When most people hear the term "infidelity," they think about physical, sexual cheating, but according to a Harris Interactive online survey of adults, financial infidelity is becoming a serious issue in many relationships.
In fact, of the 31 percent of participants who admitted to having issues of financial infidelity in their relationship, 16 percent of the couples reported the deceit as the cause of their divorce. While the indiscretion did not lead to divorce in every instance, 67 percent of the time it caused a serious argument in a relationship.
"Financial infidelity may be the new normal" reported Forbes.com, who partnered with the National Endowment for Financial Education to commission the internet poll. While approximately one third of the participants admitted to being the person responsible for the deceit, another third responded that they had been the victim of financial infidelity.
The forms of financial infidelity that ranked highest on the list were hiding cash from a partner or a minor consumer purchase. Others that ranked on the list included failing to disclose a large acquisition, hiding some kind of a bill and failing to share the existence of an additional bank account with a spouse.
The infidelity can cause serious damage to a relationship including breaking bonds of trust or promises of intimacy. A failure to disclose the amount of debt you have or the income you bring in can make your spouse not only distrust you, but also make them feel like you consider them unworthy of the information.
Source: Reuters "Three in 10 Americans commit financial infidelity?" Daniel Trotta and Patricia Reaney 1/13/11