financial infidelity: the undisclosed or deceptive consumption, investment or borrowing practices of a spouse or significant other, especially activities that burden joint finances.

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Your husband committed what’s referred to as financial infidelity, Spent. Like sexual infidelity, the healing can’t begin until the partner who committed the betrayal stops doing it. Your husband hasn’t done that. He confessed to his secret debt not because he was ready to change but because he knew it would soon be revealed. He apologized and carried on as before. Now he’s lying to you about what he claims are false charges on your accounts and he has also attempted to get more credit without your knowledge, presumably to accrue more debt, which is how he got into this trouble to begin with.

See article at: Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond, The Sweet Spot: “My Husband Got Secret Credit Cards and Maxed Them Out,” The New York Times, April 17, 2018


Among adults who have combined finances in current or previous relationships, 2 out of 5 fess up to committing financial infidelity. An open and honest attitude toward money is important in any relationship with shared finances because it can ensure that you’re on track to meet financial goals and are sticking to a shared budget. Couples can use myriad strategies to co-manage their money, from joining every single account to managing everything separately.

See blog post at: “April Is Financial Literacy Month: Stay In-The-Know With U.S. News Money,” U.S. News & World Report, April 18, 2018


Keeping financial secrets from your spouse or significant other has a name: financial infidelity.

And chances are, suspicions that your partner is not being fully honest with you about money is affecting your relationship, according to a new report from

Just 52 percent of individuals polled by the website believe their significant other is honest with them when it comes to money. Meanwhile, 61 percent said they are fully honest with their partner about their finances.

And 31 percent of survey respondents said keeping credit cards and other accounts from a partner is worse than physical infidelity.

The reasons for the dishonesty around finances range from failure to communicate to straight up deceit.

See article at: Lorie Konish, “Tell-tale signs that your partner is guilty of financial infidelity,” CNBC, January 23, 2018


Couples distracted by the chiming of wedding bells this season may be too far gone to hear the rumblings of financial infidelity in their relationship. In fact, “cheating” on a spouse by not disclosing money secrets is on the rise.

A 2016 Harris poll for the National Endowment for Financial Education revealed that 42% of Americans admit to deceiving their spouses financially, up from 33% two years ago.

“Financial infidelity often starts small. Little white lies, like secretly buying a pair of shoes, often snowball into full-blown deception through habit. This can be prevented by offering completely open and judgment-free financial discussions from day one. It’s better to find out differing money views and possible disagreements at the start of a relationship and reach an agreement, rather than years down the line in marriage,” says Elle Kaplan, CEO and founder of LexION Capital.

See article at: Vanessa McGrady, “7 Signs of Financial Infidelity,” Forbes, June 2, 2016


Why is it that as most new relationships develop, couples tend to see each other naked before seeing each other’s bank accounts? Is it because their financial status is more private and personal than their actual… privates?

Last year, and conducted a survey of almost 24,000 men and women and found that almost 50% of married adults admitted to keeping money secrets from their spouses. Additionally, the survey revealed that while 37% of men and 56% of women admitted to lying to their partner about money, 63% of men and 70% of women agreed that being honest about money was as important as being monogamous. And yet, another U.S. poll found that 31% of couples had committed financial infidelity.

Let’s be honest with ourselves: Financial infidelity is cheating. It doesn’t involve sneaking off into seedy motel rooms or sending hot and steamy text messages to a paramour, but it does involve a series of secrets and lies that can devastate a relationship. Financial infidelity is any money-related conduct that involves one spouse being less-than-truthful or forthcoming with the other spouse. It often starts off small and inconsequential — for example, buying an expensive pair of designer shoes and claiming that they were irregulars or marked down 75 percent, or skimming from the household budget by using coupons and then keeping the “savings” in a separate slush account. Over time, the financial fibs grow larger, and the lying spouse may justify his or her actions by rationalizing that it’s necessary for future financial security.

See article at: Diane L. Danois, “Financial Infidelity: What To Do When Someone Financially Cheats,” Huffington Post, April 20, 2013.


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