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The growing problem of financial infidelity

| Nov 24, 2020 | Divorce |

Infidelity in a marriage may not always involve the physical or romantic relationship of one spouse with a third party. Today, another form of infidelity appears to undermine many marriages: financial infidelity.

Spouses often make secret purchases when trying to surprise each other for birthday, anniversary or holiday gifts. However, when those secret purchases aim to cheat the other person out of some joint assets, the story changes.

Warning signs of potential hidden assets

According to The Simple Dollar, spouses should take note when they see or experience their partners acting differently when the topic of money comes up. These shifts in behavior may signal a larger problem looming.

One spouse might suddenly express concerns about debt or the ability to pay bills that does not make sense to the other person. One spouse might come home with a slew of new items or receive more packages from online purchases than normal.

Financial infidelity and secret debt

Spending sprees or hidden assets provide one form of financial infidelity. NPR explains that hidden debt also holds great power to damage a marriage. One person might open a new credit card or personal loan without informing his or her spouse. The spouse may still end up financially responsible for that debt. In addition, the unknowing spouse may logically question the honesty of the partner and wonder what else he or she may lie about.

Millennials and financial infidelity

Some studies show financial infidelity may plague millennials more than people in other age groups. Overall, more than four in 10 people may engage in some form of financial infidelity in the U.S. alone.