Having a relationship with a co-worker when you’re already committed to someone else is cheating. A one-night tryst with other man or woman also falls under the category of cheating. How about financial infidelity? If you lie to your partner how you spent the money, would you consider it as cheating? The answer is yes. Financial infidelity is a form of cheating and is as damaging to the relationship as the other forms of cheating.
Definition of financial infidelity
So what is financial infidelity? Basically, you’re a financial cheater if you don’t let your partner know how you spend the money. It is also considered financial infidelity if you hide some money without actually telling your partner. Telling your partner that you bought something really important, when in fact you lost the money on a wrong bet is a big lie. Hiding four-figure debt on credit card is also a big lie.
Financial infidelity can have a serious effect on the relationship. Constant sneaking or lying about money matters is only the tip of the iceberg. What is more serious is that the betrayal destroys trust and intimacy. Financial infidelity is a type of cheating that is so subtle many people are not even aware they are doing it.
The 2005 survey by Harris Interactive shows how important financial honesty is in a relation and how rampant is financial infidelity. The survey was participated in by about 1,800 adults, aged 25-55, who were either married, living together, or engaged. Among others, the study found that:
96% of the participants stated that financial honesty was both the partners’ responsibility;
24% of the respondents strongly believed in the principle of telling the truth regarding financial issues that they stated openness about finances as being much more important compared to being faithful;
29% of the 1,800 adults admitted they had cheated to their partners about money at some point in the relationship. 21% said they spent the money for personal use, whereas 12% stated they spent money for their kids; and
25% revealed that their partners had also withheld financial information. 20% said their partners spent the money for personal use, whereas 11% stated their partners spent money for their kids.
Causes of financial infidelity
Why do some people commit financial infidelity? One of the major reasons for this act is the emptiness inside these cheating people that stems from childhood. Many psychologists also explain that the emptiness inside these people from their current relationship feeds off old wounds incurred during childhood to fill gap. In addition, many people commit financial infidelity as a means of revenge. "Pissed off buys" are secret purchases by a rejected or "pissed off" partner.
Avoiding the cheating
You and your partner can avoid financial infidelity by having a regular talk about finances (about once a week) to eliminate seemingly irreconcilable differences and problems. Regular talks are also a way to know who is more flexible in terms of money, power, as well as struggles over money. Then make a plan on how are you going to solve the problem. Budgeting also helps in avoiding financial infidelity.