Search icon

Financial Dishonesty In Marriage (11 Clear-Cut Signs)

Financial dishonesty is the code name for keeping financial secrets from your significant other with whom you combine finances and financial goals. Just so we're clear – financial dishonesty and financial infidelity mean the same thing. 

If you have ever falsified details of your finances, then you are guilty as charged. The funny thing is that you are not alone. Many married couples with merged family finances and financial goals have told small lies about their finances and indiscretions in the past.

Financial infidelity is as serious as cheating on your spouse. Many marriages have hit rock bottom upon the realization that one partner kept financial indiscretions from the other. 

These indiscretions could include making major purchases, taking out personal or business loans, hiding cash, and operating secret bank accounts without informing your spouse. 

Offenders also hide expenditure, credit card debt, credit card statement, and their earnings. 

Some of the reasons people lie about their finances include fear of the unknown, guilt, embarrassment, or revenge spending to get back at their partners.

Let's say you are not financially dishonest, but you suspect that your significant other is tending towards it. If that’s the case, continue reading to discover some warning signs of financial infidelity in marriage.

Financial Dishonesty In Marriage

1. Lying about money

lying about money

Couples lie about money for various reasons, and not all of them may be good. One of the common signs that your spouse cheats on you financially is that he/she tells money lies. If you confront them about it, they will cook up false stories to throw you off the scent. 

You would notice that your partner no longer reveals specific financial statements detailing income and expenditures. What's more, erring partners deny owning secret accounts, borrowing money, and lie about their earnings. 

They won't even let you know when money goes missing from your shared savings or checking account. Lying about money is a breach of trust, and you shouldn't tolerate it as it could delay the fulfillment of your goals.

If you catch your significant other in a lie, be prepared to forgive him/her and move past it if they are honest about what happened. Make sure you gather your facts before confronting your partner. 

2. Atypical behavior

An erring spouse can start displaying certain atypical behaviors. Someone who used to be open suddenly becomes very secretive. This is one of the red flags of financial infidelity in a marriage that you shouldn't ignore. 

Watch out for any addictive behaviors because they lead your partner into cheating on you financially. For instance, if your spouse is addicted to gambling or shopping, he/she would look for viable means of supporting their spending habits. That may include cheating on you financially.

In these situations, you can consider separating your finances until your significant other deals with the behavior. Additionally, both of you can work towards setting up a household budget to cover some basic family needs.

3. Go on the defensive anytime you confront them

If you want to know for sure if your wife or husband is guilty of financial dishonesty, watch their reaction when you confront them about your findings. Maybe you find a bank statement or receipt; the cheating partner will either go on the defensive or try to stonewall for as long as possible when you bring up the matter. 

They quickly get emotional or go on the defensive in an attempt to kill the case. Defensiveness is rampant among couples that struggle with financial dishonesty. Someone who is lying would definitely refuse to talk about money issues when they arise. 

The person knows that engaging in such conversations would only lead to questions that may give him/her away. You can engage the services of a trained counselor to help facilitate such complex discussions. Besides, counselors will also aid you in working out your differences and finding lasting solutions.

4. Loss of trust

loss of trust

Trust and transparency are undoubtedly essential building blocks of a healthy relationship or marriage. For any marriage to work, both partners have to be completely honest and open with each other.

If any of them deviate from doing so, it can have dire consequences, including the union's untimely end. If one partner feels that the other is not completely honest with them, it could lead to a breakdown of confidence. 

Once confidence is broken, you may never achieve your financial goals. If your spouse deems you untrustworthy, they may likely cheat on you financially for fear of disappointment. 

In a situation where confidence is lost, both of you should talk about building it back. Remember, it may take some time and patience to earn the confidence of someone you betrayed.

5. Argue a lot about money

When it comes down to money matters, there is a high tendency that conflicts and fights could arise. These arguments and disputes, if left unchecked, can have severe implications for the marriage. It can negatively impact the interpersonal relationship between you and your partner.

More often than not, couples don't seem to argue on some spending, saving, and financial decisions. Notwithstanding, some people have learned how to avoid fighting, especially over financial matters.

Rather than argue, talk to your significant other about each other's finances and financial goals. You can both decide to adopt a fairer and more equitable system of settling your money disputes. Moreover, you can go together to see a financial expert to help explain and resolve whatever disagreements you may be having. 

Use this tool to check whether he actually is who he says he is
Whether you're married or have just started seeing someone, infidelity rates are on the rise and have increased over 40% in the last 20 years, so you have all the right to be worried.

Perhaps you want to know if he's texting other women behind your back? Or whether he has active Tinder or dating profile? Or worse yet, whether he has a criminal record or is cheating on you?

This tool will do just that and pull up any hidden social media and dating profiles, photos, criminal records, and much more to hopefully help put your doubts to rest.

6. History of negative financial indiscretions

If your spouse has cheated on you financially in the past, what's stopping him/her from doing so again. This is a warning sign that you shouldn't take lightly. Maybe your significant other hid some debts, credit score, expenses, or financial secrets from you before you tied the nuptial knot. People could see it as lying and a betrayal of trust. 

