Financial Lies and Your Relationship
We all know how damaging lies can be to a relationship. When trust is broken, it can be difficult to repair. And when it is broken repeatedly, it could be the kiss of death to a marriage or partnership. Unfortunately, lying in a relationship is quite common, especially where money is concerned.
It’s no wonder that money matters are among the most common reasons cited for divorce. According to a survey conducted by Lawyers.com and Redbook Magazine, 29% of adults in committed relationships admit to having been dishonest with their partner about spending. Sometimes the culprit is caught in a lie, but they often go undetected.
Small lies about financial matters are often easy to conceal. In most relationships, one partner essentially controls the finances, paying the bills and making purchases for the household such as groceries. Slipping in an unapproved expense every now and then is easy to do. When such purchases are discovered, they may be easily explained away as a gift, or the partner might claim to have paid less for them than they actually did.
But even if such seemingly insignificant lies are not discovered, they can accumulate over time. A small purchase here and there might not put a huge dent in the monthly budget, but over the course of a year or two, those purchases could add up to thousands of dollars. That’s money that could have been saved or used for the benefit of both partners.
Not every financial untruth is a small one. Some have successfully hidden much bigger lies from their partners. These include opening a secret bank account, getting a credit card and gambling away money. An unsuspecting partner may go years without discovering such things. But the odds are good that he or she will eventually find out about them, and when that happens, it isn’t going to be pretty.
Honesty Is the Best Policy
Financial infidelity can have devastating consequences. It can seriously damage the relationship, as well as the couple’s financial outlook. Lies about money can potentially lead to credit problems for both partners, reduce the amount of a couple’s savings and sabotage their plans for the future. Simply being honest makes things so much fairer and easier.
The best way to help prevent financial lies from coming into play in the first place is to make sure you and your partner are on the same page to start with. Discussing your future plans and how you want to manage money before you take the next step will help each of you understand the other’s expectations. You may even want to set up a budget and rules for discretionary spending ahead of time. Doing so will leave little room for surprises.
Being honest about money doesn’t guarantee a trouble-free relationship. It can, however, prevent a great deal of disagreement and hard feelings. No couple is going to agree on every money issue, but if you’re honest with and respectful of one another, most disagreements can be worked out to both parties’ satisfaction.