How to Solve the “Financial Infidelity” in Your Marriage

About 15 million Americans are currently hiding a bank statement from there spouse.

financial infidelity
Financial infidelity can be just as bad as physical or emotional cheating. (Getty Images)
Getty Images/Blend Images

With about a third of Americans agreeing that “financial infidelities,” or lying about money, are worse than physically cheating, it may come as a surprise that so many are actively participating in it.

About 15 million of us are currently hiding a bank statement or credit card bill from a significant other, a study from found, NBC News reported.

But what constitutes as true financial infidelity? The most basic definition is  an outright lie about money or spending — but that’s without considering the intent.

For example, “I’ve heard stories of people taking their income and funneling it into a separate account, and then using their significant other’s income to pay all the household bills until they’re ready to end the marriage,” CEO of O’Brien Wealth Partners and certified financial planner, Jill Fopiano, told NBC. “That is extreme malicious intent.”

Other toxic examples include concealing a gambling problem, hiding debt or holding onto extra cash to put yourself in a position of power over your S.O.

Many find themselves in sticky financial infidelity situations in the same way they do the romantic version, according to NBC.

“It wasn’t planned, it just ‘happens,’” is a common excuse, says Shelly Church, advisor with Raymond James financial service. “And once it starts, quite often people end up getting in deeper than they thought they would. They figure the market will save them over time, or they’ll be able to get things paid off before it’s noticed. But more often, than not, they can’t work themselves out of it, and the hole gets deeper.”

These issues tend to spring from a lack of communication, so one quick fix is to just come clean and lay all of your financial indiscretions out on the table.

“In many cases when there is financial infidelity, there is one partner who is responsible for day-to-day household finances, and one partner responsible for the bigger financial picture,” Fopiano told NBC.

But in successful relationships, both partners have a clear view on the money coming in and going out.


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