Money problems are the second leading cause of divorce, but a lack of communication isn’t the only reason behind the statistic. Sure, 70% of Americans think it is rude to talk about money, 43% don’t know how much their partner earns, and 36% don’t know how much they have invested. It may seem odd, but the average person won’t hesitate to ask for details of past relationships when meeting a potential love interest, yet cannot bring themselves to ask about their credit score. 

This aversion to discussing money has caused an even bigger strain on relationships, financial infidelity. Financial infidelity is when an individual hides their spending habits, applies for new credit cards, opens bank accounts, or borrows money without telling their partner. Nearly 2 out of 5 adults, married or in a live-in relationship, have admitted to keeping financial secrets from their significant other. Why? Because lying and keeping secrets was easier than discussing hard truths. 

Financial infidelity is committed by people of all ages, yet there may be hope for Millennials and Gen Zs. Research shows 20 and 30-somethings are more open to discussing money than older generations and many feel that “financially cheating is worse than physically cheating”. 

On that very topic, the New York Post wrote about a young woman who discovered her partner was a shopaholic and in serious debt but only after 4 years together and while they were planning their wedding. During the course of their relationship, she had tried to discuss money with him, but his standard reply was, “I don’t like to talk about it”. When she discovered the truth behind his illusive behavior, she called off the wedding and broke up with him stating “financial infidelity was a dealbreaker”. 

If couples would establish from the beginning their philosophy on money; saving, spending, investing, the importance of a great credit score or lack of credit, as well as existing debt, relationships would have a better chance of surviving. For those who live life via apps, communicating uncomfortable truths in texts, social media messaging and posts comes naturally, so why not tackle the subject of finances digitally as well?

It can also help to get an unbiased third party involved in financial discussions with a partner, especially when that person is a financial expert who can offer sound advice without judging. Contact Alloy Wealth Management to schedule an appointment with one of our experts. 800-689-3935