Lying to your spouse about spending and debt can be just as hurtful as sexual deceit. Have you been financially unfaithful? Take our quiz to find out.
"Very often, it starts innocently," says Lili Vasileff, founder of Divorce and Money Matters, a divorce financial planning firm in Greenwich, Connecticut. "Then, the ball starts rolling forward, and it gets bigger and more difficult to deal with."
That's true even if you confess afterward.
"Disclosing the intent in advance makes the communication more powerful," says Lili Vasileff, founder of Divorce and Money Matters, a divorce financial planning firm in Greenwich, Connecticut. "That's not the same as communicating after the fact."
"For some people, the budget is everything, and if someone takes out $40, that can really upset the budget," says Paul Golden, a spokesman for the National Endowment for Financial Education, a Denver-based nonprofit.
Upset the budget repeatedly or go into deeper debt and your spouse might feel you're a financial cheat.
"If you go shopping, and before you come home, you lock your packages in the trunk, that's a pretty obvious red flag that you're not being financially truthful with the person who's closest to you," Cunningham says.
But, a financial secret about credit card debt or withdrawing money from a bank account that you couldn't tell your best friend or financial planner should give you pause, says Mary Gresham, a psychologist in Atlanta.
Some people rationalize iffy financial behaviors like secretly adding to a prized collection of whatnots as investing.
"Most collections aren't good investments and certainly not (an expense) their partner would sign off on," Gresham says.