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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Are you cheating on your spouse with your money?



Every morning you leave home, kiss your love ones good bye, and begin your journey towards the workplace. Eating breakfast is also a part of your usual routine, but this morning you need to get some cash out of the atm. You usually have some cash on hand to pay for these meals, but you left most of your money in the back pocket of the pants you wore yesterday. After you enter your password in the ATM and check all balances, you realize there isn't enough money in the account you share with your spouse. You begin to think about why your balances are so low, but quickly pull another debit card to keep the people behind your from becoming irritated. This account always has enough money in it and you are certain your spouse didn't use it. You keep this account just for times like this and rejoice whenever you can depend on it. But, something else about this account makes you feel good. It's the security you feel in having an account that only you and the bank know about. That's right; this is the card that you keep all to yourself and nobody else can use it. While your spouse mismanages the joint account, this account is free from foolishness. The only person that could mess this account up is yourself and you will never let your significant other know about it unless it's absolutely necessary. Keeping this account a secret from your spouse can't be a bad thing, right? Isn't it the responsible thing to do when living with a sloppy money manager? If it's a secret the answer is plain and simple; no.

It doesn't matter if your intentions are good or malicious; keeping the knowledge of this money away from your spouse is wrong. It is financial adultery and will harm most relationships. It isn't wrong because you are the sole user of the account. The fact that you are putting money to the side to offset the financial mistakes your spouse will make is not the problem either. What makes doing this so wrong is the lack of honesty and openness. Why can't you keep this money away from your spouse while being open about its existence? Oh, I get it; your spouse will be upset with you. To avoid arguments about the use of these reserve funds, you will openly deceive and lie to the person you love more than anyone else in this world. That doesn't sound like love to me. It sounds more like fear of dealing with an unresolved issue. The truth is, you secret stash will eventually be revealed some day and your spouse will despise you because of your deception and lies. You have taken away something from your spouse that is far worse than the feeling of not controlling all the money. Trust has been lost and sometimes it will never return. You have committed financial adultery and your good intentions are meaningless. This would have never happened if you would have been honest about your secret account and unfortunately, it may cost you your marriage.

If you're in this situation and your spouse has not found out about your little friend; today is the day to reveal this secret. Dealing with this issue today will help to eliminate bigger problems in the future. It's time to be honest about your money, even if it means arguing for a little while. It is better for them to know about your disapproval of their financial habits than to continue to lie. Relationships are built on trust; despite your disagreements.


Joseph Lorick
Money Etiquette - MoneyEtiquette
 

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XW and I had a joint account which we both put money into for the household bills like: utilities, rent, condo insurance, phone.

We had separate accounts of our own for the rest. She had access to my account anytime she wanted. I would show her or tell her whatever she needed to know. She did not let me see her's. She did not want me to know what she did with her money. She was very secretive and acted as if she could not share that information, like it would harm her if she did. She claimed it was from her past experiences. I don't know and it doesn't really matter.

What I was wondering is if this is okay? I always thought it was. It was not always convenient, but I was never harmed by it and our bills were always paid.

It did hurt me some. I felt as if she didn't trust me and that is what bothered me. I guess that's part of why I am asking. Thanks.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
2ntnuf,
I don't really see anything wrong with your situation if it works for you. If you feel comfortable with sharing your account and she doesn't, that is perfectly fine. You are two different people and what makes you comfortable will not always be the same. The key is to not have any hidden accounts and trust each other. IMHO
 

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In a relationship situation where your spouse works, overspending is the same as selling your spouse into slavery. A dollar directly relates to a segment of a laborer's limited productive life. My wife doesn't work. Luckily, my current wife doesn't overspend, but she has access to my accounts and the ability to hurt me, financially, if she chose. My former wife racked up over $65K in credit card debt (THREE TIMES). If I were wealthy, that might not seem like a lot. I'm a cop and at the time, that was about 3x my annual income. I had to work two and a half jobs just to keep our heads above water. I finally had to just get rid of her. I don't believe secreting some family money is adultery. The money is still there. It's still available. If there was a family emergency, presumably, the money would be hauled out for family business. Now, I consider overspending, especially secretly, to be very much like adultery in that it's disloyal but a clearer analogy would be selling your partner into slavery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Unbelievable,
I agree that overspending is another method of committing financial adultery, but I would never use slavery as an analogy because leaving is always an option. Also, I am not talking about access to money, I am simply refering to the knowledge of it. If I make the decision to keep money out of the reach of my spouse, I will let her know about its existence and deal with her anger if neccessary. Why keep that money a secret, unless I'm worried about her reaction? If she doesn't have access, then she can't use it. Keeping it a secret won't stop her from using the money because she doesn't have access to it.
 

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You can choose to leave the overspender, but you're stuck slaving to pay off the debt. Telling an overspender the existence of money is like telling a crackhead that you've got crack hidden in the house. You'd never get a second of peace. If I had to hide money from my wife, it would only be because she's proven to be an irresponsible financial partner. If that were the case, there's no way she would have solo access to it and I'd probably keep it a secret just so I didn't have to listen to endless drama about it. Feeding my family is primarily my job. If I have to squirrel away some money to do my job, then that's just the way it is. Now, hiding money so I could spend it on strippers would be completely wrong.
 

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I have to agree with unbelievable there, my wife thankfully has changed her overspending habits and has not given me problems since but if the issue did escalate I would have made a seperate account for our savings. When one just can't be trusted to keep the roof from falling on our heads it's necessary, I wouldn't call it financial ADULTERY - too strong a word.
 

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2ntnuf,
I don't really see anything wrong with your situation if it works for you. If you feel comfortable with sharing your account and she doesn't, that is perfectly fine. You are two different people and what makes you comfortable will not always be the same. The key is to not have any hidden accounts and trust each other. IMHO
Thank you. We are divorced, but I was wondering if this type of thing is okay. I really didn't like it all that much, but it wasn't a deal breaker. Thanks for your comment. It helped.
 

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2ntnuf,
I don't really see anything wrong with your situation if it works for you. If you feel comfortable with sharing your account and she doesn't, that is perfectly fine. You are two different people and what makes you comfortable will not always be the same. The key is to not have any hidden accounts and trust each other. IMHO
There are marriages in which one of the spouses is so irresponsible with money that the other has to protect themself.

In such a marriage, if the over spending spouse knows that there is another account they will often overspend even more with the justification that it does not matter because their spouse has the extra money to cover this extra spending.

The alternative is to divorce the over spending spouse.

I do not believe that if one spouse has to do something like have an secret account to protect the family financially that doing so is wrong.

It is wrong when there are no problems with over spending.
 

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XW and I had a joint account which we both put money into for the household bills like: utilities, rent, condo insurance, phone.

We had separate accounts of our own for the rest. She had access to my account anytime she wanted. I would show her or tell her whatever she needed to know. She did not let me see her's. She did not want me to know what she did with her money. She was very secretive and acted as if she could not share that information, like it would harm her if she did. She claimed it was from her past experiences. I don't know and it doesn't really matter.

What I was wondering is if this is okay? I always thought it was. It was not always convenient, but I was never harmed by it and our bills were always paid.

It did hurt me some. I felt as if she didn't trust me and that is what bothered me. I guess that's part of why I am asking. Thanks.
Since there was not an over spending issue in your marriage I think that what your wife did was wrong. When married the financial actions of one spouse affect the other. When things are kept secret it prevents the other from knowing what is going on with their own financial wellbeing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You can choose to leave the overspender, but you're stuck slaving to pay off the debt. Telling an overspender the existence of money is like telling a crackhead that you've got crack hidden in the house. You'd never get a second of peace. If I had to hide money from my wife, it would only be because she's proven to be an irresponsible financial partner. If that were the case, there's no way she would have solo access to it and I'd probably keep it a secret just so I didn't have to listen to endless drama about it. Feeding my family is primarily my job. If I have to squirrel away some money to do my job, then that's just the way it is. Now, hiding money so I could spend it on strippers would be completely wrong.
I don't see how hiding the money is going to do anything but pro-long dealing with the issue. Do you really believe your spouse wouldn't find out about this account at some point? Also, how are you helping your spouse with this issue by simply hiding money? Your doing nothing but creating another issue by lying to your spouse. A lie which will eventually lead to bigger trust problems. Imagine your spouse telling you they hide things from you because she had no faith in your ability to overcome your issues.

You actually made my point. The reason you would hide money that your spouse cannot access in the first place is to keep from fighting arguing about it. So, whats really the motive behind hiding money? It's not to solve the problem because this type of move wouldn't help her become a better money manager.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have to agree with unbelievable there, my wife thankfully has changed her overspending habits and has not given me problems since but if the issue did escalate I would have made a seperate account for our savings. When one just can't be trusted to keep the roof from falling on our heads it's necessary, I wouldn't call it financial ADULTERY - too strong a word.
We have to call a spade a spade. Calling it anything else is sugar coating it despite the motive behind doing it. It has all the symptons of adultery; lying, hiding, and deception. Look at your situation; your wife got better without you hiding money from her. I would love to hear someone tell me how simply hiding money would help their spouse with this issue. If she really got bad you would need to seek counseling to help her and save your marriage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
There are marriages in which one of the spouses is so irresponsible with money that the other has to protect themself.

