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Overcoming Financial Infidelity

It gets on your nerves.
You are balancing the checking account and find that you’re off. Looking back through the register, you ask if your spouse bought something but did not write it in. They say they went out to lunch with some friends last week. Not only did they not tell you about it, but you discover that it put you over on your “eating out” category for the month. Busted!

Do it once and you’ve lied. Do this a few times and your spouse will get angry. Do it often and it will lead to marriage problems. You’ve committed financial infidelity.

When you make a budget, you make a contract with your husband or wife. You have agreed with each other to not spend any money that’s not on paper. When you break that contract, that’s the same as lying to your spouse’s face. It may not seem bad, but a blown budget can lead to bounced checks and humiliation. Before you know it, you two are fighting and losing trust with one another.

Some people spend behind their significant other’s back because they feel it’s the only way they can have stuff without getting in trouble. In that case, that’s a marriage and a communication issue. If you think it happens to you, then sit down with your husband or wife tonight and talk it out. You should never be afraid of the person you are married to. If you can’t communicate about it without fighting, get a marriage counselor.

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Another cause of financial infidelity could be an addiction. When someone has an uncontrollable drive for alcohol, pornography, gambling or some other vice, they won’t stop just because a piece of paper tells them to. Sadly, this leads to many broken marriages. You should definitely seek help through a church or counselor if this is happening in your home.

You both have an equal vote. If you don’t agree on a particular budget item, come to a compromise on how much should be in that category. The key, the lynchpin, the very purpose of the whole thing is to work together. You might as well not work together if you are going to spend the way you want anyway.

It really does make a difference in your marriage when you and your spouse practice this small habit of sticking to the budget. No one gets angry at overspending. You have unity in your goals, and soon the fights go away. Doesn’t that sound worth it?

Learn how to work together with money with a free trial of Ramsey+! You'll be able to laugh, learn and come together with your money in a safe environment and build a solid foundation for communicating well.

Ramsey Solutions

About the author

Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners.