How to Avoid Financial Infidelity

Financial infidelity is the occurrence between one spouse or partner in a relationship, hiding financial behaviors. Hiding debts, assets or commitments that also act in secret and effect a couples financial situation is considered financial infidelity. These behaviors needs to be addressed before it’s too late on the relationship and finances. Learn how to avoid financial infidelity using the following five tips and advice for couples.

Still not sure if your relationship falls into the category of “financial infidelity”? If you answer yes to the following examples, you might be flagged as victim, or perpetrator. If you’re excessively spending money, buying or mortgaging personal property, lending to or borrowing from family, friends or a retirement account, making risky investments or starting an ill-conceived small business — all without the other person’s knowledge and consent, then according to MSN Money, you are victim of financial infidelity.

MSN Money reports continue, stating that financial infidelity gets its name because “it’s just as serious as a sexual betrayal,” says Mary Gresham, a psychologist in Atlanta.

“You’re taking resources that belong in the couple or partnership and funneling them off. It leads to a lot of divorces,” Gresham says.

Keeping your spouse out of the loop

Financial infidelity isn’t uncommon. One in 3 people who said they’d comingled their finances also said they’d either committed or experienced an act of financial deceit, according to a January 2014 survey by the National Endowment for Financial Education, or NEFE, a Denver-based nonprofit.

If you suspect your significant other has been financially unfaithful, here are some signs to look for.

Perhaps the clearest sign of possible financial infidelity is missing or misdirected documents.

If your partner has bank statements, credit card bills or other important financial information sent to his or her office instead of your home or if your partner’s executive assistant or secretary handles your joint financial matters, deception could be at work.

“If the office is taking care of personal accounting, that usually is a huge flag,” Vasileff says.

Other flags include:

  • You’re cut off from a joint credit card.
  • You see no activity by your partner on a card you’ve normally both used.
  • You receive statements in the mail from a financial company you’ve never heard of.
  • Your partner intercepts bills and statements so you don’t see them.
  • Cash goes missing or is unaccounted for.

Financial sob stories

Another warning sign can be sudden inflated and emotional claims of unusual or severe financial hardship or debt.

“Very often, a precursor to divorce is one of the spouses will tell all of the economic stresses and woes so you will get into the mindset of, ‘We have no money, business is terrible.’ Then, your expectations are low. That’s all premeditated,” Vasileff says.

On the flip side, sudden out-of-character generosity also could signal mischief.

“The spouse wines and dines the person, takes them on an extravagant vacation or tells them to go on an extravagant vacation by themselves, tells them everything is wonderful, when it’s just the opposite,” Vasileff says.

Gail Cunningham, spokeswoman at the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, a nonprofit credit counseling organization in Washington, D.C., says it’s important to keep your eyes open and not be willfully blind.

“Do they never look around the house? Never notice their lifestyle?” she says. “A person may choose to look the other way because he or she is enjoying the benefits of the spending, but I refuse to believe (that person is) totally blind to it.”

Spending addictions

Gambling might seem harmless and day-trading stocks might seem smart, but done to excess, these activities can be addictive and trigger financial treachery to support the habit. If your partner has a financial addiction, watch out for financial infidelity, as well.

“When people have financial addictions like gambling, spending, trading stocks or lending money to family and friends to feel like a good person, those are often part of the infidelity where there’s no consensus, no communication and no permission in advance. They are acting unilaterally and don’t disclose it,” Vasileff says.

Disclosure after the fact doesn’t count and can be manipulative, Vasileff says.

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Original article courtesy of MSN Money

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