Is Your Spouse Financially Unfaithful?

Often, people marry each other because they love the other for their differences. Opposites certainly can attract, but when it comes to at least one issue – money – opposite beliefs can lead to trouble in a marriage. Recent reports have tackled the surprisingly common occurrence of financial infidelity in marriage. In these cases it's secret spending, not sex, that can result in divorce. One psychologist interviewed for CBS News asks if spouses are lying about their spending, "what does it mean in the big picture if you can't be honest?" A lie is a lie, whether used to cover up a sexual affair or a financial affair with a secret, expensive pair of shoes. And this financial infidelity is affecting more than 30 percent of American couples. The psychologist came up with some tips about what to look for to determine whether a partner is lying about money: Defensiveness: When you ask your partner about money, does he or she get defensive or try to avoid the conversation? If so, keep digging. Your partner might have something to hide. Control issues: Does your partner want and have complete control over the household's finances? Do you feel like you are intentionally being left out of the planning and management processes related to your money? If so, try to get involved. You might find out that your spouse is hiding secret spending from you. Shady track record: It's commonly said that the greatest predictor of the future is the past. If your partner has previously lied to others about money and you know it, that might be a sign that he or she is more likely to lie to you about finances. The above signs of possible financial infidelity should ignite action on the part of partners who want to improve the trust within their relationships. A healthy marriage or partnership should be built on honesty in all aspects of the relationship. Professionals recommend that partners talk about money, their different attitudes regarding spending, saving and earning goals. They should work together on the household finances as a way to set and evaluate negotiated financial goals as a team whose emotional and financial security depends on honest spending habits. What do you think about secret spending? Is that dishonesty as dangerous to a marriage as a sexual affair? Why or why not? Have you ever hidden purchases from your partner? Source CBS News: "Is Your Partner a Cheater – with Money?" 21 Jan. 2011

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