Are you Committing Financial Infidelity?


It might not seem as serious as the more traditional form of cheating, but financial infidelity can lead to all the same feelings of betrayal and anger – and end up in divorce too.

So, what exactly is financial infidelity? Often, people only think of the obvious culprits – overspending on the credit card and trying to hide the statements or losing big at the track and keeping it a secret – but financial infidelity comes in many shapes and sizes, and isn’t necessarily actions that are perceived as frivolous pursuits.

Do you have any investments regardless of whether they are making money or losing matter that that you haven’t told your partner about? Perhaps you have past debts that have never been resolved, a failed business or other financial commitments, or maybe you’re helping a family member with their own financial problems.

All of these are considered financial infidelity if you aren’t telling your partner about them.

What’s the problem, particularly if the investment is making money? A relationship is built on trust, and keeping information from your partner can be a portrayed as a betrayal of that trust.

Financial pressures are a leading contributor to divorce, so imagine your partner’s feelings if, having spend a great deal of time worrying and wondering how to make ends meet, they suddenly discover that you have your own private stash of cash that you aren’t committing to the relationship.

Keeping money for yourself without your partner knowing may also indicate to your partner that you aren’t fully committed to them and it may be seen as keeping a little something for yourself in case things don’t work out.

So, how can you tell if your partner is committing financial infidelity?

As with any deliberate lie from someone you trust, it can often be extremely difficult to detect however there are a few telltale signs.

Wanting to control all aspects of your finances regardless of your requests to be included can be an early sign. If you have an idea of income and expenses, and it seems like you never seem to have as much money as you should it could be that the extra money is going somewhere – or to someone else. Alternatively, it could be that your partner occasionally seems to have a sudden windfall for no apparent reason which is more common with hidden gambling or investing activities.

Whether it’s a lack of money or an excess, if there are discrepancies with your finances then it is worth having a conversation with your partner. If they refuse to answer your questions or get unreasonably defensive, then there is probably good reason for concern.

If you feel unable to manage this issue on your own, it is worth talking to a Financial Advisor to discuss your finances. In those discussions, your advisor should be able to get a very good idea of exactly what you should have left after all the known spending is accounted for, and if that doesn’t match up with the actual accounts, it likely means there is some unknown spending – and your partner may have some explaining to do.