Financial infidelity is not a new concept. People especially married people have long known and hear about this and most of them have been looking for ways to make sure they do not end up committing it and hurting the person they love. But it happens and whether you like it or not, if affects a lot of married couples financial lives
Finances is one of the many things married couples need to agree on but sadly, Huffingtonpost.com shared that it is one of the top reasons for divorce. It is up there with incompatibility or different set of priorities. Money is such a powerful concept that there are times it breaks a marriage union apart to the point that they want to separate and divorce.
It is surprising because once you get married, it is not the only thing you need to work on. There is building your family and trying to decide whether you want dogs or cats or both. There is also the topic of having kids and how many you can take care of. You also talk about the trajectory of both of your careers and if you can afford getting a house or buying a new car at some point in your relationship.
These are just some of the things married couples need to work on but if you look at all of them, most of them seem to have a common underlying factor – money. Buying a house or a car raises up the question of money. Having kids also puts in question the money especially with all the news about student loans and how it restricts graduates and ties them to the debt starting from their first paycheck.
There are a lot of financial tips for newlyweds and this should help them stay away from financial infidelity against their partner in life. Marriage is based on love as well as trust and those two takes a long time to build. But they can easily be broken with financial lies in the relationship. This can lead to a break-up and eventually parting ways.
Most common types of financial infidelity
When you are in a relationship, there are a lot of types of financial cheating. Here are some of the most common ones committed by married couples.
- Building up a secret bank account. This is one of the ways married partners commit infidelity with their money because it stashes money away from the husband or wife. In essence, they are hiding the money and keeping it away from their partner. It is different if coming into the marriage, they already have an account under their name and the other one knows about it. But if they open a secret account while married just to have a place where to secretly keep money then that can already be considered financial infidelity. But there are times that partners try to save up for a surprise gift for a birthday or anniversary and they need to have a place to keep the money.
- Buying property without talking about it. Making money with real estate is a big help with your finances because it has the highest percentage of increasing in value over time. But when you choose to hide it from your partner, you are betraying trust. If the name on the title is just you and you consciously leave him or her out of the picture you are already committing a form of financial infidelity. It might be different if you are again trying to pull off one big surprise and put the property under your partner’s name or your children’s name but secretly purchasing a property under your name is different.
- Investing in a business venture secretly. Your partner might not be that involved with the finances and you are the one earning and budgeting. But that does not give you the right to make big financial decisions on just your own. At the end of the day, you are still married and you have a husband or wife that loves you and wants to support your decisions especially if it is for the family. Getting into a business is a big decision and will take so much of your time that your partner will eventually know about whether you say it or not. It would be better to be upfront and talk about it rather than keep secrets.
- Making long term plans on your own. As you prepare your budget and look at how your income and expense measure up against each other, you always need to look at the big picture and this includes long term goals. It can be retiring at a certain age or paying off the house in a specific number of years. it can also be going back to school in a few years or living off in a different continent as soon as investment are at a certain amount. These are all great plans but once you try to do these all on your own without consulting your partner or much worse, leaving them out of the plan is financial infidelity and you are better off going separate ways.
- Stealing from the kids. WSJ.com shared that the average student loan debt for a 2015 ggraduate stands at a whopping $35,000. This is one of the primary reasons why parents are bending over backwards in trying to save up a college fund for their kid’s use in college. There are even some parents who are able to put up some trust money for their children that they can use at a certain age. But you might be tempted to use the money without letting your partner know and this is financial infidelity. There are a hundred reasons you might want to dip your hands into your kid’s money like gambling problems or trying to cover up a financial mess but you need to remember that it will take time to put in the same amount that you took out if you can even put it back. If you have financial problems, you need to talk about it with your partner and not try to solve it on your own.
Proactive financial management
You need to take your finances by hand and approach them with a sense of urgency rather than letting them develop on their own. Here are a few more things you might want to remember.
- Talk about short and long term goals. Huffingtonpost.com shared that it is important in having a vision or goal which can help you reach financial strength. Align the two and have those short term ones complement your long term goals so you get to reach them according to your timeline.
- Have an allowance for each of you. To prevent having to hide financial purchases from each other, it might be better to have an allowance every month and set a limit on purchases that you can make without having to consult the other. You could both agree that any purchases $50 and above needs to be talked about.
- Keep you communication lines open. One of the marriage problems you need to overcome is the lack of communication between the two of you and this should not happen especially with financial decisions. You need to continuously talk about your plans, successes and even struggles so you can both financially mature.
There are many forms of financial infidelity that you need to overcome so you can have a happy marriage. You just need to work together and be truthful with your relationship so you do not put your relationship at risk.