Additionally, check your partner's spending history. If you find unexplained excessive bills and withdrawals, your significant other may be cheating on you. Another major cause of concern for you should be your spouse's borrowing history. If your wife or husband borrows money regularly, it could mean that they are trying to pay off a credit card bill or settle off a debt that you don't know about. 

7. Engage in revenge spending

One reason people lie about their finances is to gain control in the relationship. Most times, this need for control often leads to revenge spending. Resentment builds up quickly in marriages where couples share combined finances.

One partner overspends or goes on unnecessary shopping sprees to show the other that they have financial independence. To afford to pay for such frivolities, one may be forced to cheat on the other financially. 

They could also engage in revenge spending to get back at the other for a past wrong. In some cases, both partners engage in revenge expenditure. 

8. Keeping financial secrets

keeping financial secrets

One of the most closely guarded financial secrets in relationships and marriage is the exact amount of income a partner earns. A telltale sign that he/she is dishonest is that you don't know anything about your partner's financial situation.

Many couples keep secrets from their partners ranging from expenses to earnings. You may have probably observed that your partner never divulges how much he/she gets as wages, raise, or bonuses. 

What's more, they are not completely honest about the loans that they have taken in the past. Sometimes, it could be a case of lack of communication. Notwithstanding, it could also be a case of straight-up money deception.

9. Controlling behavior

It's never a good thing to be married to a fiscally irresponsible person. But what happens when your wife or husband turns out to be fiscally responsible? Things can get very good for you financially. However, it would be best to watch out for any controlling behavior on the part of your spouse. 

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with receiving financial advice from your significant other. However, when one partner becomes too controlling over the other, it gives them leverage to cheat on you financially. 

Some persons may go as far as trying to control your spending choices, access to financial statements, withhold ATM and credit cards, and limit cash access. If left unchecked, the erring spouse can use it to perpetrate all manner of financial indiscretions without informing the other partner.

10. Changes in cash flow

One of the easiest ways to spend money without leaving a paper trail is by using cash. If you doubt whether your spouse lies about money, check your bank statements for cash withdrawals, and you will find your answer.

Watch out for changes in cash flow or income, including cash and check withdrawals. If you notice several sizable withdrawals from your shared checking or savings account, your spouse may likely be committing financial infidelity. Your significant other may probably be making secret purchases or draining money from family finances. 

11. Find an unfamiliar account statement

find an unfamiliar account statement

You may have probably found a credit card statement for a card you don't know anything about. Remember, the credit card bills have to be fully paid for, and payment may likely come from your household budget. It will invariably stop you from accomplishing your other goals.

Coming across bank statements you know nothing about is a clear indication of financial dishonesty. It also implies that your spouse is hiding some significant spending from you. It gets worse if your partner increases the spending on the card or removes you from any of your accounts. 


Is financial infidelity grounds for divorce?

Financial infidelity has become a common cause of several marital disputes and divorce. In many climes, it is as weighty as cheating on your wife or husband. Remember, honesty is considered an essential component of a strong marriage. A partner could file for divorce upon discovering that his/her significant other committed money deception.

Can a marriage survive financial infidelity?

Yes, as long as the couple is committed to working things out. For a marriage to survive something like this, the erring spouse must come clean with the truth. Both partners also have to make a conscious effort to find and tackle the root cause of the problem. Additionally, they must find a way to restore trust between themselves. 

What is financial infidelity in a marriage?

Financial infidelity occurs when couples lie about money matters. Culprits are likely to spend money, stash money in secret accounts, possess credit cards, or incur debts without letting their significant other know about it. It also entails making financial decisions that may affect the relationship's financial state without consulting the other partner.

Is it illegal to hide money from your spouse?

Although it is money deception, some situations may warrant you hiding money away from your partner with whom you share finances. However, it could land you in some serious legal trouble if you don't declare it during discovery in divorce proceedings. You can be charged for committing perjury which is a crime punishable under law.

How do you fix a marriage after financial infidelity?

If you find out that your spouse cheats or lies about money, the best thing to do is confront him/her with your findings. Find out what led your spouse to cheat on you financially and work towards addressing them. Additionally, both partners should develop a financial plan that works for them and adhere strictly to it.

To Conclude

If, after reading through, you discover that your spouse is guilty of financial infidelity, both of you should have an open conversation about your finances. I hope you found this post very helpful? Kindly share your thoughts on the subject via the comments. Also, please take a moment to share this post with your loved ones.

Utilize this tool to verify if he's truly who he claims to be
Whether you're married or just started dating someone, infidelity rates have risen by over 40% in the past 20 years, so your concerns are justified.

Do you want to find out if he's texting other women behind your back? Or if he has an active Tinder or dating profile? Or even worse, if he has a criminal record or is cheating on you?

This tool can help by uncovering hidden social media and dating profiles, photos, criminal records, and much more, potentially putting your doubts to rest.


Join Our Newsletter

Receive weekly tips & tricks to improve your love life.
Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.