It is well-known that money is one of the biggest causes of divorce. However, when we talk about divorce, we rarely talk about the specific financial problems that lead to divorce. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal examined the financial secrets many individuals keep from their spouses and the impact those can have on marriages.

This post looks at financial decisions related to affairs and secret bank accounts. The next post will discuss matters related to the cost of items, the size of the paycheck and purchasing things from attractive saleswomen.

One of the most complex marital secrets concerns “the mistress.” Many people who admit to having affairs are not interested in leaving the person to whom they are married. However, they spoil their extra-marital partners and often spend more on them than on their spouses. One study of more than 140,000 men found that men who have mistresses typically spent more than twice as much on gifts for her than they did on gifts for their wives. That number only takes into account gifts that were purchased for the holidays; many people also admitting to spoiling their mistresses with other gifts and taking them on expensive vacations.

The next marital secret focuses on bank accounts. According to a 2011 National Endowment for Financial Education/Forbes study, 15 percent of married people have a secret bank account their spouses do not know about. Some people have secret accounts for honest reasons – buying gifts for their spouses or forgetting to close or disclose an account after the marriage. Other people, however, open secret accounts to begin saving money for divorce or in order to buy things they know their spouses would not approve of.

Watch the next post for more information on the financial secrets that can cause divorce.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, “10 Things Your Spouse Won’t Tell You,” Catey Hill, 24 February 2011