Financial InfidelityFeb 14, 2019
We all have kept something from our partner at some point in time but where is the breaking point where it can be called infidelity? This ominous word has implied meaning of sexual carousing, but it can mean much more than that and the implications just as serious. If you think infidelity only occurs between the sheets, think again.
When it come to finances, dishonesty ranges from failure to communicate to straight up deceit. Have you ever lied to your spouse or partner about how much something cost? How about racking up debt your significant other knows nothing about? Done any secret purchases? Have hidden accounts? All of these transgressions fall into the category of financial infidelity — which encompasses everything from shading the truth to omitting important (but relevant) information to outright lies.
The Financial Infidelity survey, commissioned by Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) and Credit Canada found that:
Another report from CreditCards.com, stated that 31% of survey respondents said keeping credit cards and other accounts from a partner is worse than physical infidelity. This is alarming when you consider a recent Ipsos survey as half of Canadians are $200 away from not being able to pay their bills. With such a small amount of wiggle room, any kind of unanticipated hardship can lead to a great deal of stress and strain on a relationship. In addition, if you have suspicions that your partner is not being fully honest with you about money, it may have an adverse affect on your relationship.
How to prevent and overcome financial infidelity:
There is no getting around the fact that honesty is really the only way forward. It will be awkward at first, but come clean to your partner, talk honestly about the emotions that drove the behavior, such as shame or embarrassment, and work together on solutions. If a one-on-one talk is not ideal – perhaps because of issues of intimidation or control in the relationship then consider having a third party mediate the topic, such as a marital therapist or a financial planner.
Like with your health, you don’t go to the gym once, you don’t have a salad once, it’s the same with your money. Don’t just talk about money once, make it a regular (monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc) conversation.
- help define your financial goals
- see if your goals and timelines are realistic
- bring your spending in line with your goals
- identify risks you didn’t know you have
- maximize your money and reduce debt
- give you peace of mind
The courage to face facts, and the ability to be open to forgiveness and solutions once the cat's out of the bag, can make the difference between a happy, healthy relationship or one that is doomed to fail.
Financial Strategist at Savanti Wealth Corporation
Savanti is your no-nonsense, get it done, always got your back, tell it to you straight, make you laugh, and there if you need to cry - financial partner.