In such a marriage, if the over spending spouse knows that there is another account they will often overspend even more with the justification that it does not matter because their spouse has the extra money to cover this extra spending.

The alternative is to divorce the over spending spouse.

I do not believe that if one spouse has to do something like have an secret account to protect the family financially that doing so is wrong.

It is wrong when there are no problems with over spending.
IMHO, marriages are built on honesty, not lies. By hiding money, people are putting a band aid on a bullet wound. How is having a secret account protecting the family? If both people in this relationship knows about the money, but only one person has access to it; where is the threat? Keeping it a secret does not protect the money; it temporarily keeps the peace. But it will ultimatley cause more long term issues.
 

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hi. i'm dealing with my husbands financial infidelity(again). this time was much, much worse than any other. we were v v close to bankruptcy (been close before but this time was the most serious).

the most terrifying point was realising there was NO cash for food. a horrifying feeling that i will never forget. my Dad sent me some £ via the post office.

the thing that hurts me more than anything else is that he NEVER EVER tells me what he's done himself. a stranger always tells me. this time it was someone ringing me to say my debit card payment had failed, as i talked to the caller & turned to look at my husband I KNEW, the look of pure horror,the colour drained from his face. nothing could have prepared me for the figures this time.

3 years before the present lot he had £25k of cc debts. he bullied me into signing for a huge secured loan. he promised again,no more cc's etc etc.

with this last lot we should have gone BR,we are really on the breadline some months. but i lent £ off my parents to do a Full & Final IVA (UK). we are repaying them - it's hard.

i have now said to my husband that i have had enough. i have realised that by supporting him through this over & over again that i am "enabling" him to start it all over again. at the point of me finding out about the secret debts he crumples,he falls to pieces. i then take over,get help,lend £ from my family & then endure times of real hardship as we repay the money owed. during this repayment time he is happy to share banking & makes allsorts of promises of how he won't do it again.

i normally keep all this to myself with only my parents knowing because they lend me £ to bail him out.

i hit the end of my tether when he told me a terrible truth, i'd had 2 yrs not understanding how he'd got a big overdraft set up on the old (in debt) joint bank account. how could a bank make me legally responsible for a overdraft i didn't know about??? i couldn't remember agreeing/signing for it. hubby kept saying i wasn't well - deprssion & it was no wonder i couldn't remember.
he's admitted this was a lie. i thought i was going mad. how could he let me worry for 2 yrs about my state of mind to cover his deception????? gaslighting! it scared me.

i went to my Dr late last yr & told her everthing. hubby is now waiting to start therapy.

i have opend a bank acc in my own name & told him i will have my £ paid in there if i have concerns now. i also have a saving account in my own name - saving little bits of my own £ when i can (got £ off family for xmas too). i am not going to have no £ for food again.
he knows about these 2 accounts. it is driving him mad to know how much i've got - not much but it's my safety net. i've asked the bank not to send statements because he'll pressure me for £ .

he is v frustrated with me for not trusting him!! i think i'd be crazy to just trust him.

he is a good husband in many other ways. im disabled & he helps me but he is v controlling with money.

i think it depends on why people have a secret account. it might have been better if my hubby didn't know but his knowing also tells him that im serious when i say i've had enough of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
hi. i'm dealing with my husbands financial infidelity(again). this time was much, much worse than any other. we were v v close to bankruptcy (been close before but this time was the most serious).

the most terrifying point was realising there was NO cash for food. a horrifying feeling that i will never forget. my Dad sent me some £ via the post office.

I'm sorry to hear about

the thing that hurts me more than anything else is that he NEVER EVER tells me what he's done himself. a stranger always tells me. this time it was someone ringing me to say my debit card payment had failed, as i talked to the caller & turned to look at my husband I KNEW, the look of pure horror,the colour drained from his face. nothing could have prepared me for the figures this time.

