We all strive to be in romantic relationships where we feel safe and loved. We also want to know we can trust our partner. But when that trust is shattered, it can feel like our world comes crashing down as we try to make sense of what happened.
Some people’s radars are tuned in to behaviors that alert them of illicit romantic liaisons and snip them in the bud. But, it’s not just affairs that can wreck relationships. There is an elusive trait, worth watching out for, that can be even worse than emotional affair - financial infidelity.
Sheila met her husband through a mutual friend and was instantly captivated by him. He seemed to have it all. He was a homeowner, had a great job, a nice car, and even all his teeth — important at any age!
Within a few weeks he had moved in with her. Things were going well, except for one thing that bothered Sheila. Her partner would often receive calls or messages and would sneak away to respond. It left her wondering if he was cheating on her.
But she didn’t give up easily, and eventually confronted him. To her surprise, it turned out he was hiding a different secret — he was deep in debt and on the verge of losing everything. This kind of financial infidelity, where one partner hides their financial situation from the other, can really damage a relationship.
Other forms of financial infidelity can include things like spending money without permission, or making big financial decisions without consulting your partner.
Sheila was taken aback by her partner’s revelation. When he had moved in he offered to share the costs, and they enjoyed going out for meals together. There were no signs that he was struggling financially.
But as it turns out, people engage in financial infidelity for various reasons. Some feel ashamed of their situation and fear their partner’s judgement. Others do it to control the finances, while some have addictions to spending or gambling.
According to an article by The Guardian, a survey conducted by US News & Report revealed that couples had experienced or told lies about finances in their relationship. The top lie was secret purchases, with 31% of couples admitting to it. Hidden debts came in second place at 28%, followed by dishonesty about income at 23%.
Regardless of the reasons, financial infidelity can destroy trust, ignite arguments, and even lead to financial ruin. Fortunately Sheila story has a happy ending. She and her partner managed to work through their issues and rebuild their trust. Although her dreams of being financially supported changed, something new was born — a foundation of trust, openness and support in times of struggle. All the ingredients for a happy, strong and lasting relationship.
If you suspect that your partner may be engaging in financial infidelity, it is crucial to have an open and honest conversation about it. If they are unwilling to change their behavior, you may need to consider getting professional help. The key is to address the issue together and find a solution that works for both of you.