Saturday, April 10, 2010

Financial Infidelity

Financial Infidelity

Last night on the Dave Ramsey show the theme was financial infidelity. I had heard about on his show before and decided to search online about it today. I was surprised to find a number of references on it.

Financial Infidelity is Rampant

Lies may signal significant problems in the relationship. In the Harris poll, people who said they were happy in their relationships were far less likely to have lied or been lied to than those who were less happy. Nearly half of those who said they were "not satisfied" said they had lied or been lied to; only one in five of the "very satisfied" crew reported that they or their partner had been untruthful.

Talking about these issues, rather than trying to avoid them with lies, can help a couple work out their differences and create a plan that gives both what they need, McCurdy said. The saver can still be assured that the family is building financial security, while the spender doesn't have to delay all gratification.

The first way in which financial infidelity robs you of opportunities to achieve greater intimacy is that it makes it possible for you and your spouse to go for long periods of time without sharing with each other how you spend your money.
I have recently seen a number of articles on the topic of "financial infidelity" -- telling lies about what you spend money on to your spouse or life partner, or keeping secret from him or her your ownership of a hidden stash of assets. Many experts suggest having one account together to pay all the bills and then each of you has a specified amount of money each month that you can spend how you want. Also, to have an agreement that you will check with the other person before spending over a certain amount.

It is also important that both parties have a say in the budget and are both involved in handling the finances. One instance when couples get in trouble is if one is given all of the responsibility of the bill paying and tries hiding some of the details when there is not enough money to pay all of the bills. If both parties are involved, they will both know what the situation is and can handle issues as they come up. But if one is handling the bills and the other is out spending not realizing they may be in trouble. Also, if the one that is in charge of handling the finances doesn’t want all of the responsibility, resentment can start building in the relationship.

The consensus view is that it is bad because it undermines trust in relationships. But I think that there is an added harm done by financial infidelity that is not as frequently noted.

Sexual infidelity not only undermines trust in relationships. It also undermines the efforts of those who engage in it of achieving true sexual intimacy with their spouses. It’s the same with financial infidelity. Those engaging in it not only risk seeing harm come to their relationships as a result. They also give up opportunities to achieve growth.

Studies show that money problems are one of the leading causes of marriage problems and divorce. I feel it is important to sit down and do your budget together and discuss how you are going to spend and invest your money. As with other marriage issues, communication is the key to a happy marriage and financial life.
So if you have been hiding financial issues from your spouse, it is time to confront them and get assistance to get back on the right track. The longer it goes on the harder it will be to fix.

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