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Financial Infidelity: 5 Steps To Coming Clean

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Financial Infidelity: 5 Steps To Coming Clean [EXPERT]
When it comes to money, honesty is the best policy.
Here's how to tell your partner you lied about your spending.

Many people ask, "Should I tell my partner about my past financial infidelity?" Our answer: get it off your chest. 

Nearly every relationship harbors some level of financial infidelity. It might be as minor as not telling your partner what you really spent on a gift, or as major as keeping a secret bank account to pay for your gambling addiction. Either way, the path to a healthy money relationship will never be smooth unless you are honest about your behavior and committed to changing your ways.

More from YourTango: 15 Signs Your Marriage Will End In Divorce

If you have a history of lying about spending or hiding money from your partner, it's time to come clean. Here are 5 steps to confessing your financial infidelity that will get your relationship on the right track, bring you both closer together, and help you get through the number one relationship killer. 5 Signs Of Financial Infidelity In Your Relationship

1. Admit it to yourself. Take a good look at what you've been doing, and why you've been doing it. What is behind your behavior — Fear? Anger? Control? Resentment? Shame? Before you tell your partner about your infidelity, you need to understand what has led you to these behaviors. This is not about making excuses or blaming your partner. It is about being honest with yourself, so you can take ownership of what you've done. No one made you do these things.

2. Be prepared for anger. Your partner is going to be angry. He is going to be hurt. He is going to resent you, especially if your Financial Infidelity has led to debt or other money problems. As much as we would like to tell you this will not happen or that everything is going to be fine, the truth is that Financial Infidelity is a real problem that brings with it real pain.

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3. Get it over with. There isn't going to be a perfect time to confess your Financial Infidelity. Naturally you don't want to bring it up in the midst of some other argument or use your confession as a weapon against your partner. Instead, pick a quiet evening, sit down together, and tell your partner the truth. Preface your confession by saying something like, "Honey, I know we've had some disagreements about money in the past. I want you to know that I've done some things with our finances that I am not proud of. However, I want to tell you about those things so that we can work together to build a better Money Relationship."

4. Listen to your partner. Once you have laid out your confession, it's time to listen. As hard as it might be to hear, your partner will want to respond to what you've said, and it might not be very pleasant. If you don't let your partner react and respond, the questions, the anger, the resentment that they are bound to feel will only fester and blow up later. So take in your partners response, listen without getting defensive, apologize, and seek forgiveness.

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Article contributed by
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Scott And Bethany Palmer The Money Couple

YourTango Expert Partner

The Money Couple, Scott & Bethany Palmer are authors, regulars on national TV, radio and speak internationally about “Love and Money”. With 40 years of combined financial planning experience they launched The Money Couple® and have dedicated their lives to helping couples bring their love and money together. Scott and Bethany enjoy an active lifestyle living in Colorado with their two young sons, Cole and Cade.

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Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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