How To Prevent Financial Infidelity In Your Relationship

by James & Miel on December 16, 2008 · 0 comments

Today we have a guest post from Trisha Wagner:

You don’t have to have an affair to be guilty of an infidelity that can ruin your relationship with your spouse. Perhaps you are not married but instead you are involved in a committed, monogamous relationship which involves co-habitation. In either case if you are sharing your life with a significant other and that life includes matters of the wallet as well as matters of the heart, you can be guilty of another form of infidelity that can be just as damaging to the foundation you are building upon. Financial infidelity is best described as the secretive act of spending money, possessing or opening credit card accounts, incurring debt, borrowing money or stashing cash behind your spouses back. In addition to potential financial ruin, this behavior also destroys trust and therefore intimacy in your relationship. Here are three simple steps to prevent or perhaps recover from financial infidelity.

Break the silence and talk about about money issues. With money or lack of it being one of the leading causes of divorce and the reason a significant part of the population loses sleep at night, it is hard to believe that discussing money is still not a priority in relationships. People manage to talk to one another and even to strangers about their jobs, children, dreams or frustrations yet having a meaningful discussion about personal finances seems to remain a bit taboo. If you truly intend on weathering life’s storms with your partner, being able to discuss money matters opening and honestly is imperative to the success of your relationship. Understanding what money means to each other, the views you were raised to have about money and what your financial goals as a couple are should be something you can sit down and talk about.

Set a limit that you both agree on. After you have an understanding of each other’s view on money management in the household, agree to a number that you are both comfortable with. This figure will be the amount of money either of you can spend without consulting the other. It is important that you both feel comfortable with this number if you expect this plan to work.

Follow the agreement. In some cases, especially when you are dealing with two different “money personalities” sticking to the plan and not going over the agreed upon number can be the most difficult yet important part of the agreement. If you find yourself tempted to go over that number on one or more occasions, take the time to sit down with your partner again and have another discussion. It is better to renegotiate the plan to ensure everyone is comfortable with it than to go behind your partners back by spending more than you agreed upon.

By facing the issue and getting it out in the open you have a better chance at being able to tackle money issues as they arise in your relationship. As time goes on your financial situation and responsibilities will change as well, so be sure to remember to keep the lines of communication open to prevent future issues.

Trisha Wagner is a freelance writer for DestroyDebt.com, a debt community featuring debt forums. Trisha writes regularly on the topics of getting out of debt and personal finance.

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