Financial infidelity is one of the most dangerous things that can occur in a marriage. Financial Infidelity occurs when couples with combined finances lie to each other about money. For example one partner may hide significant debts in a separate account while the other partner is unaware. Another example highlighted by Investopedia is when one partner makes large discretionary expenditures without discussing the matter with their partner.
Some different illustrations include lending money to a family member without the consent of a spouse, non-disclosure of financial assets etc.
Financial infidelity can just wreck a marriage when it is revealed. At the point when a partner finds a financial record that is energized as far as possible while never realizing that card existed, their trust for their partner and their idea of financial security are hurled aside at the same time.
Have you at any point purchased a bag or a pair of shoes without letting your spouse know? Have you at any point made an investment in real estate without informing your spouse? Do you have credit cards or loans that your spouse knows nothing about or money hidden in a secret account? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you are guilty of committing financial infidelity.
A current review revealed that 50% of married adults admitted to keeping money secrets from their spouses. The study further revealed that 37% of men and 56% of women admitted to lying to their partner about money (Huffington Post). Another report by CreditCards.com found that 7 million Americans – mostly men – have hidden bank accounts or credit card accounts.
Recently there was a situation where a man was ill, in a state of coma and required urgent medical intervention. This man was very wealthy however he had not involved his wife in the finances of the family and she didn’t know where he kept his money and so it was difficult for the family to pay for his medical bills. There was another scenario where a young girl, in her mid-twenties, had to bear huge financial burdens of the family such as paying school fees of her siblings after her father passed away. Her father was a wealthy man however he didn’t manage his finances when he was alive and he also didn’t empower his wife.
This generation, women are financially independent and in some cases earn more money than their spouses. As a result, these women do not disclose how much they earn to their spouses for various reasons.
This is clearly a common phenomenon around the world and between both sexes.
How can we become more faithful financially?
First of all if you are about to get married it is important to discuss financial matters with your fiancé. What are your financial goals and aspirations and what are your fiancés financial goals and aspirations? It is also important to disclose any debt incurred before marriage.
You should identify and understand your financial personalities
Are you a impulsive, conservative, a hoarder etc?
Identify your financial strengths and weaknesses?
Decide on what works best for your marriage
I love this quote from the A-Z of personal finance which says “there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to finances in relationships, but with careful planning and clear communication you can avoid many frustrating conversations.” If a joint account works then by all means open one. Another alternative would be to maintain separate accounts but create a joint account for savings or expenses.
Decide who pays for what
Some couples may decide that the husband pays for major expenses like rent, school fees etc while the wife pays for domestic expenses such as food, domestic staff etc. In some case the bills are paid equally. There are also instances where a couple can decide that all the monies the wife earns is put into savings and investments while the family survives on the husbands’ salary.
Disclose all your assets and monies and the location of documents relating to these assets
Ensure your spouse is your next of kin. Disclose passwords or pins for bank accounts
Create a family budget and include the children
This is an opportunity for the family to bond. Decide on a time where the family can come together to discuss financial matters.
Teach your children from an early age, how to earn, save, spend, invest and give.
A marriage should be built on trust. Communication and honesty is also important for a marriage to last. Many marriages have ended up in divorce due to financial infidelity. As the year 2018 begins make a decision to be open and honest with your spouse about your finances. Talk about your finances. It may be the lifeline that your marriage requires.