Have you ever withheld financial information from your spouse or partner? Does your partner know how wealthy you are? Are you accruing expenses that your significant other knows nothing about? Or lending money that’s supposed to be both of yours to a friend or relative? Do you have reasons to justify your actions or are simply a two-faced liar?
Managing money can be difficult in any relationship, and it becomes even more difficult when you or your partner are not being transparent about your finances. No matter how close they may be, some people do not know about their partner’s finances. Even the ones who think they’re being transparent with each other about their money situation are still ignorant to certain aspects of their partner’s finances.
People hiding their wealth from their partner is a very common occurrence and it is commonly referred to as financial infidelity. There have, however, been arguments as to whether it is a form of lying or it can be justified. Generally, people refuse to divulge their genuine financial status for a number of reasons: pragmatism, control, guilt and fear.
The pragmatic reason may be to protect themselves from an eventual split or divorce in the future and not wanting the other to know how much money is available; control may include revenge spending – one partner overspending to prove their independence or to get back at the other for something lacking in the relationship. Guilt in the sense of a partner being notoriously financially irresponsible, so the person attempts to cover it up; and fear of the partner’s reaction if/when they realize the partner’s real financial status or worry that the partner might judge them for being indulgent, selfish, frivolous or undeserving and stop loving them.
Most times, money problems aren’t about money — they are symptoms, and the problems are truly about something else. For instance, concealing fiscal information can be a self-protective response to feeling unsafe in the relationship. Perhaps on an intellectual level, you like the idea of revealing your true financial status and merging your money with your spouse’s, but essentially, you don’t trust that your partner will be there for you so you give him/her a different information about the amount that you make or you hide your savings accounts . Or you decide to keep an inheritance or large salary from your partner while you’re dating because you’re concerned about being taken advantage of, or being loved only for your money. You do not see it as lying, but as protecting yourself and your future…but this also unleashes a plethora of tough personal questions: What will it do to your relationship when your partner finds out your real finance status? How will you be able to handle having so much more than your spouse?
Another instance is covering up your financial situation, hoping you’ll be able to get a handle on things before your spouse finds out. Subconsciously, you feel like if you do not reveal the true state of things, then the debt doesn’t exist and you won’t have to face the consequences of it. It is not really about the money, but your psychological state; you are in a state of denial. And if you’re consistently hiding money problems from your partner, then it may be that there is power imbalance in the relationship or you’re not on the same page when it comes to finances and your goals. In all instances, there is a deeper reason, but the money is just where it shows up.
Financial infidelity can be just as painful and damaging as other kinds of infidelity, no matter the reason behind it. This is because it encompasses everything from shading the truth to omitting important (but relevant) information to outright lies. Sure, they’re not all equally bad – for instance taking out some money because of a partner’s awful spending habit and saving for the rainy day, but when a partner is caught concealing huge amounts of debt or involved in money-related addictions, it can lead to a total loss of trust and feelings of betrayal. Also, depending on the deception and the type of lie, the partner may even consider ending the relationship completely, leading to the destruction of the relationship.
There is the other part where a court can penalize you for not disclosing your full income and award your ex more spousal support if you get divorced.
The bottom line is simple: Lying, hiding or being secretive about money is not a good look in a relationship or marriage. In the case that you are culprit,don’t bury your head in the sand. Chin up and have the difficult and serious talk about your finances with your spouse. Make a decision to be honest, open, and to keep your promises. Accept your responsibility for bringing financial infidelity into your marriage. And sincerely apologize because if you refuse to deal head-on with is, as well as the issues of trust that come with it by implementing money management tips, your relationship stand little or no chance of survival.
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