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Lesson 24 - Financial Infidelity

Apr 09, 2024

Financial Infidelity is a big part of my story. It’s a really hard thing to write about. I feel A LOT of shame because of it. 

Overall financial infidelity is explained as when one partner in a relationship hides financial actions, assets, or debts from the other. I think that financial infidelity can also happen when we aren’t truthful with ourselves about our behaviours with money. 

My story is that I wasn’t forthcoming with documents my husband was signing when it came to our finances. Since I worked as a Financial Advisor he trusted me.

I took advantage of his trust and he had no idea how much debt we were incurring and how often I was refinancing our home. 

Even writing this I can feel a pit in my stomach. It is really hard for me to admit this and put this out for people to read. 

We have worked through some hard stuff and we now regularly have money meetings with what's coming in and out of our bank account and if there is any balances on credit cards etc. We also have a boundary that anything over $100 for purchase we have to talk about and both agree it is something we want to purchase. These are things we both put into place but it was really important for me as I wanted us to be a team with money. Has it been easy? Heck no. Has it been worth it. ABSOLUTELY!

We have recorded a few podcast episodes where we talk about our journey together, here are the links to listen:

Unfortunately financial infidelity is very common. 

Money is a huge reason why people divorce, it is the third highest reason for divorce after infidelity and incompatibility. 

In any relationship, trust is paramount. While infidelity often brings to mind images of romantic or emotional betrayal, money is another thing that can wreak havoc on relationships. It's a silent behaviour that undermines communication, and can lead to severe consequences if it’s not dealt with.

Some ways financial infidelity shows up is: 

  • Secret Spending: This involves one partner making significant purchases without informing the other. This can also involve making large amounts of small purchases in a certain time period and leads to significant debt. It can show up in hiding what has been purchased or lying about whether something is new or not. 
  • Hidden Debts: Hiding debts, such as credit card balances, loans, or gambling losses, can lead to a false perception of financial stability within the relationship.
  • Secret Accounts: Opening bank accounts, credit cards, savings accounts, investment accounts without the knowledge of one's partner is another common form of financial infidelity.
  • Lying About Income: Misrepresenting one's income or financial contributions can distort financial planning and hinder the ability to achieve shared goals.

You can heal from financial infidelity.

I am extremely grateful that my husband was willing to work on our relationship and our financial healing. 

Some ways to work through your healing is: 

  • Open Dialogue: Establishing clear lines of communication about financial matters is crucial to rebuilding trust and ensuring transparency moving forward.
  • Financial Planning: Collaboratively setting financial goals and creating a spending plan can help both partners feel empowered and involved in managing their finances.
  • Therapy, Counseling or Money Coaching: Seeking professional guidance can provide a safe space for couples to explore underlying issues, heal emotional wounds, and develop healthier ways of relating to each other.
  • Accountability: Implementing money meetings to discuss financial goals and check in on accounts and how the spending plan is going. 

Financial Sobriety is a continuous journey of self-discovery, healing, and transformation. By embracing the principles of honesty, transparency, and accountability, individuals can break free from the cycle of financial infidelity, cultivate healthier relationships with money, and build a brighter, more stable future. 

Remember, you're not alone on this journey—reach out for support, stay committed to your recovery, and believe in the possibility of a life filled with financial wellness and abundance.

You are worthy of Financial Sobriety.