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. And I want you to know that I've done some things with our finances that I'm not proud of. 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've 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. But if you don't let your partner react and respond, question, get angry or resent what he or she is bound to feel, it will only fester and blow up later. So take it in, listen without getting defensive, apologize and seek forgiveness.
5. Focus on the future. Depending on the level of financial infidelity you're dealing with, your partner might have a lot of questions or concerns. There might be some serious financial damage that you'll need to repair. There might be issues of trust and resentment that will be hard for you to deal with. If there has been a severe breach of trust, we strongly recommend seeking professional marriage counseling. But don't let your past define your relationship. Come to this conversation with ideas for repairing the financial and relational damage and make a plan for moving forward. Show your partner that you are committed to building something new, together. Plan a Money Huddle and use that time to take a hard look at your financial picture-warts and all. What Do Sex and Money Have in Common?
Recovering from financial infidelity is never easy. But with time, patience, trust and a true commitment to change, you and your partner can rebuild your financial relationship.
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