Don’t let financial infidelity cause debt problems
The key to any successful relationship is good communication and this is particularly true when it comes to money matters.
“It’s a well-known fact that money trouble is a major stress in many relationships and is a significant factor in causing divorce. It can be that you and your partner disagree on saving and spending or have differing viewpoints on your financial goals. Even worse is if one partner is committing financial infidelity by keeping some money habits secret,” says Jeff Schwartz Executive Director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.
With Valentine’s Day approaching, it is a good time to take stock of your relationship. Be proactive to make sure that financial infidelity isn’t causing you debt problems or placing unnecessary stress on your relationship.
Are you a victim?
Do you suspect that your partner is committing financial infidelity? How do you know for sure?
“There are flags that may indicate your partner is committing financial infidelity; extra bills coming in the mail that you don’t recognize, debt collectors are calling or your cards are getting rejected to your surprise,” says Schwartz.
If any of this sounds familiar, it is time to be direct with your spouse so you can get to the bottom of the problem. If there is a problem, it can be confrontational, but addressing it is the only way you can move forward.
Don’t keep secrets
If you’ve got a secret account or credit card that your partner doesn’t know about, that in and of itself is committing financial infidelity. Not only is this a potential landmine in a relationship, not disclosing financials to your significant other is literally causing you to backtrack on your financial goals.
Imagine that your spouse discovers your secret card or account. Won’t they feel betrayed because you are lying? They’ll also be angry that efforts you were taking as a couple to reach your financial goals are being thwarted.
If this is you, stop this behaviour now to avoid damaging your relationship and your finances r.
Whether you are a victim of financial infidelity or if you are the perpetrator, it is important to remember that you are in this together, and unity and honesty is your only path ahead. It’s time for full disclosure of your debts.
Start by establishing common financial goals that you can agree on. Set a household budget that you both can live with and commit to living it. Promise to share details of spending, even if it’s within the budget. It’s all about building trust.
Is there something else going on?
Sometimes spouses have secret finances because there is another problem with financial implications, like a gambling problem, drug or alcohol addiction or even an addiction to shopping. If any of these are the reason behind secret spending, you need to address that problem first as a couple to get the appropriate support.
Once you address the emotional and physical reasons behind the problem, you can deal with the financial issues.