Are you cheating on your spouse?
And no, we’re not talking about infidelity, but cheating in terms of finances — as in, not being truthful with your significant other when it comes to money. After all, it’s much more common than you think.
In fact, according to a survey from CreditCards.com, nearly half of all those in a relationship have admitted to “financial infidelity,” which may consist of spending more than their spouse would be OK with, hiding credit cards or keeping secret accounts, or even lying about how much they’ve racked up in credit card debt.
Specifically, those who admitted to financial infidelity via CreditCards.com’s survey is 44 percent, and it’s a disturbing number when you consider that one of the leading reasons behind breakups and divorces is financially related matters. The survey polled 2,500 adults who are currently in some sort of committed relationship, whether it be marriage, a partnership, or co-habitation. Here’s a closer look at what it found.
Why People Commit Financial Infidelity
Money is important to a couple’s well-being and lifestyle, which can make conversations about such things difficult or uncomfortable to have when the time arises. And the results of CreditCards.com’s survey reflect this. In fact, about 25 percent of those polled indicated that they’re embarrassed about the way they handled money.
Other ways individuals surveyed justified keeping finances secret from their partners include the need for privacy or control over their own financial life, and the issue just never coming up in the conversation.
The Link Between Financial Infidelity, Problems
As we noted, financial issues are one of the leading causes of split among couples. How detrimental can it be to a relationship? Just take a look at some of these findings from the CredtCards.com study:
- About 30 percent said financial infidelity is worse than actual infidelity.
- In 75 percent of the couples surveyed, at least one reported that some sort of financial deception detrimentally impacted their relationship with their partner.
- About one-third of all Millennials surveyed said they would break up with their partner over financial deceit, like a poor credit score or high credit card debt.
Noting the aforementioned, keeping things secret from a partner can lead to a lot more than just financial woes, but trust issues as well.
Why it’s Important to Talk About Money
Discussions about money shouldn’t be a taboo topic in a relationship because of how high the stakes are when it comes to financial decisions. Money can help dictate where you and your spouse live, and knowing whether you’re on the right savings track can cue you in on if you’re on a path to meeting future financial goals, like college savings, retirement savings, a vacation home, etc.
Simply put, talking openly and honestly about money can help couples tap into their full financial potential and help them realize their goals. Like most things in a relationship, finances are best addressed when they’re addressed together.
Are you cheating on your spouse financially?