Money Matters: Why These 3 Financial Lies Guarantee Divorce

By

Marriage Educator: How These Money Lies Can Lead To Divorce
It's okay to have a savings account…but not a secret savings account.

What if we could tell you three things that would guarantee the end of your marriage? Would you listen? Do you even think you need to? What really transpires between "I do" and "we're done" anyway? Every relationship is unique, but if you're not careful, these three things will guarantee divorce

1. Sneaky Spending
Don't tune out because we're talking money, not sexDivorced couples said money was the #1 reason they split up, more often than any other reason. And it doesn't matter how "well off" you are. Whether you're loaded or limping along, sneaky spending ruins relationships. Less-than-honest spending looks different for every couple. And some personalities struggle with sneaky spending more than others. Sometimes it's large amounts, but often it's small potatoes, or at least it starts that way. 

 

Don't think there's sneaky spending in your marriage? How about the forgot-to-mention credit card, saying the bar tab was $60 when it was really $260, quietly investing in the next big thing, funding your buddy who's always just "a little short," hiding receipts, or borrowing money to cover past mistakes? They all add up to dishonesty in your marriage, and can potentially lead to divorce. 

Take Sue and Jamal, a young, successful, ladder-climbing couple with a new home and two enviable paychecks. Jamal dreamed of a strong woman by his side. He had big career aspirations, maybe even a political future, and he wanted a soulmate and a woman who could look the part. Sue was perfect and always looked stunning. He loved that about her and Sue knew it. Sue also knew Jamal had no idea what it cost to "look this good." So when he began to question her purchases, she saved him the pain (after all, he couldn't handle a day in her lowest Jimmy Choos), and opened her own credit card to handle her "necessary" expenses. Jamal didn't need to be botheredBut "bothered" does not begin to describe Jamal when he will eventually open a rather fat letter and reads about Sue’' overdue credit card bill. Sue's purchases started small, but grew beyond the tallest stiletto before she realized it.

Sneaking around, even if we’re only talking about money, guarantees divorce.

2. Secret Savings
But wait, in this economy, how could saving ever be wrong? When you don't trust your spouse enough to tell him or her about it.

Carolyn Hax, columnist for The Washington Post, recently told a reader questioning her husband's honesty in their marriage that "the advantages you have are intimacy, transparency, and trust" and if you torch those, your marriage goes up in flames. Just like Sue's sneaky omission of the facts with Jamal, a spouse secretly hiding money forfeits the "transparency and trust" and commits the same crime.

Take this email we recently received from a heart-broken empty nester. Kathleen is the mother of two daughters in college. Her girls chose schools far enough from home where she didn't see their dirty laundry, but close enough their holiday table was noisy and full.

Kathleen's husband ran a tight financial ship, but she never felt the kids suffered tremendously because of it. Although, as young girls they wore Sears clothes instead of matching Gymboree outfits, played soccer in the yard versus expensive league play, and wore hand-me-down Prom dresses. Kathleen's "go without" list bothered her over the years, but she'd been told money was tight. Little did she know, her husband had been socking away hefty piles of cash he never let on they had. When the first student loan bill arrived, Tom wrote an enormous check from an account Kathleen had never heard of. Kathleen was stunned. 

On the one hand, she was thrilled. But she was also bothered that they had never talked about it. All that money, for all those years, and she never knew about it. Kathleen thought, "So the girls could have picked out new dresses for the Prom?" How do you go back and do that now? Kathleen knows you can't. Had Kathleen known about Tom’s savings she would have still run a thrifty ship, but she would have loved an occasional splurge — if only she'd known. Why didn't Tom trust Kathleen with the truth?

Secrets are a great way to guarantee divorce.

3. Juvenile Justification
The third way to guarantee divorce is to justify your sneaky money lies. You tell yourself your situation is different. Your secretive behavior is for the good of the marriage. Like a little day trading. She thinks it puts that bigger house within reach before the market bell rings, maybe. Or he thinks his sister always got a raw deal with mom and dad so paying off her car loan seems only fair. Insert your immature rationale for your less-than-honest, less-than-transparent money behavior. Tempting, right?

But surprise, no one likes surprises. Surprises can lead to divorce. But we can't be all doom and gloom. Because it doesn't have to be that way! You can overcome or avoid all three of these marriage killers. You can stop it right now, and move forward by coming clean, forgiving each other, and building new patterns in your life and your relationship.

Secrets suffocate your relationship. Remove their toxic stranglehold and breath easy together, forever, or face the painful possibility of divorce.

Get free help today at TheMoneyCouple.com with our scientific Money Personality Assessment or pick up our latest book The 5 Money Personalities: Speaking the Same Love and Money Language.

More marriage educator advice on YourTango:

 

Article contributed by

Scott And Bethany Palmer The Money Couple

YourTango Expert Partner

The Money Couple, Scott & Bethany Palmer are parents, finance experts, authors, and regulars on national TV and radio. With 40 years of combined financial planning experience they launched The Money Couple to help couples and families improve their relationships with love and money. Scott and Bethany enjoy an active lifestyle living in Colorado with their two sons, Cole and Cade. Pre-order their NEW BOOK, The 5 Money Conversations To Have With Your Kids At Every Age and Every Stage

Take the FREE Money Personality Assessment!

Sign up to Raise Money Smart Kids with Scott & Bethany's new FREE video series

Learn more about The Money Couple's video series Raising Money Smart Kids

Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Credentials: Other
Other Articles/News by Scott and Bethany Palmer The Money Couple:

4 Ways To Teach Your Kids Credit Savvy Money Skills

By

My son Cade and I were shopping the other day when he asked me to purchase something for him. I told him, "Sorry, bud. We can't afford it." His reply hit me like a brick in the head: "C'mon, Dad, don't worry about having the money today, just put it on a credit card!" Holy sh*t, I thought to myself. I've been a ... Read more

Do Your Kids Have A Bad Case Of The Gimmies? 3 Ways To Cure Them

By

Forget cold and flu season. This time of year, kids come down with a bad case of the "gimmes." With all the new toys, new technology, and mega sales, wanting more is pretty contagious, but the "gimmes" aren't fatal. You can help your child, and your entire family with these parenting tips that encourage a spirit of thankfulness ... Read more

5 Signs Your Child Might Be An Entitled Brat (Thanks To You)

By

Once upon a time, parents feared their children wouldn't have enough. Now we fear our kids have way too much. You want to give your child every advantage you never had, but where is the line between investing in their growth and happiness and raising an entitled brat?  The main difference is noted in their attitude. A "spoiled" ... Read more

See More

 
Latest Expert Videos
ASK YOURTANGO MORE QUESTIONS
Must-see Videos
SEE MORE VIDEOS
Most Popular