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Financial Infidelity – Spouses' Secret Spending

By HERWriter
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Relationships & Family related image Photo: Getty Images

According to a survey by CESI Debt Solutions, 80 percent of husbands and wives spent money over the last year without telling their spouses.

Hiding purchases from a loved one can signal the beginning of the end, explains Gail Saltz, psychiatrist and relationship expert. "Lying to your partner about money is basically a kind of betrayal and diminishes the trust between you. Loss of trust usually ends a marriage,ʺ said Saltz in an interview with the Today Show. "Financial infidelity can be as bad as sexual infidelity in terms of the hurt and destruction it causes."

Other survey results revealed:
• 18.5 percent of married people have credit cards their spouses do not know about
• 38 percent of married couples fear revealing secret spending would lead to separation

Here is a breakdown of the secret purchases:
Clothing 34.5 percent
Food/Dining 24 percent
Personal Care 19.5 percent
Entertainment 9 percent
Gifts 16.5 percent
Alcohol 13 percent
Childcare 8.5 percent

Clothing seems to be the major secret purchase for women.

When asked why the spending was kept secret, more than 60 percent responded it was to avoid problems at home.
• 19.9 percent are concern it would end the relationship
• 43 percent said they wanted to avoid an argument
• 46 percent are currently paying off the debt and he/she doesn’t need to know
• 11 percent are planning to tell spouse, but not ready yet
• 27 percent will never tell spouse about their spending

Also, experts say that little green lies do have the potential to damage your finances and your relationship. You're arguing about a clash of values.

According to money expert, David Bach, there are some things you can do if you are plagued by secret spending, covert credit cards and hidden bills. Here are some helpful tips from Bach:

• Both spouses should have an active role in family finances. This includes setting goals, a plan, paying bills and deciding how to spend the rest. Consider creating a separate pot and deciding how each of you can spend it.

• Get help from a therapist or a compassionate finance advisor who can help put a spending plan in place.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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