We may be in twenty-first century surely; however the more we advance the more some things never change. While we claim to be better than our ancestors, we still imbibe certain traits that we inherited from them. Indeed many of today’s so called “modern” men continue to hide their financial dealings from their spouses.
Relationship experts have coined the term “financial infidelity” regarding this condition. Many of us are aware of the implications of sexual infidelity. Few however understand that another form of infidelity has arisen. Financial infidelity is the act of lying about money matters. It’s currently on the rise and ruining many marriages. There’s also Financial abuse a tactic used by a romantic partner to gain power and control in a relationship. Financial abuse may vary , but generally includes tactics to limit a partner’s access to assets and family finances.
In fact a 2017 survey done in the U.S reported that 60% of millennials had experienced financial infidelity. A romantic partner had lied to them about money, or willingly hidden money or debt from them. Centsai, the organisation behind the survey reported that this number was double the numbers generated in the previous year.
69% of female respondents reported experiencing behavior from their partners that would constitute financial abuse. While 68% reported behaviors constituting financial infidelity. 40% of males reported financial abuse in relationships, and 47% financial infidelity.
One can reasonably expect these figures to be higher in developing countries. Furthermore even though men are more likely to hide their financial dealings, ladies also do the same. What, clearly are the reasons why people commit financial abuse and infidelity?
Spending money on undercover vices
Vices such as alcoholism, pornography, drug addiction and gambling are pervasive in our society today. These definitely require some form of financial outlay. Addicts are usually careful to hide their financial affairs to shield their inclinations. They do not want anyone, especially their spouses to know what they do with money.
Culture and conditioning
In African societies our culture sees a man as the head of the home. He is thus not answerable or accountable to his spouse on some issues. On the other hand the wife is 100% answerable to her husband. This also largely depends on the conditioning a man experiences from his environment. For instance growing up to see your parents discuss their finances might inspire you to do the same.
Lack of character and good values
Just as common sense is not common, character and values are also not common. The enabling environment ones grows up in plays a major part in your handling of money matters. Parents and elders are saddled with the responsibility of teaching their wards to imbibe good values. Sadly many are failing in this regard. A child who does not know how to be truthful is likely to be a lying adult.
Distrust in money matters
Some many totally distrust their spouses when it comes to money. They strongly buy into the idea that their wives may begin to overspend, when they know their earnings. As such, they keep their wealth details out of their spouses knowledge.
In addition there are many chauvinistic men who believe women are unable to manage and handle money.
Greed & Selfishness
The greedy and selfish usually hate to share things. They prefer to spend their money only on themselves, to the detriment of other family members. Even though couples should share everything these men will share everything except their money.
Exert undue power and control over their spouses
Some men always like to be in control. This manifests itself in a variety of ways, such as not wanting their wives to work. They then take on the role of sole breadwinner meaning their spouse will have to ask them to meet all her financial needs. A healthy marriage is one where both parties are contributing so the burden will not be totally on one person. With all the resources at his disposal he can begin to wreak enormous financial abuse and pressure on his spouse.
According to Bethany and Scott Palmer when one spouse controls all the money there is likely to be financial infidelity.
Differing personalities when it comes to money matters
We all have our money personalities. While some are prudent, others are spendthrifts. A husband might be cautious while his wife is entirely liberal when it comes to money matters. When money is involved both parties may feel that it’s in their best interest to deceive the other . One focuses on the future while the other on the present.
The stress of debt can make even a strong relationship vulnerable to dishonesty. Partners may be prone to hiding or understating the true picture of their financial position when in debt, having overspent. They are ashamed to tell their spouse, preferring to find ways to fix the problem.
Having a habitual fault-finder and complainer as a partner is likely to compel one not to confide in them when there are financial challenges looming. You end up keeping this information to yourself, instead of sharing.
7 signs of financial infidelity
Look out for the signs of financial infidelity from your spouse. They may manifest in the following:
- Making purchases and hiding them;
- New spending patterns;
- Changes in mood;
- Newly opened accounts for unclear purposes;
- Lack of communication regarding financial matters;
- Lying about money;
- Discovering previously unknown debts;
Conclusion – Work things out with your spouse!
Heading to divorce court is not the answer. Work things out instead with your spouse. Come clean and identify wrong behavior and work towards making a change. Determine to always make out time to discuss money and seek his or her advice on all financial matters going forward. Together as a team with quality information you can reduce financial infidelity to the barest minimum.