Financial infidelity occurs when one partner conceals financial information or engages in financial activities without the knowledge or consent of the other.
Just like sexual infidelity, it’s a relationship killer. Recent findings by Debt.com’s “Debt and Divorce” survey indicate that financial infidelity is a significant factor in about one-third of modern divorces.
What does financial infidelity look like?
Financial infidelity is all about secrets, so it can take numerous forms, including:
- Hidden debts: One spouse may be hiding a stack of credit cards, loans taken out behind the other spouse’s back and a pile of unpaid bills.
- Private accounts: It’s one thing when spouses agree to each keep their own “rainy day” or “mad money” accounts – it’s quite another when one spouse is hiding money away from the other.
- Unilateral spending: A lot of financial infidelity involves one spouse spending money without discussing it with the other, whether that’s giving a loan to a relative, buying expensive items or investing in crypto.
- Undisclosed income: One spouse may intentionally hide how much they are making from the other, especially if they freelance or get bonuses.
While a lot of people convince themselves that their “white lies” about their household finances aren’t that bad, they can ultimately shatter any sense of trust within their marital relationship. Financial infidelity can also negatively affect the entire family unit’s financial stability, which can easily breed resentment and conflict.
A lot of different things can bind a couple together, but trust and transparency are essential ties. Without those two things, many marriages simply fall apart. If you believe that your marriage is over, it may be time to find out more about your legal options.