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Financial Infidelity

June 14th, 2016 at 08:20 pm

Went out with another 4 moms on Saturday. LOVELY night first time in new place and wow it was fun. Settling in. But my reason for writing?

I was the only one out of 5 moms who is transparent with my DH. All the other four talked about stashing money and paying for things without telling their spouse. Two work and two stay at home and the two who stay at home said they wanted to work to stash their money and not tell their husbands what they spend on. The two that do work, keep their money as theirs and spend it as they wish.

Okay I don't get this at all. This mentality is something my mom tells me all the time. "LAL you need to work so you can have your own money and spend it as you wish!" That way your DH won't tell you how to spend his money.

I say and I repeated this Saturday, why would I do that? I mean truthfully we don't have enough money (in my opinion) for me to go out and spend whatever I make on whatever I want. I don't have the luxury for us to live on DH's salary and waste mine "income" on whatever I want.

The truth is that even if I got back to work and I make say $2k/month I can't spend that on clothes, makeup, hair, etc. Honestly my DH and I would sit and look at our entire budget and work out where we should put that money. In all honesty if I go back to work the money I make is earmarked already for college savings for both DK. I can't go out and get highlights, waxes, facials, etc. We don't make enough even if I work.

My DH would be pissed and honestly rightfully so if his "income" is for us to live and save on and I blow my "income" on luxuries. My mom says that's what women who work deserve. My answer is that's fine if it's like her a 2nd marriage and you keep things separate.

But a 1st marriage? I mean I was shocked all the other moms thought it perfectly reasonable to do this. I found it shocking the SAHM are sneaking extra money on the side to do what they wish.

Truthfully I can get why people in the US get divorced. I think it's the financial infidelity. People in the US don't save enough and because we as a country like to spend money when you have two people married and NOT communicating or on the same page for spending I can see how problems arise quickly.

My DH and I aren't perfect. We do have our struggles with out budget and sometimes DH does give me "crap" about stuff I buy. I am the "spender" in our relationship. But i'm transparent about it.

I also think that he knows how practical and logical I am in general about money (i'd say I'm in the top 5% of people with financial savvy of the general population. If you are reading this you are too likely).

But I can't help but wonder how many other couples don't talk about money? And are financially unfaithful? How many hide and lie about money? Or have control issues?

I have no problem with separate accounts as long as it's transparent. But I wonder if couple divorce because they can't reconcile their habits? And then more importantly lie about it? The lying would drive me out of the relationship more than the spending or debt. I would be pissed if DH went around hiding money or charging up CC and then lied about it and it came out. I don't know if I could trust him again. Sometimes it's not the act but the lying.

Do you think most financial sound couples are transparent?

9 Responses to “Financial Infidelity”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    Right? I've always thought the same thing, that the lying would be the end. If it was cheating, it wouldn't be the sex per se but the lying about it. Same with money stuff. If my partner messed up financially and told me right away, no big deal, but if they continually hid things, that would really make me doubt our relationship.

    I think separate finances that are equitable are one thing. Having one person shoulder all the expenses while the other gets to keep all their money for fun -- that makes no sense to me unless the first person makes so much more money that they have the same amount of fun money out of their own salary. My sister and her husband kinda have that. He makes so much more than her that he takes care of the big expenses and saving for retirement, and she can use her money for whatever (usually she gives it away or buys stuff for other people).

    My downstairs neighbors' finances seem to be a mess, from what I can see -- one of them gets paid in and keeps tons of cash around the house, hasn't filed his taxes in years, and is saving nothing for retirement. The other one has a more conventional approach with checking account, retirement, etc. but I know from past statements of his partner that he's prone to putting his head in the sand and not paying attention to unnecessary purchases -- like credit card "insurance" for example. But anyway, a lot of their relationship seems dysfunctional, but in a way that works for both of their quirky personalities, so I hope it's not a dealbreaker or works out somehow ... I can't imagine them not being together.

    But yes, I think transparency can be a big stability enhancer in a marriage! It's not everything, but it helps.

  2. LuckyRobin Says:

    I do think consistent financial infidelity will destroy a marriage. One, because it is lying, and lying always leads to more lying, and two, because it has spouses working at cross purposes. It's even worse if credit card abuse is added into it. If you have one spouse working hard to get out of debt and the other continuing to build up debt and not tell the first spouse about his or purchases until after the fact, it is extremely damaging. Trust will dissolve and one spouse will feel constantly disrespected and like all of their goals and hopes for the future are being dismissed or ignored.

  3. Carol Says:

    You and your husband had a goal and pulled off this year without a salary. I think marriage and money should be like that-- figuring out the money transparently so the goals of the family can be achieved. Each partner can have some spending money but it's the partnership that counts. I know that's not always the case, but that ought to be aim.

  4. creditcardfree Says:

    Ugh. I actually haven't run into this specifically with people I know, however, I'm sure that it could be happening or that they are not communicating and making plans.

    Glad you have some friends to hang with. Just keep being a good example of the way it can work for the good of the couple.

  5. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    They were all shocked. I think a lot more marriages whether both people work or not struggle with finances. Mostly being honest. They should have enough money but if I had to guess both people feel they don't have enough. Why? Who knows. But then it causes so much stress because they aren't communicating and the wife at least I know feels how can they not make it?

  6. all4money Says:

    Where I work, we get a supplement check each November and I can't even count how many employees keep that check a secret from their significant others. Also, we get to claim expense reimbursements and those checks are also kept secret. I've never understood it...

    DH and I are very open to every penny we each earn and I can't imagine it any other way.

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