Financial infidelity occurs when your partner conceals or lies about any number of marital monetary issues: accounts, debts or incomes, to name a few.
It is not rare. According to a 2016 study cited by Money Crashers, approximately 40% of married respondents admitted to dishonesty about joint finances at some point in their relationships. Despite the breach of trust that your marriage suffers when your spouse lies, financial dishonesty can be a symptom of significant personal or relationship problems like addictions or extra-marital affairs.
If you have a vaguely unsettled feeling when it comes to the monetary aspects of your partnership, the concrete signs of financial infidelity usually center around these general categories:
Often, a glaring red flag that your spouse is trying to keep financial information secret is a refusal to share joint account information with you. He or she may insist on paying all the bills, monitoring the balance and controlling your access by giving you money to spend.
Although much less common, your partner might also have secret bank or investment accounts. This may be a signal that your spouse is attempting to hide assets from you and could be a potentially dangerous situation, especially if your marriage is unstable.
Concealing debt frequently points to problems with over-spending. It could be as essential as the need for your spouse to prove a financial status without the income to support it.
However, it may also be a clue to more systemic issues. For example, those who suffer from addictive behaviors may begin to charge necessary living expenses after savings are gone. Or, running up huge debts could be a consequence of a failing business or poor investments.
Your partner may exaggerate his or her actual current income with the intent of justifying large expenditures or covering up a job demotion or loss. Your spouse might also underplay income, so there is less a chance that you will notice that money is missing. Some people even go so far as to change paycheck tax withholdings or 401(k) contributions to lower their net reported income. This falsely lowered amount could affect alimony or child support agreements in divorce proceedings.