Is Financial Infidelity a Threat to Modern Marriage?
The family is under attack everywhere I go. There are enormous pressures on family. And it’s no wonder that finances play a large role in the dissolution of many marriages.
A new trend of “financial infidelity” is sadly to blame for many of the failed marriages in our culture today.
Just like any other form of unfaithfulness, financial infidelity occurs when one (or both) partners hide (or misconstrue) financial information from the other – such as past debts, spending habits, or other bank accounts.
This is a growing problem. A poll from the National Endowment for Financial Education found that 2 in 5 Americans admit to lying about or withholding money information from their partner!
But people who are keeping secrets about their finances usually aren’t trying to hide criminal activity or an affair…they’re just embarrassed.
Financial Family law attorney Steven Mindel says, “More marriages fall apart for financial reasons than for fidelity reasons…marriages are built on trust and anytime you breach the trust of the other party, it damages the relationship. Getting married is like the merging of two enterprises.”
Often times a spouse may lie to avoid conflict or ignore financial problems. Sometimes truth is not told because one spouse had no confidence in the other.
But, the truth will eventually come out and the results can be painful. Someone is hurt, loses respect and trust for the other and wonders what else may be hidden. The entire marriage relationship may be questioned because trust is lost.
Proverbs 3:3-4 says, “Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.”
Now, there’s no Bible verse that says a couple has to have joint checking or that the bills have to be paid by one or the other, but the Bible IS clear that we’re not to LIE.
Proverbs 10:9, “He who walks in integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will be found out.”
It may take a hard conversation, but I’m challenging you today to sit down and be honest with your spouse about your money.
The writer of Proverbs 19:1 said, “Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.”
Trust is a currency of greater value than any amount of money. And, it’s foundational in marriage.
If you’re not sure how to take the next steps towards unity and honesty with your spouse, start by enrolling in the online MoneyLife Personal Finance Study. It’s 7 lessons on what God’s word has to say about your finances. It’s convenient and can be done at your own pace in your own living room. You can go through the online course together and learn basic biblical principles about your money that will transform your attitudes, finances, and relationship.