You’d never cheat on your spouse and you trust him, too, right? Sexual infidelity isn’t the only type of infidelity to threaten a marriage. According to Forbes, financial infidelity, hoarding money without the other spouse knowing or making secret purchases, is just as damaging to the relationship as sexual infidelity.
Even when I was a child, I heard men and women joke about, “Oh, I’ve had that for a long time!” explaining the moment when a wife walks out in a new dress or pair of shoes the husband’s never seen before. Spouses may also hide the things they’ve purchased with “shared” money from their significant other.
The TODAY.com and SELF study mentioned in the Forbes article revealed that 46 percent of people had, at some point, been dishonest with their significant other about purchases and money. And even more than that, over 60 percent, did believe that sneaking around with the bank account qualified as cheating. It can lead to trust issues in the relationship and ultimately break a marriage apart, just as sexual infidelity can.
NYMagÂ does a good job of summarizing why a woman may engage in financial infidelity (that isn’t to say that men don’t do it, too, because they do), listing reasons like anxiety related to dependence, missing the free feeling of single life when purchasing decisions were hers alone to make, and a sense of security that if something did go wrong in the marriage, the money would be there when she needed it.
An article on Huffington PostÂ makes a suggestion that works well in my marriage: each spouse gets a certain amount of “fun money” each month. It’s cash so it’s easy to avoid going over the allotted amount, and it’s there to use however you want.
If you want to stash it away, do it. If you want to buy something extravagant that would make absolutely no sense to your partner as a purchase from your shared account, go ahead and buy it with your personal money.
The article also does say that if you’ve been hiding money or purchases, you should come clean and then vow to communicate and work together to decide on purchases from your joint account in the future. There’s also a list of warning signs to look for in your partner if you suspect he could be engaging in financial infidelityâ€”does he want total control of the accounts? Change the subject when money comes up? Are there unexplained withdrawals from any accounts?
Do you think financial infidelity’s become commonplace in most relationships? Do you and your spouse have monthly allowances you give yourselves to spend on whatever you’d like, no questions asked?
Photo credit: TheAlieness GiselaGiardinoÂ²Â³