Secrets can be relationship killers. Often it doesn’t matter what the secret is about, as much as the other partner losing trust. Financial secrets come up for a lot of reasons. One common reason is an affair. A financial secret could be completely honest, but it could lead to the assumption of an affair if discovered. Other secrets are innocent, but they go on because of a need for better couples communication. Finally, secrets can hide things like gambling or alcohol addiction. Financial counseling does not take the place of a financial planner but can help you talk about your values and how they relate to your spending habits and financial health. You may need more financial intimacy.
Creating a separate account your partner is unaware of can be a red flag. For example, some couples split finances or have separate small accounts for personal spending, but you might want to share user name and password information to be transparent. Or you may fully trust each other, and this step is unnecessary (as long as it doesn’t become necessary).
Talking about finances in couples counseling or marriage counseling can be an essential step toward improving your relationship. Arguments over money are one of the most common, if not the most common forms of couples fighting. It can be essential to understand your values and see if your joint spending matches those respective values. Compromise is almost always necessary, as each individual is likely to have different priorities. But, you can work on identifying key shared goals. It can also be important to discuss how much each member can spend without a need for a discussion with their partner first and what degree of autonomy the couple wishes to have.
Financial secrets could destroy your relationship if they lead to an inability to trust. It’s better to keep things out in the open. If you have, for instance, a gambling problem, most partners can forgive that. Discussing it openly can lead to getting proper help. On the other hand, keeping it a secret can lead to more problems, some of which could be relationship ending.
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