Dating and Relationship Advice

Honey, I Cheated on Your Checkbook: Is Your Relationship at Risk from Financial Infidelity?

In the wake of the economic downturn, financial woes have taken a dire toll on lovers and married couples, with deeds of financial betrayal driving a wedge between romantic partners. Secretive acts of spending money, holding secret accounts of stashes of money, and incurring debt unknown to your significant other – these scenarios are a sure sign that financial infidelity has taken a foothold in your relationship.

How can you identify if your love life is at risk from financial infidelity? What are some factors which signal the presence of deception?

Personal Risk Factors
Individual beliefs and attitudes about money issues play a key role in the fostering of financial infidelity. Couples which fit the high-risk group tend to find communication about finances a challenge, and will lapse into reticence the moment such matters crop up. This inability to maintain an open and calm communication about money indicates a weak relationship lacking in trust, emotional connection, and a healthy bond.

Common behavioral patterns which indicate a personal high risk situation include:

Social Pressures
Society has reached a point where it is often common practice to assess your partner’s worth based on his or her financial status and ability to attain material items. Couples who use money to flaunt their worth are highly likely to engage in power struggles with their partners, as they attempt to keep up with the Joneses. Such individuals will embark on a journey to acquire high-ticket items such as designer wear, exclusive addresses, and luxury cars at all cost.

People who strongly believe in meeting the demands of such societal pressures are often disappointed in relationships where their partner appears to be less wealthy than expected, or who fails to be in sync with their material goals. If the problem is not duly addressed, the unhappy individual eventually gets driven into committing financial infidelity.

External Risk Factors
Stressful situations in the professional field, family environment, and personal life, also play a crucial role in influencing the act of financial duplicity.

Spouses who have been caught in the wave of the economic recession and lost their jobs, a change in household dynamics where the breadwinner role is switched, and a significant increase in salary compensation due to a job promotion – these are common scenarios which have contributed to treacherous money behaviors in relationships.

Family factors such as a recent huge purchase of a new asset, property downsizing, and major medical bills due to sickness in the family etc, typically act as a catalyst in cultivating financial infidelity.

The personal lives of couples can also have a huge impact on their financial stability. Couples who have undergone a major shift in their relationship status from singlehood to marriage soon discover that deception is slowly taking root in the household. Similarly, personal experiences of mid-life crisis or fear of aging have resulted in an upsurge of financial treachery.

Should you find any of the above factors and scenarios familiar, there is no need to panic – understanding and identifying financial infidelity early in its stage development can help you and your partner open up a safe and honest dialogue with each other, and give the problem a quick nip in the bud before permanent damage sets in.


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