Keeping secrets about money can have extremely damaging effects on your marriage.
The secret, it turns out, has to do with their finances, or lack thereof. They're referring to it as "financial infidelity," and 24% of the poll respondents said they "would not tell their spouse if they were experiencing financial difficulties." 4 Ways To Avoid Fighting About Money
Why not, you ask? Well, the data shows respondents are keeping mum over money for three reasons: 9% said they don't want to worry their partner, 7% said they don't want to damage their relationship, and 8% said, "with a certain circular logic," their spouse had no idea about their debt in the first place.
However, as DailyFinance.com puts it, the silver lining is the 76% of poll takers who would share the details surrounding their debt with their spouse. And though Gail Cunningham, spokeswoman for NFCC, admitted she was surprised that more people didn't keep their financial problems from their spouse, she finds these results troubling since "financial stress is one of the main causes of divorce." What Happy Couples Have In Common
"A reluctance to share financial information in a marriage could not lead to anything positive, and is possibly a sign of a deeper underlying problem in the marriage itself," she said.
In Psychology Today's "Most Marital Arguments Center Around Finances," Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz echo Cunningham's sentiment and advise people in love to talk sense when "dealing with their dollars."
They write, "In the end, only an out of touch and uninformed person would believe that finances are unrelated to marital discourse. Someone who would say this is out of touch with the last half century of research on this topic! Our three decades of research on marriage tells us this — the number one cause of marital discourse and dysfunction is related to financial distress! There are no if's, and's, or but's, about that!" Can Cheating Keep Your Marriage Together?
And we couldn't agree more. The basic foundation of any great relationship is trust, and this includes talking openly about your financial problems. You should trust your partner to understand and, in turn, help you manage your problems and/or debt. No good will come from these kinds of secrets, and the negative fall out from such decisions are 100% preventable.
For example, the NFCC suggests starting a casual conversation about the problem, respecting the fact that each person has valid opinions and concerns. They also suggest you be open to adjusting your lifestyle and "probe to understand long-held financial attitudes." As for Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz, they suggest you set goals for "resolving your financial setbacks together," and you keep from "blaming one another for your collective misfortune." Also, don't be afraid to celebrate each time you and your spouse have a financial success. Celebrating together can "help create the feeling that the next goal is even more achievable."
Are you guilty of financial infidelity? What are some tips you have for solving your financial problems with your spouse?