Relationship Problems: 1 out of 3 Guilty of Financial Infidelity

April 18, 2011 by

One of the relationship problems that isn’t discussed enough is financial infidelity, yet over a third of couples who have combined their finances have lied or kept a secret about their finances. Not surprisingly, that deception led to an argument for almost half of the couples.

Don’t think you’re a culprit? After all, you’re truthful about your money… most of the time. There is more than one way to be financially unfaithful to your partner, and I’ve encountered many of them as a Portland counselor. Consider these statistics from a recent study by the National Endowment for Financial Education.

Relationship Problems Due to Financial Infidelity

5% had secret bank accounts
17% kept small purchases (i.e., a new pair of shoes or a video game) a secret
18% of people who have hidden financial details from their partner also have a hidden cash stash
8% admit to lying to their partner about finances
9% hide bills from their partners
2% of men and 5% of women lie about their debt load
4% lie about their earnings
5% hide major purchases from their partner

Do any of these describe you? Many of these infractions may not seem like a big deal. How can it hurt my partner to hide the fact that I bought a new mobile phone? But as an experienced Portland counselor, I can tell you that honesty and open communication are important parts of a relationship and those tiny white lies add up. It may be that you are actually avoiding a discussion about larger issues, such as your differing priorities or goals, but things won’t improve if you don’t talk about these relationship problems.