For you to have landed here means that you no longer trust your partner with money. I imagine that things haven’t been adding up lately (pardon the pun) and you're becoming suspicious about their behaviour.
It can be really scary if you're already short of money and barely have enough to get by until your next pay cheque. So additional worries about your partner’s spending habits are likely to make an already stressful situation even worse.
Money itself not a problem? In that case, you're likely to be more concerned that your partner might be lying to you.
Either way, I’d imagine your suspicions have arisen because of something like:
I suspect that since your discovery you've been on the hunt for more evidence to confirm your suspicions, which is a good idea at this stage.
You need to know if your fears are unfounded, or if indeed there are some problems that need to be addressed.
Here's what you might have discovered.
Financial infidelity can potentially be just as devastating as any other type of cheating, including adultery.
However, there's another layer of suffering when your partner has lied about money. Depending on the amount of money involved, it can jeopardise your emotional well-being as well as your financial security. Both are even more worrisome if you have children.
It’s perfectly fair to expect your partner to be honest and upfront so that the two of you can openly discuss your finances. If that’s not the case, discovering that your partner has been leading a secret life can be devastating.
So in this article, I'm going to help you get to grips with it all.
Let's start by at looking the potential reason(s) for their lies...
First of all, know that I'm in no way judging you or your partner. The list below isn’t designed to paint either of you as the villain. I’m simply trying to help you figure out what’s going on. Because unless you know what’s wrong, you won’t be able to make it right again.
Here are some possible reasons why your partner might be lying to you:
Now, take a deep breath because the following could be a bit challenging for you. But, it's important that I discuss this with you.
Bear in mind that this next list looks at the challenges from your partner’s point of view. That doesn’t mean that they're the truth. It’s just important that you consider the role you might be playing in this situation too.
Here are some other reasons why your partner, wife or husband might be lying to you:
Have these lists set you thinking? Or are there other things at play I haven't mentioned here?
In any case, you may want to read my article on how to make your partner love you again to see if it's possible that you're a little bit too demanding.
If so, you may feel - like so many people in your situation - ashamed and stupid for having allowed themselves to be 'tricked'.
I don't want you to spend any energy on beating yourself up over this. You probably felt you had good reasons to act as you did.
Maybe you were already deeply into the relationship when your partner revealed (or you discovered) that they were in debt. Perhaps you were even contemplating a future with your partner and you wanted a clean slate before setting up home together.
Or perhaps you ended up paying the bulk for big joint purchases.
Accept that you did what you thought was right. You're human - learn from the experience and forgive yourself.
Just in case - do make sure you're not the victim of a scam.
On discovering that your partner has been lying about money, it's completely understandable that you feel knocked of your perch.
You'll need to take action as soon as possible - taking into account the time needed to get over the initial shock. Debts only accumulate, with potentially huge consequences for your emotional and marital stability too.
I promise you it won't last. Give it 10 - 14 days and you'll begin to feel a little more in control of your emotions again.
Before you have another conversation about the problem. When you do talk to your partner you'll want to be ready with the evidence.
If you've never concerned yourself much with the household budget, now is the time to take control. If numbers are not your thing, ask a trusted friend or family member to help you.
You could shout, holler and accuse. That would be very understandable. But! It would also raise their defenses, meaning you won't stand a chance of getting to the bottom of the problem.
For information on how to get your partner to be honest with you, read my article on how to deal with your partner's shopping addiction (even if that's not the source of the problem) for ideas on how to tackle that conversation.
Depending on precisely what the problem is, your partner may not be willing or able to change their behaviour (as the case with a shopping addiction).
You'll need to know now more than ever if your relationship or marriage is really worth saving. Much will depend on your partner's reaction to being confronted and their honesty and willingness to change.
Speak to someone at your bank, a debt counsellor or a financial adviser. Don't forget to ask for names and keep a record of who you spoke to, together with dates, what was said and what action was to be taken.
I also recommend you connect with an online professional counsellor. He or she (your choice) can help you figure out how best to repair the damage to your relationship or marriage.
The impact of your partner's financial betrayal depends to a large extent on the general state your relationship.
It also depends on what stage in life you're at…
The discovery of financial infidelity is likely to have a different impact in any of these situations. Each would require a different approach.
The emotional fall-out, however, is likely to be much the same as if your partner had cheated on you by having an affair.
If you've only just found out, I wouldn't be surprised if you feel your legs have been cut from underneath you. Know that you'll slowly begin to recover from that. Day-by-day you'll begin to feel a little better. To learn more about this, hop over to my article on surviving infidelity.