Many changes on social and financial fronts have been occurring over few decade, yet when it comes to relationship, importance is only highlighted in physical and emotional cheating. There is new frontier emerging in a relationship- less talked about and harder to spot- financial infidelity. In essence, your partner is financially unfaithful- hiding purchases, hiding bank account, hiding cash, having credit card(s) which you know nothing about. (See Is Emotional Cheating Worse Than Physical Cheating?)
Impact of physical and emotional cheating can have lasting impact but can be overcome. You have option of getting over and improvise for better tomorrows that lie ahead. But financial cheating can have bearing on your financial aspect of your life which is likely to linger for a long term. It could ruin your credit thus potentially harmful to get loans or a new job in the future. Your financial security may totally disappear.
According to recent survey in Smart Money, the number of people who are financially unfaithful is on the rise. Among those couples who have ever combined finances, two in five (42 percent) have committed some sort of financial deception. Among those who have committed financial deception, and/or whose partner did, 75 percent said the financial deceptions affected their current or past relationships, with over a quarter (28 percent) saying it caused less trust in the relationship. About 32 percent of the survey recipients preferred some aspects of their finances remained private from their partner.
Ironically, money is number one stress factor and yet financial infidelity usually goes unnoticed. Eventually the unassuming partner finds out a bank statement, a questionable purchase, or the like.
In a two-income family, it is likely that one (or both) partner want to use the money without being questioned. Not only does partner(s) set money aside secretly, but often they hide the fact the money exists at all. It may seem harmless at the inception of the relationship. But it is a sign of financial infidelity- it's the secrecy that really harms the relationship.
Most people do not consider financial state important part of their relationship. The good foundation of relationship is possible if both partners establish financial boundaries and expectations.
Being open and honest about your finances doesn't mean you have to pool every penny earned, or consult each other on every purchase made, though. There are many ways couple can maintain financial harmony. When it comes to money, people tend to be territorial. In the long run, it is never a good idea to comingle funds. In a practical world, the financial existence of one partner need not be dependent on another because one never knows what can happen in the future.
Simply, to retain harmony and independence it is best to each one has separate account and one joint account for family related expenses. It is recognizing that both partners are dependent on one another and yet independent on their own. It is a concept not fully utilized- Intra-dependent.
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