Tags: financial infidelity
, national endowment for financial education
Categories: Dating and Relationships
In a world with AshelyMadison.com, many married people worry that their partner will commit infidelity. However, while extramarital affairs are a major concern, a recent poll suggests that married couples may also need to worry about financial infidelity.
In December, Harris Interactive surveyed over 2,000 men and women in an online poll commissioned by ForbesWomen and the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE). The findings? One in three Americans, or 31%, admitted to lying to their spouses about money, while another one-third said they have been deceived.
“A third of the population admits to not being honest with their spouse,” NEFE chief executive Ted Beck told Forbes. “That is a big number. These indiscretions cause significant damage to the relationship.”
The most common deceptions included hiding money and lying about minor purchases or bills. However, some of the men and women surveyed admitted to opening secret bank accounts and lying about major purchases.
Financial deceptions, both minor and major, can greatly damage or even destroy a marriage. Among the respondents affected by financial infidelity, 67% said the deception led to an argument, 42% said it caused less trust, 16% said the financial infidelity lead to a divorce, and 11% of respondents said it led to a separation.
“When your spouse cheats sexually, you can walk away and it’s gone,” said Theo Pauline Nestor, who learned that her husband had been secretly gambling for years. “When they cheat financially, you have to live with the effects for however long it takes to dig out of the hole.”
So what can couples do to avoid committing, or being the victim of, financial infidelity? The answer is simple, says Beck. Talk to your partner about money, the earlier the better, preferably before marriage. If you’re already married, approach your partner in a nonthreatening way and initiate a open and honest conversation. Communication is key to a happy and healthy relationship. Don't let lies and secrecy destroy your marriage.