Getting married comes with a certain amount of trust. While you may have some degree of separation in your lives, marriage implies that you will be loyal to each other as you live your lives together.
Addressing financial matters before you get married can be a complex conversation. You and your spouse may agree that it is a critical discussion, but you may feel awkward about sitting down to talk about money. The situation can become more difficult when you discover that your spouse has been spending money in ways you disagree with.
Feelings of betrayal are common. Here are a few things to consider if your spouse has been disloyal in their spending.
Secrets and lies
Financial infidelity tends to come in two categories: being secretive about money and blatantly lying about money. You may be able to split hairs about the pros and cons of secrets versus lies. Still, in either case, it can be challenging to find out that your spouse has not been honest about their financial situation.
Since money is an essential aspect of your life and future together, it may be difficult to consider moving forward after learning about financial infidelity.
Understanding the cause
For many, deciding what to do about financial infidelity depends on your spouse’s reason for being deceitful. There are many reasons someone may have for being dishonest about money, such as:
- Fear of judgment for a mistake
- Prior history of distrust with money
- Fear of financial insecurity
You may feel betrayed when you first discover financial infidelity. Still, it is important to look at the whole picture before acting impulsively. When you talk to your spouse, you may find some common ground and discover a way to meet everyone’s needs so that your spouse no longer feels the need to be secretive.
Is it a dealbreaker?
Money can be a significant cause of stress and strain in a marriage. However, it is up to the individuals to determine what financial infidelity means in their relationship.
Ultimately, you will have to decide if you are willing to work through the hurt that comes from a spouse who was deceitful about their money or spending habits. Depending on your situation, you may want to seek counseling to work through the problem, or you may decide that it is best to part ways and pursue your own priorities.