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How To Save Your Marriage After Financial Infidelity

Financial Infidelity continues to be a major contributing factor to why many marriages fail in this country.  In fact, it is a well known fact that money problems rank among the top three issues, along with sex and kids that cause the most arguments in a marriage. Financial infidelity, also known as cheating on your spouse with money, is therefore a serious problem.

If you are in a marriage that has been affected by financial infidelity, it is important to act on addressing this problem immediately before it destroys the relationship altogether. Many experts would agree that financial intimacy should be treated similarly to sexual intimacy. The reality is that the effects on one’s relationship are almost identical. 

Some Of the Effects of Financial Infidelity Are As Follows:

  • Decline in trust in the relationship
  • Emotional distance
  • Decrease in self-esteem in the partner that has been deceived
  • Can lead to depression
  • Can lead to resentment in the relationship
  • Increase in the frequency and severity of arguments
  • Loss of intimacy
  • Increase in anxiety

So how exactly does one save their marriage if financial infidelity has taken place? The good news is that relationships can heal after financial infidelity as long as the proper steps are taken to get the relationship back on track.  Couples should take the following action steps if they wish to begin the process of healing their relationship.

If you are the perpetrator, you should:

  • First acknowledge that there is a problem
    • Be honest with yourself and then with your partner
  • Be accountable (accept full responsibility for your actions without blaming your partner)
  • Be willing to get professional help if needed
  • Commit to an open book policy (No secrets/No Lies)
  • Have a willingness to accept that it may take awhile to rebuild trust in your relationship

If you are the victim, you should:

  • Communicate your feelings to your partner
  • Assess your willingness to work on the relationship
  • Express your needs to  your partner
  • Commit to being an active partner in managing the household finances
  • When you feel safe again, have a willingness to forgive your partner

It is not unusual that people who have attempted to conceal their debts from their spouses convince themselves that they can solve the problem on their own, before their partner find out. This is usually far from the truth. In fact, what tends to happen is that the problem gets worse. The reality is that oftentimes the person that is being deceptive has other money problems that they have not dealt with such as an overspending addiction.  It is therefore highly recommended that persons that struggle with being completely honest with their partners act on the problem before it escalates. The good news is that there are professionals out there available to help such persons. Many persons seek out the help of financial therapists, money coaches, and financial planners when faced with these challenges.


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Nikiya Spence

Nikiya Spence

Nikiya Spence, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Certified Money Coach with over eleven years of clinical experience. Nikiya has been debt free and living a money conscious lifestyle for several years. She received training with the Money Coaching Institute and specializes in helping individuals and couples transform their relationship, habits, and behavior with money to increase their wealth.