LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Your spouse may be faithful when it comes to relationships, but many couples today admit to a different kind of cheating. And it involves their bank accounts.
According to a new study by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, nearly one fourth of respondents said they would hide financial difficulties from their spouse.
Close to 10 percent of those respondents said they wouldn’t want to worry their partner, while 7 percent fear disclosing debt would damage their relationship.
Wendy Hammond, a marriage and family therapist, says these numbers don’t surprise her.
“I’ll find that couples are very forthcoming and can be very transparent about previous relationships,” says Hammond. “But get very tight lipped about their finances.”
Does keeping money matters a secret add up to financial infidelity?
“If we look at the definition of cheating as doing something that’s outside the rules and the boundaries of the relationship, then yes, it’s cheating,” says Hammond. “It will represent a pretty big disruption in the trust of a relationship.”
Hammond advises against hiding income or debt, and suggests being open and honest with your spouse about your current financial condition.
In order to get a couple on the same page, Hammond says each partner needs to be open to lifestyle adjustments, and be ready acknowledge that one partner may be a spender while the other is a saver.
If all else fails, Hammond advises couples bring in a third party financial planner to help create a plan with which you and your spouse can move forward…together.