Shame plays a large part when it comes to financial infidelity. Sometimes finances simply spiral out of control, and it’s not uncommon to hide these debts and expenditures from a partner. In fact, it is estimated that around six-million Americans are guilty of financial infidelity in some way, shape or form, so if you have told a white lie about your spending or have over-spent on your credit card, trust me, you are far from alone.
But the problem with hiding financial information from your significant other is that it can lead to marital and quite possibly legal problems in the future. Whether those problems spiral into something like divorce (financial reasons are one of the top reasons why couples get divorced) or whether you will leave a partner with a massive debt when you pass away, nothing beneficial can come from hiding your debts from your partner.
A Sticky Situation
I recently met with a client that just lost his wife. While the pain of losing his wife of many years was enough to cripple him, he received a double whammy when he realized that his wife had been battling mountains of credit card debt for some time now. He didn’t know about any of these debts.
These debts were well hidden from him while his wife was alive. In this particular case, his deceased wife had opened up various credit card accounts using both of their names. The reason she did this was because the credit card companies kept offering her more and more credit. The offers for 6 months free interest were very enticing, and she continued to take the bait. This quickly led the grieving husband to seek the advice of a bankruptcy attorney.
While I’m sure his wife had very good reasons for hiding the bills from him (she did not want to burden him with the truth), the fact that they had joint accounts meant that he was responsible for the debt as well. While it can be hard to discuss financial problems with your partner, neglecting to do so can quickly lead to a financial mess, emotional issues and physical issues. I often wonder if the stress, fear and guilt of dealing with this debt caused her death.
Grounds for Divorce
In some cases, committing financial infidelity can lead to divorce. The strain of debt can often be too much for one partner to bear, and sometimes these debts do hold up in court. If you are experiencing financial troubles, make sure that you speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney today. Debt might seem like quicksand, but there are often ways to get out of debt allowing you to see the light of day and breathe again. Remember, financial infidelity will cause stress, fear and guilt which can cost you much more than a paycheck. Are you willing to pay that price?