3 Sneaky Ways Your Man Cheats On You (Right Under Your Nose)

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He’s Cheating On You Right Under Your Nose

It's not always 'another woman' you need to watch for.

Relationships are complicated, even on the best days. So when you finally find a 'good man' you don't want to worry about him cheating

But, here's the thing —Smart women keep their eyes open for signs of cheating and dishonesty in their relationship. But the smell of another woman's perfume is not the only sign that he's 'cheating.' We're here to tell you: You need to keep an eye on your bank account, as well. 

Have you heard of "financial infidelity"?

It is as messy and destructive as it sounds. And chances are, your man's doing it right under your nose.

Like with all forms of cheating, somebody in the relationship is hiding something, but in the case of "financial infidelity" it's your money he's screwing around with. And that behavior can destroy your relationship in ways you never imagined.  

Financial infidelity is any money-related behavior where one person in the relationship is less than honest with the other person. Maybe he’s fudging numbers to cover up over-spending, or he's covertly hiding money, opening secret accounts, using cash to avoid a paper trail, or controlling the purse strings in order to control you. Either way, it’s financial infidelity.

And his sneaky ways don't have to involve millions of dollars to matter (or ruin your life). Lies and dishonesty are at the heart of financial infidelity, and him sneaking around in ANY way is a giant red flag something is off in your relationship.

Telling the truth is like jumping off a cliff — there's no half way. He's either 100 percent honest about his (and your) money, or he's hiding something.

Over several decades of helping couples, we uncovered some surprising statistics about financial infidelity and saw, first hand, how rampant and destructive it is. It’s actually a leading cause of divorces. A Citibank survey found that 57 percent of divorced couples cited "money problems" as the primary reason their relationship shattered. And it could be happening to you.

Today is the day to get real with each other and stop the cheating. You can guarantee he’s lying about money if he’s doing any of the following:

1. He won’t discuss debt.

So many couples struggle with over-spending and debt. Life is expensive. 

Blame his buddies, his expensive hobby, or those creepy 'follow me' Google ads, but there is a mountain of really awesome things swirling before our eyes each day screaming at us to buy them! And he figures that he works hard, so why shouldn’t he have some nice things? But it only takes one killer vacation, one huge spending spree, or even something like a necessary move, to suddenly accumulate sizeable debt. In fact, NerdWallet Inc. reports the average U.S. household is carrying $15,762 in credit card debt alone.

Or maybe you two agreed on a budget and to 'cut back.'  But cutting back is harder for some personalities than others. So, he picks up the tab when he's out with his friends (even though he promised you he wouldn't), or loans his buddy money he doesn't really have. And that’s when the lying begins. He starts hiding receipts, telling half-truths, and borrowing money to cover his mistakes and lies.

When massive debt is looming overhead — the heat is on — and he doesn’t want to look like the bad guy so he rationalizes, "What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her." Unfortunately, 90 percent honesty is still not true honesty. So, if he won’t talk about debt, he’s hiding something.

Debt alone is not a relationship killer — dishonesty is.

2. He thinks planning and budgets are a buzz kill.

Lack of financial planning doesn’t ever seem like an issue until couples face a big outlay of cash, like buying a house, paying for college, needing another car, or a medical emergency.

You hit a point in life where you suddenly need a sizeable chunk of money and you just don’t have it. You could have planned for it, but, like most folks, you didn’t. To make matters worse you start fighting, blaming, and going to extremes to compensate for that lack of planning.

One couple we counseled clawed their way back from the brink of divorce over this very issue. They talked about saving for college for their daughter, but he thought it was pointless. "Every kid ends up with loans, right?” So he never started the savings. She assumed he had. Years later, she discovered the truth.

When their daughter ordered her cap and gown, the wife channeled her anger towards her husband into a full court press to sell all three cars and purchase much, much cheaper ones to help her daughter avoid college loan debt. She never consulted him on this move.

Both of them committed financial infidelity in this situation. He wasn’t honest about his lack of faith in savings and she went behind his back to sell all the cars. Paying for college freaks a lot of parents out, but destroying your marriage over it won’t help.

3. He insists on having total control over every penny.

The final danger zone in which financial infidelity often occurs is when one person has total control over every cent. Sound familiar?

We see countless situations where a spouse treats the other almost like a child with a weekly allowance. The financially dominant spouse insists on full control, no questions asked. 

This is insane. This type of unnecessary control tends to ultimately drive the controlled spouse to commit financial infidelity to experience a sense of freedom with her money or even to solve necessary problems.

Say the "allowance" doesn’t cover the participation price of high school athletics, but basketball is where their daughter shines. That financially powerless spouse is all but driven to lie or work around the system to handle basic household matters to keep the peace.

Financial infidelity is an icky mess because it wounds the center of every relationship trust.

But your spouse committing financial infidelity doesn't have to be fatal to your relationship. First, press pause and regroup together to talk openly about the situation (seek help from a professional to work through the breakdown of trust). Second, commit to financial honesty. Third, create a plan together, share financial control, and avoid massive debt. Construct a simple plan for rainy day savings and the other future expenses you anticipate (Try Mint’s practical advice on saving for multiple goals).

Those shared efforts can restore your faith in each other and revitalize the financial health to your marriage. Ultimately though, don’t tolerate financial cheating. You wouldn’t look the other way if you thought he was messing around with another woman, so don’t tolerate financial infidelity either.


Scott & Bethany Palmer, The Money Couple, are financial planners, authors, and speakers who help couples tackle money issues in their relationship. Grab a copy of "The 5 Money Personalities: Speaking the Same Love and Money Language," and be sure and take the FREE online Money Personality Assessment. 


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