussed the psychological reasons behind these behaviors.  Money can be used to offset power imbalances.  If one spouse feels controlled by their partner, they may do some secret spending as an act of rebellion.  You might be ashamed of your financial position and try to cover it up.  This was the situation in part 1 of our blog series: “The Devastation of Financial Infidelity”.  Often the root of money issues are born in childhood.  If you grew up with spenders as models and married a saver, things could seem totally backward 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.

I continue to be surprised that women, in general, 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.”  These are old stereotypes that women MUST break out of – and SOON!  In less 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 happening to you.  Get involved and know what’s going on.
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