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Financial Infidelity: Everything You Need To Know

By on 2021-05-04 11:34:38, 0 Comments

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Any relationship has its fair share of problems, one of which could be infidelity. While often associated with having romantic or sexual relations with another, infidelity could come in other forms like financial infidelity. It could be as seemingly innocent as spending money without the partner’s knowledge or as grave as having secret debts or a bad credit score. In essence, financial infidelity occurs when couples with combined incomes lie about money. 


The Reasons Behind Financial Infidelity

A survey showed more than 44% of Americans admit to having committed some form of financial infidelity, with 27% believing it is worse than physical infidelity. But why did they commit financial infidelity in the first place? Well, it could be rooted in another, deeper issue or a by-product of another action. 

Here are some possible explanations or root causes of financial infidelity.


This is one of the most common reasons for financial infidelity. Whatever the addiction may be, one would need money to finance it. Since it would likely be illegal and/or not healthy, the partner with addiction would resort to lies resulting in large credit card debts or trouble with various financial services.


Financial infidelity typically goes hand-in-hand with sexual infidelity. There may be incidental expenses for secret meetings, gifts, and the like which must be kept secret. 


In some cases, financial infidelity is justified by someone as a form of revenge for something that the other spouse did, like having an affair. The previously wronged spouse feels it’s only right for the other to suffer which would only create bigger problems for the couple.


In this case, the problem could be rooted in some childhood experiences. Some people can be money hiders due to trauma from unstable family finances during their childhood. They may justify it as their own way to save money for future emergencies.


This, to some extent, is the most acceptable reason behind financial infidelity. Some people would siphon off money from, say, the household budget, for future use. This typically occurs if the partner is too controlling and wants the other to be financially dependent.


Financial Infidelity Red Flags To Watch For

How did a couple with shared goals go from making financial decisions together to a situation where one hides money from the other? 

Here are some warning signs that point to financial infidelity.

  • You find paperwork for a new bank account or credit card statements in your partner’s name that you know nothing about.
  • You have been removed from your joint accounts without even a single word of notification or explanation.
  • Money in your savings or checking account suddenly or even regularly goes missing and is attributed by your partner to some banking mistake.
  • Your partner wants you to have separate accounts all of a sudden.
  • Your partner has new things they don’t tell about and hide.
  • Your partner avoids discussing financial matters with you.
  • Your partner is overly concerned about collecting the mail themselves.
  • Your partner gets too cagey or defensive about budgeting.


How To Deal With Financial Infidelity

Financial infidelity could certainly be the downfall of a relationship. First off, discuss your respective financial situations at the onset of your relationship. In case you notice some of the previously discussed red flags or for some reason, have committed financial infidelity, here are some things to consider to properly deal with the problem.

  • There must be full disclosure from the person who committed financial infidelity. This also includes a willingness to stop and make amends.
  • Moving forward, there must be transparency regarding finances.
  • Make plans together. For example, about settling debts or stopping the accumulation of new debts.
  • Go to financial therapy if needed to ensure long-term resolution.


Frequently Asked Questions About Financial Infidelity

Is financial infidelity abuse?

Financial infidelity is different from financial abuse as the latter has more to do with controlling the partner. There may be some cases, however, where the two intertwine.

What causes financial infidelity?

Reasons may vary but would typically reflect on larger relationship problems. It may be caused by an addiction, extramarital affair, revenge, anxiety, debt, shame, or self-preservation.

What does the Bible say about financial infidelity?

The Bible talks about the husband and wife becoming “one flesh”, which means union in all aspects including financially.

How do you apologize for financial infidelity?

First, confess and mean it. Start making amends by being more transparent, putting a stop to the lies. Then, form a plan of action with your partner to undo the damage or keep it from worsening. Rebuilding trust will certainly be not easy.

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