She stated he stated monetary infidelity can hurt a wedding, however belief will be repaired

Dear Lori and Jeff,

I only recently learned that my wife has a secret bank account. We got married six years ago and agreed to pool our finances. We both work full time and contribute equally to building our nest egg. I don’t necessarily get angry about the money, but I’m incredibly angry that she lied to me all along. I don’t know how to trust her again. I love her and the life we ​​lead together, but I’m afraid we will never get over it. Please help.

With best regards,

In the dark

Dear ITD:

Lori and Jeff: Money and finance are repeatedly cited as the main reasons for divorce. At the beginning of a relationship, when hormones are skyrocketing and everything is feeling good, we often don’t see a need to discuss our attitudes towards money and share our stories about it. These conversations are often stressful so we just don’t go there. But without a real understanding of the other’s relationship with money, tension, resentment, and big blunders are likely.

Lori: There really is no justification for financial infidelity in a healthy marriage, that is, a marriage in which there is no equality, abuse, neglect, or control in any area. Assuming your marriage reflects these characteristics, your wife should have been open about her thoughts, wants, and needs. It is important now that she be accountable and apologize for keeping this a secret. With that in mind, it’s also important to recognize how much money affects women. For many of us, money in our subconscious is linked to our core survival. Which means that it is also directly related to our primal fears. According to financial expert Jean Chatzky, women in particular have a strong link between finances and wellbeing, especially savings and security. Even women who have not actively engaged in the issue know that they have some reasons to feel financially vulnerable. Statistically speaking, we tend to be less able to work than men and also live longer.

A 2019 study in the Journal of Consumer Research found that 13% to 22% of couples have financial infidelity. The prevalence of this behavior, including hiding debts, making secret purchases, and opening secret credit cards, shows how many partners believe their significant other does not understand or support them. Your wife’s job is to clarify what her sweetheart means to her and what, other than you or marriage, she needs in order to feel more secure.

Jeff: Secrets and lies harm most relationships. When they happen between committed romantic partners, they can be so devastating that they can create painful cracks that may never heal. Most of us think of sexual or emotional matters when we think of relationship infidelity, but the assumption that we can trust our partners to be honest with us when it comes to money can open the door to possible heartbreak. When trust around finances is broken, we can feel just as cheated as we would after an affair with our partner. The parallels don’t end here. As in sexual or emotional affairs, there is rarely only one partner who is solely responsible for the transgression. The unscrupulous choice can be directly attributed to one partner, but all the elements that led to the decision often fall on the shoulders of both partners. It will be very important for you to think about how the dynamics of money play out in your marriage. Are there unspoken rules or assumptions about your finances and who is in control of them? Is there an open and transparent platform to talk about money? Do you understand your own stories about money as much as anyone else’s?

Jeff and Lori: Trust is built through a thousand little moments of integrity over time, but can be undermined in a moment of dishonesty. It’s okay that you don’t trust your wife today. Financial infidelity is unforgettable, but if she is willing to take her part and do something, it doesn’t have to be unforgivable. To overcome this, you need to acknowledge and express the pain it caused, but you also need to focus on how each of you can create a more transparent and trusting foundation.

Lori and Jeff are married, licensed psychotherapists and couple-to-couple coaches at the Aspen Relationship Institute. Send your relationship questions to and your request will be eligible for a future column.

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