Some relationship experts say that secrets have no place in a marriage. But it’s not uncommon to hear of people hiding things from their partners, especially when it comes from finances. And if your secrets endanger you and your spouse’s financial futures, that qualifies as financial infidelity.
Here, people on Reddit talk about money secrets they’ve been hiding from their spouses. Some of them are typical cases of financial infidelity, while others are surprisingly heart-warming, which just goes to show you that not all secrets are created equal.
Signs of financial infidelity:
(These have been edited for brevity and clarity.)
1. Covert credit card debt
“Before we were together I made great money, had few living expenses, and the world was good. Paid cash for almost everything. While dating I would buy her gifts regularly, or we'd go out to dinner and a show/etc. I had a project car that I worked on constantly.
Once we got married, bought a house, had kids, etc., living expenses went up but my wages didn't go up as much. Over time, I continued living the way I had been (gifts/etc. projects, guy toys) and slowly debt started to wrack up.
One night, a phone call asking where this month’s payment was came and my wife picked up. They wouldn't tell her the balance on the card (privacy reasons) but the cat was pretty much out of the bag.
We worked through it, and it made our marriage stronger. We made a plan to fix things financially and worked together on my spending issues. It took time to rebuild the trust, but I wish I would have told her sooner or never let it happen.”
2. Watch out for video game addicts!
“My partner hides how much money he's spent on FIFA coins. Not like I snoop in his finances or anything but if I get back from work and all of a sudden there's a ton of TOTS [Team of the Season] and high rated players in his previously crappy team then it's clear something's up.”
3. Mountains of debt
“I have been dealing with some debt issues since before we were married, and it only has gotten worse and worse over time. Most of it had to do with a huge financial issue from my previous marriage, then adding honeymoon expenses and a few things here and there, and all of a sudden I am around 5k in credit card debt alone (not counting student loans, car, etc).
Yesterday, after holding all of this close to the vest for a while, I finally told my wife. Needless to say she wasn't happy, and nor should she have been.”
4. Secret shopping sprees
“I came to find out yesterday that my wif ran one of her cards up to $1024 and another up to $550 buying useless stuff from Wish and eBay. This is on top of the $3500 on another card we've been putting off.
The problem is her interest rates are terrible on all these cards, and the minimum payment on the high card literally doesn't do anything (yeah, I know, that's how they get you)."
5, 6 & 7. The sneaky savers with good intentions
“I hide a part of my salary from my spouse. I just save it as a bad weather fund. We can’t accurately predict what will happen in future.
I’m happy to spend that money for her if she has an urgent need. But if I disclose the amount to her, she’ll probably want to spend it on unnecessary purchases and shopping.”
“I have $100k in a secret, separate account, not to hide it from her but to be the hero if we ever need it in an emergency.”
“My wife set up a separate account and started throwing money into it. She started saving the day I proposed and kept saving until after we'd been married for 3 years.
She saved up the same amount of cash I spent on her engagement ring and surprised me with my dream motorcycle. Dream bike, dream wife, dream life.”
Ever faced a similar financial infidelity? Do post your comments below.