It’s often a taboo subject at the start of a relationship.  But financial infidelity can be  as much a relationship-breaker as sexual infidelity.

When couples combine their incomes, it’s a huge leap of faith – and an act of trust. So what happens when one side tells some little white lies?

Men are more inclined to spending secret funds for lifestyle purchases as well as spending on items they might not get an approval from their partners. Furthermore, research conducted by Australia’s ING Direct found out that there are 21 percent of men against 17 percent of women who admit that they are keeping secret bank accounts.

Furthermore, research by Relationships Australia revealed that there are 30 percent of men and 37 percent of women pinpointed financial stress as the root of marital unhappiness. Deceitful spending adds to the stress and is a common dilemma an Australian couple could face.

According to Moneysmart a strong relationship comes from keeping a sense of your personal finances. Never be afraid or embarrassed to discuss with your partner about financial issues and concerns. You have to work it out together.

How can you avoid financial infidelity and achieve healthy and harmonious relationship? Here are some of the tell tale signs that your partner is committing such unfaithfulness with your money:

• Unexplained and baffling withdrawals in your account. If you check your joint account every so often and you figure out there are purchases and cash withdrawals that you do not know of, there could be more to the scenario. Discuss this with your partner and sort things out. Better yet, go directly to the bank for inquiries.

• When your partner is overly controlling. Financial infidelity often arises when one spouse wants to dominate the finances without much effort or no input from the other. If you have a partner who puts up a fight, acts defensive and is condescending when you bring up financial decisions, warning bells should ring.

• Shopping is never a bad thing. Some women indulge in retail therapy. However, if shopping goes beyond excessive, this can cause a lot of financial woes in the future. If your partner has expensive hobbies, discuss with him or her how to balance your finances out.

• Emotional reaction and avoidance of money issues and discussions. Conversations regarding money can be a romance killer. Strong emotional reaction implores serious and deeper problems. Unfortunately, this could also mean hidden issues that you are unaware of.

• If you are removed from a joint account without your knowledge or discussion, it’s definitely a danger signal. This could be an indication that your partner is using the card in something that you are not in favour of. You have to investigate as soon as possible.

Financial infidelity is a form of cheating. This might not involve sneaky and clandestine affairs, but it can definitely undermine a relationship.

Being able to recognise these warning signs and engage in “money talk” with your partner can definitely make a difference. It might even save your “happy ever after”.


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