Financial Infidelity Is Pretty Common, But It's Not Really Talked About

    Financial infidelity is more common than you think.

    Per a recent poll by, 40% of people in serious relationships fessed up to committing financial infidelity through hiding a money account — think checking, savings, or a credit card — from their S.O.s.

    So I spoke with Adam H. Kol, a financial coach for couples, about the telltale signs that a partner is committing financial infidelity, why it happens, and how you can talk about it with your partner about it:

    In short, financial infidelity is defined as engaging in any behavior involving money that you know will upset your romantic partner, and intentionally hiding it from them.

    Financial infidelity can look like a lot of things and take on many forms. For instance, one partner might be hiding a money secret or isn't being straight-up about their finances.  

    They might open a bank account or credit card without letting you know. Or they might be saddled with a ton of debt or making alimony or child support payments on the DL.  

    So how can you spot financial infidelity? Look for telltale signs, like sudden big purchases or acting defensive about their money.

    unhappy woman in relationship

    A recent study found that men were more likely than women to keep a money secret.

    Couple having problems in bed

    Because financial infidelity is a betrayal on par with cheating, healing from it can take some time.

    If you're the financial adulterer, admitting wrongdoing and accepting responsibility are the first steps to healing.

    Couple having an argument

    And both partners will want to spend time introspecting and learning from the situation.

    Don't expect you and your partner to heal at the same pace. And don't expect to have the same breakthrough moments.

    timeout for couple

    Taking practical steps to build trust and work toward money goals can help you move forward.

    man and woman on cloud blowing money sails

    Know when financial infidelity is really financial abuse.

    Finally, you don't have to navigate financial infidelity alone. Talking with a therapist can help you through it.

    Couple with their arms crossed looking away from each other

    Have you had any experiences with financial infidelity? If you're comfortable talking about it, share how it's affected you in the comments below.

    And for more stories about life and money, check out the rest of our personal finance posts