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Rebuild Your Marriage After Financial Infidelity

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Most American adults (65 percent) have at some point combined their finances with a spouse or partner, according to a recent study by the National Endowment for Financial Education.

Of those couples, one out of every three have lied about or kept secret some of their financial details. For nearly half of the couples surveyed, the deception caused an argument. Thirteen percent ended up separating their finances. For 18 percent of the couples, the financial deception ultimately broke them apart.

Financial infidelity is when couples with combined finances lie to each other about money. Examples of financial infidelity can include hiding existing debts, excessive expenditures without notifying the other partner, and lying about the use of money.

Just 5 percent of people in relationships report having secret bank accounts, but women are 50 percent more likely to do so than men. And women aged 45-54 are more than four times as likely as their male peers to have a secret bank account.

When you’re married, your partner’s debt becomes your debt. It could also impact your credit score. If one of the people in the relationship is not honest about what is happening in your joint financial lives, it’s a huge breach and is difficult to overcome. “It begs the question ‘If you are lying about that, what else are you lying about?’

How Do You Repair Your Finances and Rebuild Trust in Your Spouse?

Lay it All Out on the Table

The best way to start repairing the damage is to come clean with your partner. Lay out all your assets and your debts. You both need to get on the same page, and to do that, there cannot be any hidden loans or debt or hidden assets or accounts.

Take Responsibility for what you have done.

Apologize for putting your partner in this position and reaffirm your loave for them. Commit to take all necessary steps and measures to work with your partner to get the situation cleared up. Commit to make sure the behavior does not happen again.

Give Your Partner Time to Absorb it All

Your Partner has been wronged. Trust has been broken. He or She will likely feel betrayed or violated. You need to give them time and space to absorb the situation and process their emotions. Don’t offer up excuses or worse lie about how it happened.

Communicate Regularly

Start talking about your feelings about money. Most people have a hard time talking about money. However, if you are going to rebuild your life together, you both need to be able to discuss ALL financial issues. Depending on the amount of Debt or financial Damage that has been done, you may benefit from third-party financial or debt advisors. You should also agree to sit down once monthly and discuss your finances.

Reframe Your ideas about Money

What are your financial goals? Do you want to buy a home, save for your kids’ college, retire early? To reach your goals, you both need to work toward them together. Perhaps a budget would help keep you on track and give you a blueprint to check against. A budget would also help rebuild a sense of safety and togetherness, which strengthens your relationship.

Relinquish control to your spouse.

The partner than financially unfaithful should not oversee paying the bills or keeping the checkbook. Until they can demonstrate that they have a handle on their spending, the other partner should take over those functions.

Don’t neglect the intimate connection with your spouse.

It would be easy to be put off making love or being intimate with your spouse while you are furious with them for damaging your finances and betraying your trust. They feel embarrassed, unworthy, and unloved. You both need to try to reconnect to rekindle the love in the marriage.

Financial infidelity is not uncommon. The key to rebuilding trust in your partner and your marriage is Open Communication, Reconnecting Intimately, and Sharing financial responsibilities.

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