Recently, I was interviewed for an article in Fortune Magazine about a survey on “financial infidelity”, and they said this, “One in twenty people in the U.S. admit to having started secret bank accounts or credit cards without their partner’s knowledge.”
Another headline on the topic in The Guardian observed: “Cheating isn’t always sexual – many admit to hiding financial information from their partners, and a frank discussion may be the best way to approach the issue.” I don’t do this very often, but I agree with the media on this one!
When the Bible says that two become one in marriage, it acknowledges something that many of us understand painfully well – coming together is a process. Merging finances is one of the hardest things a couple does together. And in counseling couples, I have found that there does come a point at which couples can undermine their marriage with financial secrets.
There is no Bible verse that says a couple has to have joint checking or that the bills have to be written out by either the wife or the husband. But the ninth commandment, the one that tells people not to lie, is direct.
People who are hiding their finances are not usually trying to hide criminal activity or an affair. They are just embarrassed by their finances.
I highly recommend that a couple participate in a financial Bible study, to learn what God has to say about money. And every couple needs to sit down together to create a budget, where all accounts, debts and responsibilities are discussed openly.
Trust is the currency of greater value than any amount of money in a marriage. To get the conversation started, begin with the MoneyLife Indicator. It’s a free assessment that measures what a person believes about money and how those beliefs are actually put into practice. This is a great tool to get couples on the same page financially and spiritually.
To learn more about working together as a couple, click here and start with the MoneyLife Indicator today.
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