Man Asks How To Confess To His Spouse That He Faked Having A Job & Hid His Trust Fund For 15 Years

He's been making $25,000 per month their entire relationship while pretending to be a "consultant."

Wife headed to work while trust fund husband pretends to. MixMedia via Canva / designer491 via Canva / Andrii Zastrozhnov via Canva

The Notorious B.I.G. said it best: "Mo' money, mo' problems," and for the wealthy that often includes navigating breaking the news of their wealth. 

But one man took that dilemma to a whole new level by simply not divulging his wealth to his spouse at all. Now, it's weighing on his conscience, and setting him up for major drama in his marriage.

The man hid his trust fund from his spouse for 15 years, and is wondering how to confess the truth to her.

Imagine being married for a decade and a half and having no idea that your partner is a millionaire. That's precisely the situation one man wrote to The New York Times' "The Ethicist" columnist, Kwame Anthony Appiah, about for help.


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"Unbeknown to my spouse," the man writes, "I have a trust fund that provides me with a monthly income of $25,000." That's a cool $300,000 a year — nice work if you can get it, as they say. He went on to explain that when he and his spouse first met, "I said that I worked as a consultant, and they have never questioned this."

The man has never held a job for their entire marriage, telling his spouse he is a 'consultant' and never talking about his work life.

Men hiding money from their wives is incredibly common, and frequently comes up in divorce proceedings. As Tracy Coenen, an investigator whose work often centers on finding hidden money in divorces, explains below, once the courts begin combing through assets, the financial betrayal frequently surfaces.



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But this man's situation is a bit different. There's nothing nefarious about his... Well, we should call it what it is: deception. Rather, it's more like a 15-year lie of omission. "My spouse, a dedicated doctor, works long hours and doesn’t like to discuss work when not on the job," he says.

So it sounds like the details of his work and money situation just sort of never come up. 

He also adds that he was advised by his family to keep his finances quiet, an approach frequently taken by wealthy people to avoid being taken advantage of or judged for having more money than the rest of us. 

But stretching that secrecy beyond the courtship stage is, of course, a whole other can of worms, and it's weighing on this man's conscience. He adds, "My dilemma is whether I should reveal the truth about my trust fund to my spouse. My family members have always advised against disclosing our financial situation, but the weight of this secret is becoming difficult to bear."


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Financial infidelity can wreak havoc on the trust in a marriage — in some cases, it's even worse than cheating.

It certainly doesn't seem like this husband meant any harm, but he also doesn't seem to fully have a hold on how damaging the fact he hid his trust fund from his wife might be to his marriage.

Psychologists say financial infidelity can include anything from hiding purchases assets to lying about income, and keeping a trust fund hidden for 15 years hits several of the criteria. And according to marital finance experts The Money Couple, the damage this type of dishonesty can be even more destructive than actual sexual infidelity.

As The Money Couple told us earlier this year, "Discovering you’ve been lied to about money can throw off your center of balance somehow... You thought you could rely on this person above all others to be straight with you, but now here you are."


The man wonders if he should confess that he hid his trust fund from his spouse, and how to go about doing so if he does.

He wonders if he should just leave well enough alone, or if it's time to spill the beans, especially since "the weight of this secret is becoming difficult to bear."

Not surprisingly, the Times' Ethicist urged him to come clean post-haste, but given the betrayal involved, to brace for impact before doing so. "[D]on’t expect an easy ride," he responds. "Your spouse will have reason to wonder what else you have been hiding — and why you didn’t feel you could trust them with the truth."

He also suggests the pair see a couples counselor ASAP, a recommendation The Money Couple agrees with. "Money secrets can create a huge mess," they told us. "It’s often helpful to get a neutral party to help you sort out your mess... [D]on’t think twice about enlisting the help of a professional to untangle the mess and give you both impartial advice for a successful future." 


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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.