Financial infidelity is a real problem and you should protect your marriage from it. According to the data from CreditCards.com, there are 13 million Americans who have admitted to keeping a secret account from their partner. Unlike adultery, this type of infidelity is something that does not involve outside factors. It is all within yourself. It is also something that is not exclusive to married couples. You can commit this financial sin regardless of the type of relationship you are in. It is just that this type of infidelity is more destructive when it happens between married couples.
It is very important that you and your spouse will agree on how you will handle the household income. While it is okay that only one will make the decisions, the other should always know what is going on. The one making the decisions should inform them of everything – just so they can raise any concerns that the other one may have missed.
Money is a sensitive topic in any relationship so you have to be on guard. Do not make room for infidelity to grow roots. Before you know it, the situation is already too late and you have gone beyond the ability to repair your broken marriage. All the fights and disagreements about money, no matter how small, can leave a mark. Do not let money problems destroy your marriage.
4 tips to help you be more honest about your finances
All marriages take a lot of work to make it a success. If you really want to preserve your relationship, it is important for you to exert some effort. In the same way, avoiding financial infidelity will require effort from both parties.
Here are 4 things that you can do to help you avoid financial infidelity.
No matter how attracted you are to a person, you will always have differences. The first rule to maintain a healthy relationship despite the differences is to respect one another. While you may think that your opinion is the best, you need to hear and respect the opinion of the other. It is okay to disagree at times. In fact, it is oftentimes healthy to disagree instead of keeping things to yourself and have everything bottled inside. That might blow up in your face and make you lose the love that you have for your spouse. Do not let that happen. Even if you have different financial management beliefs and techniques, make sure to listen to the opinion of the other. They may be seeing one angle of the situation that you cannot see. If you develop a habit of disagreeing positively, you will discourage secrets between each other.
Set common goals.
The next tip that will help you avoid financial infidelity is to set goals that the two of you will try to reach. According to an article published on PsychologyToday.com, it is possible for relationships to thrive even if the couple have different interests. The simply have to come up with common goals that they can share between each other. Even if you come from different backgrounds, religion, and culture, it is possible for you to live with one another as long as you look forward to a shared future. When you set a common goal, your decisions will most likely be in tune with each other. You do not have to hide mistakes because the two of you will understand why you committed those errors.
Have a joint spending plan – and account.
The third thing that you can do is to have a spending plan that the two of you will follow. Having a plan will allow you to get rid of any bad spending habits. Not only that, it will help you determine the purchases that both need to make in order to reach your goals. For instance, if your goal is to buy a house, you need to save up for a down payment. That means you should lower your spending on certain categories in your house. You can set a budget for your groceries, food, and clothing. You can create a separate amount for school needs. This will help clear up any future misunderstanding about purchases. When it comes to the joint account, this is a touchy subject for some people. It makes personal purchases difficult to make. The thing is, these personal purchases should still be divulged – to avoid any mistakes. At least, this is true for expensive expenses. What you can do is to create three accounts, two will be for the personal use of each couple while the other is the joint account. You can put all the money in the joint account so you can use it for the spending plan that you have created.
Create a compatible budget.
If you have a joint spending plan and account, you have to create a budget that will complement it. This will help you plan what you will do with the money that you will place in the account and the strategy that you will use to approach these expenses. It is advised that you create a budget plan for any expense that you need to make – for your basic necessities, goals, etc. This will allow the two of you to share your insights and opinions before you implement it on your household. Make sure to revisit this budget plan so you can ensure that it is updated of any changes in priority – since changes will happen in your marriage.
3 reasons why financial secrets are dangerous
Now that you know the tips that will help you avoid financial infidelity, you need to implement it as soon as possible. Of course, you have to discuss it between the two of you first. In case you need motivation, here are three reasons why financial secrets pose a threat to your marriage.
It forces you to lie. It is impossible to keep a secret without lying. Even if you are not talking about it, if you are withholding information from your spouse, that is already lying. And if the secret happened after a long time, you will be more hesitant to divulge the information. Even if your spouse asks you directly about it, you will just lie to avoid an argument.
It can lead to destructive trust issues. Trust is an important factor to make any relationship succeed. According to an article published on MIC.com, a research in 2013 found that couples in long-distance relationships enjoy a healthier bond than those who are close to each other. One of the reasons is trust. When you are physically far from each other, you have no choice but to trust that your partner or spouse will remain faithful to you. This is what makes their relationship healthier. If you give in to the lure of financial infidelity, that can compromise the trust that you have in your relationship. Without trust, love will not be enough to sustain your marriage.
It increases the chances of making mistakes. When you have a secret that nobody knows, you will be forced to make decisions about it on your own. The thing is, no matter how good our intentions are, we have some distorted perceptions that might keep us from making rational decisions. This is when the opinion of someone else will keep us from making mistakes. If you are keeping certain financial aspects of your life, there is usually no one there to tell you if you are making a mistake or not.
Common questions about financial infidelity
Question: What is financial infidelity?
Answer: Financial infidelity is when you are keeping money secrets from your spouse or partner because you know that they will not approve. It is when you deliberately lie about something they do not want you to do with your money.
Question: What is financial infidelity in a marriage?
Answer: This is when you go behind the back of your spouse and make money decisions they know nothing about. Most of the time, this ends up being destructive to your financial position.
Question: I committed financial infidelity, what should I do?
Answer: The first thing that you need to do is to come clean with your spouse. Explain why you made the decisions and respect whatever reaction you will get. If they cannot forgive you easily, then do not force it. And make sure that you will do your best not to keep secrets anymore.
Question: I am a victim of financial infidelity, what should I do?
Answer: The first thing is to listen. Give your spouse or partner the benefit of the doubt. Try to understand why they made the decision without consulting you. Maybe there is something that you can both do to keep the situation from getting worse. Learn how to forgive if there is a mistake that happened.
Question: What are the signs of financial infidelity?
Answer: There are many signs of financial infidelity. One is when you see transactions in your credit card statement that you know nothing about. Another sign is when your spouse or partner wants to change your joint account. If your partner is also paranoid about getting any mail, that is a sign that they are trying to hide something from you.