In a very telling recent survey featured in Forbes.com around 31% of Americans who have combined their finances confessed to lying to their partners about money, and one third of these adults also admitted to being deceived by their spouses. This survey asked over 2,000 adults and the findings indicated that the leading money omissions were the hiding of cash, minor purchases, and bills. A significant number of these people surveyed also admitted to hiding major purchases, keeping secret bank accounts and lying about debt or earnings. These financial indiscretions can cause serious damage to the relationship and can be just as painful as any other kind of cheating.
Among these couples impacted by financial infidelity, 67% said it led to an argument and 42% said it led to a lack of trust in the relationship. Not surprising 16% of those surveyed said the financial discretions led to the divorce process and 11% stated it led to a separation. Financial infidelity occurs across all income levels, whether you’re earning $30,000 or $300,000, said Nancy Chemtob, a New York divorce attorney.
Massachusetts divorce lawyers and Boston based therapists like Carleton Kendrick agree that money deception has become a huge issue over the last decade. Kendrick suspects that the ease of using credit cards and online purchases have made the act of hiding money even easier. He goes on say that the main reasons couples lie to each other are based in pragmatism, control, guilt, fear, and embarrassment. The best way for couples to prevent these financial problems is to talk about money early in their relationships to avoid lies and problems in the future. Open communication from the start can prevent financial lies from compounding and building towards fighting, separation and even the divorce process in the future.