When people hear the word infidelity, they usually think of a cheating spouse. The phrase is usually applied to individuals who engage in romantic or sexual relationships with individuals other than their spouses. However, that is not the only form of infidelity that can impact a marriage. Financial infidelity is also a serious concern.
For those unfamiliar with the term, financial infidelity involves intentionally hiding financial information from a spouse. It can take many different forms. Sometimes, financial infidelity involves debt or one person spending too much money. They may hide purchases or even obtain a line of credit without notifying their spouses.
Other times, financial infidelity deals with assets. A spouse may choose to hide assets, such as a bank account, to keep their spouse from accessing it. Both forms of financial infidelity undermine the inherent trust in a marriage and can complicate things if you need to divorce in the future.
Your spouse hides financial records or paperwork from you
Even if you choose to file your taxes separately for some reason, your spouse should still be up front with you about their income and their spending habits. If you seemingly can't get a straight answer about how much your spouse makes or how much they spend, those are both red flags of potential financial infidelity.
Your spouse may attempt to confuse or gaslight you about spending habits
Gaslighting is a term that refers to the practice of undermining a person's confidence in their own thoughts and experience. Your spouse could gaslight you by attempting to make you believe that an expensive purchase recently made has been in the household for a long time.
They could also attempt to claim that they told you something that they clearly never did. Gaslighting is infuriating, and it is actually a form of emotional abuse. Regardless of whether it has to do with your daily life or financial circumstances, having someone undermine your understanding of the world is dangerous and damaging.
You can't account for money or certain items in your house
If items or money seem to appear or disappear into or out of thin air, that could be a warning sign of financial infidelity. When no one seems to understand where something came from or where money went, that probably means that someone isn't telling the truth.
Financial infidelity leads to divorce in many cases. Unfortunately, it can also complicate divorce. This is particularly true in the case of hidden assets. After all, you will have to locate and place a value on hidden assets and bank accounts before you can ask the courts to fairly split them between you and your spouse.
If you believe that your spouse is engaging in financial infidelity, it may be in your best interest to speak with a family law attorney as soon as possible to explore your options.