Financial infidelity is not that rare in a marriage because financial problems are one of the top reasons for couples filing for divorce. Money matters in a relationship regardless of the amount. There are couples who fight because they have too little while others drift away because they have too much of it. It is not to say as well that everything is fine and dandy when you just have enough. It is simply human nature to just want more.
With this in mind, couples who are having troubles with their finances might be susceptible to being on the receiving end of infidelity when it comes to money. There are times when it is caught early on. However, there are instances where it is too late in the game and the damage is already irreparable and a divorce is already an option.
In all these, wouldn’t it be better if you are able to pick out the warning signs before they do some big damage and affect your relationship? Much like how you try and listen to your body to know if you need any medical help. Small changes in your appearance, lumps, rashes, and others are signs that you need to seek a doctor’s opinion.
The same thing can be done with financial infidelity – there are signs in the relationship that could point to it. Not all of them are flashing neon signs and that’s what makes it challenging. They could start out small and insignificant but the sooner you catch them, the better the chances that you can fix the problem. In fact, Marriage.com cites that the top two causes for divorce are infidelity and money. With that, here are some of the worth looking out for.
Avoiding money discussions
There are a number of ways a person commits financial betrayal and one of the first signs that they are is refusing to talk about money. It should put up the red flag if this was a sudden change in behavior. If they were open to discussing financial matters early in the marriage and they suddenly changed, there must have been a trigger.
However, it does not mean as well that if they already did not want to talk about money early in your relationship then it is acceptable. Marriage is a partnership and the more you talk about the factors surrounding your relationship, the higher the chances that you will succeed. Money might be a sensitive topic, to begin with, but the more you talk about it, the more comfortable you will be.
The way to approach is to not be judgemental on how much each of you makes and look down on the partner bringing in a smaller amount. Be encouraging and make exciting plans for the future together. It can be a trip at the end of the year or even targeting a year for the both of you to retire. Make the conversation as fun and encouraging as possible so you look forward to doing it over and over again.
Packages keep coming into the house
Financial infidelity could only be kept a secret for so long. If they become addicted to online shopping, you would see an increasing amount of new items around the house. There are a number of ways to manage an impulsive buying behavior but you need to identify it first. And packages that keep on being delivered at home is one possible sign.
When this happens, it is best to sit down with your partner and talk about your observation. Just ask them about it and take it from there. If your suspicions are true, you might not like what you are about to hear but it is a start. A start to a better relationship as long as you are there to support, encourage, and find ways to fix the problem together.
Mood swings can be triggered by financial infidelity
There could be times as well where you might notice a more frequent or out of the ordinary mood swings from your partner. Especially when you start to talk about money or anything about it. They start to feel jittery, mad or even change the topic real quick. You might not notice it at first but it can manifest more frequently and intensely.
If left unchecked, this could lead to hurtful arguments where you can end up saying things you don’t really mean just to get back at your partner. And in a relationship, it is never easy to take back what you have already said. More importantly, those uttered in anger are oftentimes the most painful ones. With this be sure to have a cool head and talk to them out of love and not of anger.
Not letting you get near personal gadgets
At this day and age, you no longer have to be carrying around your bank books to know your account level. Technology has made it a lot easier to manage your financial accounts through your computer and even your smartphone. You can monitor your accounts, transfer funds, schedule and make payments for just about anything. This is one of the reasons why partners committing financial infidelity would not want you getting your hands on their gadgets.
For one, you could see what they have been up to with their money or worse, your joint account. They also do not know what to say or how to react when you are already holding their gadgets. Much like how cheating people don’t want you to read the messages on their phone, the same goes for those cheating with money.
Unexplained account activity
For most people, this is the last piece of evidence they need to confirm that their partner is committing financial infidelity. Once they look at their bank accounts or credit card statements, they notice some irregularities. From charges on the card to a depleting account balance, these can all point to problems with money.
Ways to deal with it
If you are in this situation, here are a few things you can do to get started in repairing the relationship.
Tackle the root cause of the problem
There will be a reason why your partner is doing what they are doing. It can be an affair, getting into gambling, or addiction to drugs. Whatever it is, the important thing is to identify the root cause and work on that. It will not do you any good if you keep on addressing the symptoms which in this case is the financial infidelity.
This will only happen when you are able to talk to your partner about the problem. Once they open up to you, focus on fixing the situation and try not to judge your partner. Focus on the attitude and the problem at hand. Do not fall into the blame game because once it starts, it might be hard to make them open up to you again.
Seek professional help if you need to
There will be times where it would be hard to fix things on your own. Much like how you go to doctors for their expert advice, there is nothing wrong in soliciting professional help. If you need to work on your finances especially when you get in debt, look for a company that can help you consolidate your debts. You get the convenience of making one payment for all your debt obligations and you get to monitor them a little easier.
There could be times when you need to work on your marriage. You can talk to a marriage counselor to work out the issues and try to rebuild the trust between you and your loved one. The love can still be there but the infidelity on money and the hiding could put a strain on the relationship. A counselor would be able to help you discuss these issues and point you in the right direction.
Financial infidelity can ruin a relationship and you need to be aware of the signs with how to spot it in a relationship. The sooner you get to discern the situation, the better the chances you can work on it and stay together.