Financial Infidelity

Cheating on a spouse by not disclosing money secrets is on the rise.

A 2016 Harris poll for the National Endowment for Financial Education revealed that 42% of Americans admit to deceiving their spouses financially, up from 33% two years ago.

Stonewalling conversations about money might be a sign of financial infidelity.

Financial infidelity often starts small. Little white lies, like secretly buying a pair of shoes, often snowball into full-blown deception through habit. This can be prevented by offering completely open and judgment-free financial discussions from day one. It’s better to find out differing money views and possible disagreements at the start of a relationship and reach an agreement, rather than years down the line in marriage.

As the president of Corri Fetman & Associates, Ltd., a boutique family law firm, Corri Fetman has seen her share of divorce cases that involve financial infidelity, or not disclosing money habits, information and assets that should normally be shared with a spouse. She recalls one case in which the husband set up a corporation to look like part of his regular business portfolio—except that it was expressly used to purchase a home and other items for his mistress. Fetman unearthed the deceit by doing a full forensic examination of all his business documents. “The judge ordered that he repay the marital estate a portion of the millions of dollars that he dissipated for the mistress expenditures,” Fetman said. “Had I not looked at the underlying documents closely, these expenditures would have appeared as legitimate business expenses on the ledger.”

 

186 Comments

  1. Andrea says:

    The same thing happened to me (only on a much smaller scale) and that is how I caught my husband cheating.

  2. Donna says:

    I also think a couple needs to be able to see each others financial activity and things like this won’t happen.

  3. samantha says:

    I think it’s one thing to buy a dress or shoes and not tell your spouse, but a whole different thing to spend money on a girlfriend.

  4. Ethel says:

    My ex-husband spent on his girlfriends from our bank account and was abusive when I asked him about where the money went. That is why we are divorced. I hope others watch out for this sort of thing.

  5. Pam says:

    How do I know if my husband is spending money on another woman?

    • Susan says:

      In response to the question about a spouse having a secret bank account where he could be spending on another woman, as I told a follower a few months ago-order a free credit report. Once a year Experian, and some of the other credit reporting companies, will send you a free report. Get on the Experian site and send in your request. If you are married the report will cover activity for both you and your husband. The report does not show each bank account he has open, but it will show addresses where you and your husband receive financial information. One woman told me she discovered that her husband was having credit card bills sent to his girlfriends house so she, the wife, would not see his spending on the other woman. The reports will show credit cards which is another avenue….by seeing if he has cards you do not know about.

  6. Alex says:

    I looked at our joint checking account and did not see anything suspicious. How can I find out if my husband has a secret account where he is socking away money?

  7. Tammy says:

    I think the best way to handle finances is to share an account or at least have access or passwords for your spouses account. What if something happens to one of you. You may need to draw from the other person’s account, if you don’t share one.

  8. Anneliese says:

    I agree with you regarding an annual credit report. That is how I discovered that my husband had a credit card he was not telling me about.

  9. Chris says:

    Marriage is about trust. I trust my husband not to chase other women and spend money on them. My friend told me about this website and I checked it out because I wanted to take the quiz. I fell into the low risk catagory….thankfully!

  10. Jennifer says:

    I found out the hard way that financial infidelity goes hand in hand with emotional infidelity.

  11. Chris says:

    My husband had an online gambling addiction that wiped out our savings. He withdrew cash and said it was to pay child support, car payments, etc. Only when I looked at his computer history did I find out the truth. So, yes, financial infidelity is a very big deal.

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