Understanding financial infidelity

On Behalf of | Sep 27, 2023 | Divorce |

Love, communication and trust are the foundations of a healthy marriage – so infidelity can clearly be a relationship killer. 

However, most people don’t realize that infidelity isn’t always physical. Financial infidelity can also be a major issue between couples, and it can lead to a divorce.

What is financial infidelity?

Financial infidelity involves one spouse hiding financial actions or decisions from the other. Because financial infidelity requires secrecy and lies to pull off, it can have the same negative effect on a marriage as an affair.

Financial infidelity takes numerous forms, but it can include things like:

  • Secret spending: This can involve everything from taking out loans to fund a business or a dream vacation without telling the other spouse to opening up credit cards and hiding the bills when they come in because of a shopping addiction.
  • Hidden assets: Some people just don’t know how to share, even with their spouses. Undisclosed bank accounts, investments and property purchases are another form of financial deception.
  • Lying about debts or income: This can include something like losing a job and pretending to go to work every day anyhow or hiding a pile of debt until after the marriage begins.
  • Gambling and risky investments: Engaging in anything like this without a spouse’s knowledge and consent is unfair, since this puts their security on the line, too.

Once discovered, financial infidelity can trigger the same feelings of betrayal and anger that a physical affair can cause. While some couples can work through these issues with therapy and a new commitment to transparency, many cannot.

If you find yourself at a crossroads in your marriage because of infidelity of any kind, it may be time to seek more information about your divorce options.