Financial Infidelity In Relationships: How To Spot It And What To Do About It
On today’s episode, we explore the topic of financial infidelity in relationships. As we all know, infidelity is a violation of trust, and it can happen in many different ways – including financially. From secret purchases to hidden bank accounts, financial infidelity can be just as damaging as other forms of infidelity. This episode is a must-listen.
As the saying goes, “You’re only as sick as your secrets.” This statement rings true for many therapists and counselors. It’s important to address what we keep hidden from others, especially in our closest relationships. In fact, secrets and their impact on relationships are a common topic in our workshops at Marriage Helper.
Lately, we’ve been discussing the boundaries that come with keeping secrets in a marriage, particularly when it comes to finances. Financial infidelity is a real issue that can lead to the breakdown of trust in a relationship. During a recent conversation with Kimberly Holmes, our CEO at Marriage Helper, we dove into the topic of financial infidelity. Regardless of the term, the premise remains the same – doing something secretly behind your partner’s back ultimately leads to a breach of trust.
How does financial infidelity happen? When you or your spouse deliberately lie about money and choose not to tell the truth about spending habits (big or small), that is financial infidelity. Kimberly gives an example of something as simple as purchasing a big-screen TV without telling your spouse. On the other hand, it could involve something more extreme, such as opening a separate bank account to spend money without your partner’s knowledge. Either way, the issue isn’t necessarily the amount of money spent but rather the underlying cause of the secrecy.
It’s essential to have open communication with your partner when it comes to finances. Couples should have a conversation about their financial rules and agreement on purchases. For example, at Marriage Helper, Kimberly has a money threshold for her Director of Operations. Her team can make financial decisions below that threshold without her input because she trusts them. However, anything above that requires a conversation. Similarly, in a marriage, couples can set a limit for purchases that need a conversation. Most of the time, when a partner spends money in secret, it’s not about the money itself. It’s more about the underlying reason behind the secrecy. It can be a sign that they’re not fully committed to the marriage or hiding something else from their partner. For instance, they may be using the money to engage in activities that could lead to the ultimate breach of trust – like an affair or addiction.
The impact of financial infidelity on a marriage can be devastating. The partner kept in the dark about the spending may feel betrayed and disrespected. It can create feelings of anger, resentment, and mistrust. Financial infidelity can also cause practical problems, such as debt or unpaid bills, which can further strain the relationship.
So what can couples do to prevent financial infidelity from occurring? Open communication is key. Both partners should discuss their views on finances and agree on their financial rules. They should be transparent about their spending and avoid making purchases that exceed their agreed-upon threshold without consulting their partner. Couples can also create a joint account for shared expenses such as rent or groceries. This account can be a way to ensure that both partners are contributing to the household finances and have a clear picture of their shared expenses. It’s also essential to check in with each other regularly. Regular conversations about finances can help keep things on track and avoid surprises or misunderstandings. Couples can set aside time each week or month to review their finances and discuss any concerns or changes in their financial situation.
If you and your spouse are struggling with financial infidelity or other issues in your marriage, our three-day Marriage Helper workshop has been a lifeline for countless couples in crisis. Many couples on the brink of divorce attend our workshop and leave with renewed love and commitment to their marriage. Every couple is unique, so we tailor our approach to your needs. Our goal is to help you gain the tools and insights you need to rebuild a strong, healthy marriage.
Are you interested in attending? You can find more information at https://marriagehelper.com/couples-workshop/. We offer several dates throughout the year, and we encourage you to sign up as soon as possible since there are limited spots available, and they tend to fill up quickly. Remember, if you have any questions or concerns, you can always reach out to us at https://marriagehelper.com/. We are here to help you navigate the ups and downs of marriage, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.