How 'Financial Infidelity' Can Ruin Your Relationship

Financial infidelity is a fancy phrase for hiding money from your partner, and it's actually a pretty common issue. It can also be a hugely problematic one. If you're in a relationship, you need to talk about money.

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Money is already one of the leading causes of stress in a relationship. Combine that with lying about money and you have a recipe for disaster. MEL magazine points to a few interesting stats:

  • In a recent survey, around 12 million participants admitted to having a bank or credit card account that their partner didn't know about.
  • In a recent Harris poll, 75 per cent of respondents said that financial infidelity had a negative effect on the relationship.
  • A 2015 study from Fidelity, found that 43 per cent of respondents had no idea what their partner's income was. Of that group, 10% couldn't even guess it within $25,000.

These statistics highlight just how important it is to talk about money openly with a partner or spouse. In fact, there are some important conversations to have when a relationship gets serious. Some topics to discuss:

  • Credit history
  • Debt situation
  • Income and spending habits
  • Long-term savings goals

Of course, this is usually easier said than done. If you and your partner have different financial views or credit history, it can be extra challenging. I'd argue it's more important than ever to have the discussion in that case, though.

One way to jumpstart the conversation is to discuss your "money scripts." These are basically just different behavioural approaches you might have toward money. Learning how your partner handles money won't solve everything, but it's a good place to start.


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