Top Signs of Financial Infidelity to Watch For

When people think about infidelity, they typically think about one spouse or the other cheating with another person. However, did you know there's an entirely different type of infidelity that may not even involve another person? It's called financial infidelity.

If you think that your spouse is committing financial infidelity, there are warning signs. From large purchases on their own to small things that can add up to significant issues, here are the top signs of financial infidelity. 

Related post: 3 Key Things You Probably Don't Know About Infidelity

What is Financial Infidelity? 

Financial infidelity occurs when one spouse or partner hides information relating to finances from the other partner. That could include excessive spending, using family funds to help a friend without telling your spouse, increasing credit card balances, or even gambling. Financial infidelity not only has the ability to completely destroy any trust within a marriage or partnership but can also cause more financial problems for both parties. 

Financial infidelity in mild cases can put some strain on relationships and cause one partner to harbor feelings of distrust against the other. In more severe cases, it can create a wedge between partners that they're unable to overcome. In all instances, financial infidelity is a negative thing for marriages and partnerships.

Related post: Three Phases of Healing from Infidelity

How to Identify Financial Infidelity

There are a few things that you should look for when you suspect financial infidelity. Keep track of your finances as best as you can so that you can always know if your spouse is committing financial infidelity. As you learn more about the signs of financial infidelity, it may be important to look at your own life and finances. Are you in a position where you (or your spouse) could commit financial infidelity? Quite frankly, if you aren't actively involved in the family finances, the two of you may be far from on the same page.

Signs of financial infidelity include:

A Spouse Who Is Secretive

A spouse who has been open in the past, but who shuts down seemingly out of nowhere can be a red flag for financial infidelity. When you're looking at the signs of financial infidelity, consider your spouse's normal behavior. Even if they are someone who was not very open in your relationship before, this can be a sign that there is financial infidelity in the relationship.

Related post: Cover Your Assets: How Your Spouse Might be Hiding Theirs

Individual Credit Cards

While individual credit cards are not a bad thing, and I would recommend that each party does have a credit card in their own name, they become a problem when hidden from each other. If your spouse opens a credit card without you, increases the credit limit, or removes you from one of your accounts, they may be committing financial infidelity. 

Secrets in Other Areas 

A secretive spouse is rarely a good thing. If your spouse is secretive about their phone, their banking information, or their computer, this could mean financial infidelity (among many other things). While there should be some amount of independence in a marriage, it's important that spouses have access to all of the family's financial information so that they can make sound financial decisions and so that they can handle it if any emergency arises. 

Unexpected Change In Income

If there is a sudden change in your spouse's income, you must make sure that the change is because of a legitimate reason. If it is not, this could be one of the biggest signs of financial infidelity. In the best cases, a reduction in income can put a significant strain on a marriage. In the worst case, if the change in income is because of financial infidelity, it could kill your marriage. Stay vigilant when learning about what your spouse is making. 

How to Protect Yourself from Financial Infidelity

One of the easiest ways that you can combat financial infidelity is by staying on top of your finances. If you know how your finances regularly perform will allow you to see the first signs of something being wrong with them. This is important if you want to make sure that you can stay on top of any issues that could come up. 

Another important thing to do is to make sure that both parts of any marriage or partnership have equal access to finances. This may vary from couple to couple, but it's important to find a balance that works best in your relationship. Joint bank accounts, credit cards, and mutual expenses will make it easier to avoid financial infidelity. If one partner knows that the other partner has access to everything they do financially, they may be less inclined to commit financial infidelity. 

There are so many issues that can come up that can be marriage-enders and financial infidelity is one of the worst. Along with the strain it puts on the emotional parts of marriage, it will also cause huge issues with your finances and can lead to divorce.

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