3 years before the present lot he had £25k of cc debts. he bullied me into signing for a huge secured loan. he promised again,no more cc's etc etc.

with this last lot we should have gone BR,we are really on the breadline some months. but i lent £ off my parents to do a Full & Final IVA (UK). we are repaying them - it's hard.

i have now said to my husband that i have had enough. i have realised that by supporting him through this over & over again that i am "enabling" him to start it all over again. at the point of me finding out about the secret debts he crumples,he falls to pieces. i then take over,get help,lend £ from my family & then endure times of real hardship as we repay the money owed. during this repayment time he is happy to share banking & makes allsorts of promises of how he won't do it again.

i normally keep all this to myself with only my parents knowing because they lend me £ to bail him out.

i hit the end of my tether when he told me a terrible truth, i'd had 2 yrs not understanding how he'd got a big overdraft set up on the old (in debt) joint bank account. how could a bank make me legally responsible for a overdraft i didn't know about??? i couldn't remember agreeing/signing for it. hubby kept saying i wasn't well - deprssion & it was no wonder i couldn't remember.
he's admitted this was a lie. i thought i was going mad. how could he let me worry for 2 yrs about my state of mind to cover his deception????? gaslighting! it scared me.

i went to my Dr late last yr & told her everthing. hubby is now waiting to start therapy.

i have opend a bank acc in my own name & told him i will have my £ paid in there if i have concerns now. i also have a saving account in my own name - saving little bits of my own £ when i can (got £ off family for xmas too). i am not going to have no £ for food again.
he knows about these 2 accounts. it is driving him mad to know how much i've got - not much but it's my safety net. i've asked the bank not to send statements because he'll pressure me for £ .

he is v frustrated with me for not trusting him!! i think i'd be crazy to just trust him.

he is a good husband in many other ways. im disabled & he helps me but he is v controlling with money.

i think it depends on why people have a secret account. it might have been better if my hubby didn't know but his knowing also tells him that im serious when i say i've had enough of it.
I am sorry to hear about this struggle you're enduring, but am happy to hear you sought professional help. Your actions may upset him but it definitely a way to protect both of you financially and show him how serious you are. How long could you have hide money from him anyway and how does that help him with his problem. Kudos to you and keep on fighting for your marriage while helping your mate.
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hi, looking back i can see he's needed therapy for years,if i ever suggested it he'd get macho,"there's nothing wrong with me! i don't need no shrink!". but he does.

these changes have only come about because i can't take any more of it.
i did wonder if i should keep the bank acc to myself (i will only use it if he starts running up debt again) but in keeping it a secret i'd be making it ok for him to have secret accounts/cards again(he had other bank accounts with overdrafts he'd used up too).

if i want him to be honest & open then i need to do the same. it is very hard though because he's gone to such lengths this time.
i can't tell him how much savings i have though- he's wanting £ all the time,i need to have £ for food myself - i can't depend on him.

i feel even more vulnerable with my disability. we've a long road ahead. i'm working on myself too.
 

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You can choose to leave the overspender, but you're stuck slaving to pay off the debt. Telling an overspender the existence of money is like telling a crackhead that you've got crack hidden in the house. You'd never get a second of peace. If I had to hide money from my wife, it would only be because she's proven to be an irresponsible financial partner. If that were the case, there's no way she would have solo access to it and I'd probably keep it a secret just so I didn't have to listen to endless drama about it. Feeding my family is primarily my job. If I have to squirrel away some money to do my job, then that's just the way it is. Now, hiding money so I could spend it on strippers would be completely wrong.
If my husband overspent money and I felt as if I had to hide money from him so he wouldn't use it, then I doubt our relationship would last. I married my husband knowing how he handled finances and knew he was a responsible, hard working man. I would not have married him otherwise. I rarely spend money and like to put as much as I can into savings, so I expect that my husband will hold similar values.

I think hiding money in general is just unhealthy. It's a temporary "solution" to the problem of one spouse over spending, but it can't last forever. Then what happens when the other one finds out? It can only lead to more problems in the long term, so I can't see how this would be helpful. Do people not know how their spouses are in regards to finances before marriage?

My husband and I discussed many things before getting married, including finances. I knew how he handled his money and we talked about how we would handle finances after we married. We have 2 checking accounts and 2 savings accounts, all of which are joint accounts. We have access to all accounts and nothing is hidden. I can't imagine having my husband hide an account from me.
 

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i'm glad things are so positive for you,wish i could say the same for my marriage but i can't.

even though i see my hubby was never really v good at managing £ i would NEVER have believed him capable of this present lot of debt we/i am dealing with.

i have had panic attacks caused by the blind fear of no £ for food, i love my husband but i realise from going to CODA that i am responsible for myself, i have to make sure I have £ money for my own safety. i cannot be 100% sure he won't do this again as it's not the first time.
I am hopeful he'll get help & sort himself out.
 
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