Do you have a dirty little secret you’ve been hiding from your partner? Have you been sneaking around and covering your tracks? Maybe you’re caught up in an unquenchable love affair with designer handbags or it’s your partner who’s totally embedded in gambling. If you’re living in fear of each other’s credit card bills, it may be a case of Financial Infidelity.
People tend to say your relationship with money is directly related to your personal relationship with each other. Whether it’s a secret debt, undisclosed extra income, or out of control spending, once it’s discovered financial infidelity can be just as devastating to your partner as Sexual Infidelity. Your sense of trust is just as violated and, just like an affair, you try to go back in time, recounting all the secretive behavior going on right under your nose.
To give you a better idea of how easy it is to fall into this trap here are a few examples of risky reasoning that can lead to financial cheating:
- “I deserve it.” Feeling entitled to splurge on something you can’t afford to make up for a bad day at work or because your partner didn’t/won’t buy it for you.
- “Keeping up with the Joneses.” Materialism being a priority over intimacy and wanting to keep up the life you “believe” you should have…rather than the one you can afford.
- “It’s my only real pleasure.” Using buying and spending to fulfill unmet needs.
Just like Sexual Infidelity the recovery process is the same. Trust has been broken and to reconnect and move forward both need to take responsibility for their actions. Couples Counseling can help with the Repair process as the betrayal includes similar emotions. Couples Therapy enables both partners to share their thoughts, feelings and perspectives about what caused their acting out behaviors and discuss new ways to prevent their relationship from moving toward the relationship they truly want. Do you think you have cheated this way or the other?