Financial Infidelity – lying about or having secret transactions regarding money – was cited as the main cause of their marital split by more than 70% of divorced couples. It is thus very important to know what causes it and how it can be avoided.
There are varying degrees of financial infidelity in marriages. From a seemingly unharmful misquoting of the price of a newly purchased personal item like a wife quoting half the price for what she has just purchased to avoid her husband from being worried, to more serious ones like that of a husband having a separate bank account which is operated without the knowledge of his wife.
Cases of infidelity that is of a smaller proportion, done with a good intention can turn out to have an adverse effect on a relationship when such cases are found out by the ‘victim’ partner. The matter then is not about the amount of money or the intention. The matter is then about mutual respect in a relationship. The ‘victimised’ partner would be justified of thinking that there may be other secrets that are hidden from them.
Transparency is the Key
A transparent communication based on mutual respect is the key to maintaining a healthy financial atmosphere at home. Here are three common financial infidelity mistakes committed by couples which if taken care of, can help you keep your marriage from breaking up:
1) Maintaining Separate Accounts: It is a common misbelief that separately operated accounts would keep couples from having any misunderstandings regarding finances. But as long as you are transparent about each other’s account details, it would not create any misunderstandings.
2) Authoritarian Control: If the husband or the wife takes complete control of all the expenses of the family, then chances of financial infidelity is high. In a healthy family, both the husband and wife are equally involved in most decisions regarding finances. Each one’s suggestions could be very crucial in certain cases. So its always wiser to consider both sides before making a final decision.
3) Keeping Secrets: Having any kind of secrets between a husband and a wife in marriage is dangerous. Financial secrets are as bad as any. It may start off with small expenses being kept as secrets, but it can soon be about bigger expenses. And before you know, it has laid the foundation for a relationship explosion.
Rectifiable and Forgivable
But unlike with other infidelities, financial infidelity is easily rectifiable and forgivable. By having a candid discussion about all the expenses we can put a start to repairing the relationship. It may take time to settle all the issues and pay off all those secret debts, but atleast you have started the process of rectification.
As Henry Ford puts it: “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”