Is Your Partner Guilty of Financial Infidelity?
Discovering financial infidelity in a relationship
When it comes to finances, many couples like to keep their money completely separate from one another. While they may have joint finances, often they have their own bank account and credit cards that the other one knows about and has no access to or that they don’t even know exists. This makes it easy for one to spend the money, or hoard money, without their spouse knowing. But what are the signs of financial infidelity and how do you recognize them?
Financial infidelity is growing amongst millennials
While traditionally, financial infidelity may not have been such a common problem, a 2017 survey indicates that it is a growing issue among millennials. When you consider past behaviors, people were married much younger and went straight from their parents’ home to that of their spouse. Now, most people tend to live on their own and have a great deal of independence before they actually meet someone and settle down.
In fact, 60% of those millennials surveyed said that they had been lied to by their partner when it came to finances. Whether it be hiding debt, lying about spending or covering up a stash of savings, these lies took many forms. Others reported financial abuse, where their partner tried to manipulate and control them through their finances. The trouble is that having had so much financial independence can make it much more difficult to give it up and share everything with a partner. Often the thought of what might happen in the future, or not liking the accountability of a relationship, can lead people to try and maintain this independence. Finding a balance between autonomy and secret spending can be quite a contentious matter.
Racking up secret debts
If your partner has a penchant for nice things then they may like to go and buy ‘just another pair of shoes’ or treat themselves to that watch they have had their eye on. They have their own credit card so they just pay for it with that. They may not even consider that this is an issue but when that spending starts to build up some pretty large debts, then it can become a problem.
Other forms of debt include problem spending, maybe a passion or addiction to gambling which is starting to get out of control or maybe you are both living beyond your means and the debts are to supplement the household income. Sometimes, for fear of how the other person may react, these debts are unknown to a partner and start to become compounded. As the financial debts start to grow, the lies follow suit and the problem becomes too big to deal with.
Other forms of financial infidelity
While debts are quite a common cause of the lies and deceit, often some people like to have a secret hoard of money ‘just in case’. Some may just be used to saving and having their own stash of money that is theirs for a rainy day. For others, the savings may be an escape plan which doesn’t bode well for your relationship. In fact, this kind of behavior is akin to adultery and shows a lack of trust and respect for the other person.
Signs that your husband is lying about money
Now we are not saying that it’s only men that cheat and lie about money but often, as the major earner in many circumstances, they are the ones that control the household finances. That said more women are starting to out-achieve their husbands and have better jobs and a better grip on the money. This lack of power can sometimes lead a man to start having their own secret finances.
But how do you know if your husband is lying about money? Do they come home with lots of new things? Do they suddenly seem to have lots of new clothes or gadgets? Are there a few too many nights out or weekends away with the lads? While it may all be perfectly innocent, where are all the funds coming from? Perhaps their purchases are for you and are a way of covering up for the guilt that they feel. These signs of guilt are an indication of something being wrong, however, be careful not to question a romantic and innocent gesture.
Top signs that your wife is cheating financially
With financial infidelity sometimes come other dishonest behaviors. Your spouse may be lying about where they have been to cover up for sexual infidelity, using a secret credit card to buy nice underwear or pay for hotel rooms for example. If they suddenly change their appearance and start paying more attention to the way they look, or if their underwear collection seems to be improving then this could be a sign of not just lying about money. They could, of course, be going through some sort of image crisis so you need to ask yourself if new underwear is a sign of cheating or if their new hair-do is just to make them feel better.
Cheating online or ‘cyber cheating’
With the advances in technology and so many apps, websites and mobile devices on which to use them, there has been a rise in cyber cheating. Now while you may think that as it is all online so not as bad as physical cheating, let’s be honest – cheating is cheating. If your partner is being intimate with another person online, they are still being unfaithful to you. Getting into an intimate online relationship can become addictive and before long, chatting online can become meeting for a drink or going out for dinner. The chances are they are hiding their phone, or have added a lock to it, so that you can’t see the message notifications. They may previously have been happy to leave their phone on the side but you now notice that it never leaves their sight, even when they go to the loo. This is a clear sign that they are hiding something. Would they be happy for you to use their phone to look for something or would they show you the messages on their phone?
Dealing with the discovery of cheating
Some consider lying about money just as bad or worse than physically cheating with another person. The lies and mistrust that it causes can eat away at a relationship and cause lasting damage. Once you have discovered that there is a problem, there are a number of ways in which you can address it, that is of course if you are committed to the relationship and feel that you can move on from the issues:
• Open up and be honest about your finances together – put all your cards on the table.
• Seek counseling – if there is a spending problem or some sort of addiction then it needs addressing with professional expertise that can offer specialist financial therapy.
• Learn to manage your money.
• Set up a budget sheet and look at in black and white – you may be surprised at how much you are spending that you don’t need to.
• Open a joint bank account – even if you don’t want to give up your own independence completely this can really help to learn to be more open with each other.
• Communicate with each other.
While you may not want to face up to the reality of the fact that your partner may not be being straight with you about money, it is only going to eat away at you and cause even greater problems. You may be hundreds or thousands of dollars in debt – how much longer are you prepared to let it mount up? If the cheating goes deeper than financial infidelity, isn’t it better to know than bury your head in the sand? Gather your evidence, confirm your suspicions, find the right moment and then talk to your partner. Try to be calm and don’t be aggressive or accusatory. Ask them if they have anything they want to tell you. Let them open up without feeling like they are being interrogated and then, once you have the full picture, then you can take the appropriate action needed.
Discovering financial infidelity in a relationship can be hard. It will take time to rebuild the trust and get your relationship back to a point where you can be happy and content again but if you are committed to each other then you should be able to work your way through it.