If you and your spouse have differing points of view on saving and spending, it might be a sore point in your relationship. In some cases, these differing points of view cause one of the spouses to commit financial infidelity and hide their financial activities from the other. Not only is this betrayal from a relationship point of view, it can cause crippling debt, which can deliver a serious blow to your household finances and to your relationship in one shot.
“It’s a well-known fact that money is a leading cause of disagreements in couples and ultimately divorce. It’s not surprising, considering the amount of stress that trying to manage debts will place on a relationship,” says Jeff Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.
“And if you discover that the source of this money stress is because one spouse has been dishonest about their spending, it can deliver a serious blow to even the sturdiest of relationships,”,” says Schwartz.
These are some behaviours that signal financial infidelity. If this sounds like you, or is behaviour you suspect your spouse is engaging in, it’s time to get your relationship back on financial track.
Do you have secret bank accounts or credit cards? Why? Nothing good is going to come from having secret spending. It may seem like a way to be able to buy a few things here and there without the hassle of having to get “approval” from your spouse, but it’s far more trouble than that.
When it comes to money, full disclosure is necessary to make sure that you are on the same page and that you are properly managing your household finances to achieve goals together.
Harbouring secret accounts not only contributes to your money mismanagement, it creates a scenario of total betrayal that may be hard to overcome financially and emotionally.
What’s mine is yours?
Do you have an account that your spouse knows about, but you refuse to give them access to it? Is your partner in the dark about how much you actually earn, and therefore how much you’ve got to contribute to the household expenses?
It’s ok to keep separate accounts as a means of independence, but if you are doing so to give yourself a tool to hide your financials, that is a serious red flag. Overcome this by having regular financial “date nights” where you discuss your finances and where you are at in terms of your goals. You can have financial independence and a happy relationship. You’ve just got to commit to communicating.
While using a cash lifestyle is a great way to stay in control of credit, are you using cash to buy things on the side so that your spouse won’t be able to track your purchases?
Perhaps you are sneaking around feeding a shopping or gambling addiction? Either way, financial infidelity is going to threaten your finances and your relationship. It’s hard, but you’ve got to come clean with your spouse, not only so that you can work on repairing your finances, but so that your spouse can help support you to get the help you need to deal with your problem at the source, once and for all.
Are money troubles threatening your relationship? Are you forced to choose between for better or for worse, simply because of a debt load that you can’t handle? We can help you strategize around your debts so that you can start to heal your relationship together. Contact one of our trained credit counsellors at or visit our free online debt analysis.