These Stories About Financial Secrets In Relationships Are Equal Parts Sad And Shocking
"I wish I had seen the money issue for the red flag that it was and ended things then."
Keeping secrets in a relationship can be a serious trust killer, especially when it comes to money.
1. "My ex-husband and I both contributed financially, but he was always in charge of the bills. Turns out, he wasn’t paying them. Our electricity got shut off, resulting in our sump pump turning off and our finished basement flooding."
2. "About six months into our relationship, my partner told me about a bunch of outstanding payday loans she had. She was always pretty vague about the exact total, but assured me she had it under control with a payment plan."
"Fast-forward three years to the birth of our son, and I find a bunch of final notice letters stuffed behind our dresser. She'd taken out more loans without either consulting or telling me first. She owed thousands of pounds, and even worse, she'd used most of it to gamble and lost it. She hadn't paid rent or utilities in months, so I had to use my savings to pay off the arrears.
After that, we agreed that until I could trust her, I'd handle the finances and I'd give her an 'allowance' to pay for her bills/loans/living costs. I probably would've been more easygoing had this happened when it was just the two of us, but we're responsible for the safety and well-being of our son now, so reckless spending and gambling affects him too."
3. "My ex-partner and I were looking to buy a house together and his behavior was concerning me. He never wanted to go past the viewing stage. It was only when we found one we really liked that he said he couldn’t get a mortgage as he was thousands of pounds in credit card debt."
4. "My ex didn't reveal that he had over $10K in debt to me until a year into the relationship. Once he did, he expected me to pay for all the lavish things he wanted to do, even though I constantly asked to stay home and just chill."
"He was addicted to buying figures and continued racking up debt despite me trying to help by paying some of it back. In the end, his selfishness and my naivety put me in debt. I realized it was only ever going to get worse and ended things."
5. "I had been dating a guy for about six months and he still hadn't invited me over to his place. I was kind of suspicious, thinking the worst, like he had a secret wife or children or something."
6. "My husband and I had been married for about nine months and we hadn't gotten a joint account yet, though we had discussed getting one many times. When COVID hit, my husband decided that we needed to move to a new state so he could get a better job."
"I figured moving to a new state would be the perfect time to open a joint account. It took me about six months after the move to find a new job, and we still hadn't gotten a joint account. My husband finally admitted that he had put off getting a joint account because he thought if I saw how much money he was making, I wouldn't ever want to go back to work, and that started our first really big fight."
7. "I lived with undiagnosed bipolar disorder for decades. During that time, manic episodes would trigger compulsive spending. I would be up at three in the morning applying for credit cards. I ran up thousands of dollars in charges, oftentimes not remembering even buying anything."
8. "In my early 20s, I was dating a guy who appeared to be very successful. He was part of a start-up that did custom clothing and sneakers. Everything seemed legit, and he was very focused on the business, always working long hours and meeting investors. Except I just had a feeling that something was missing."
"Turns out, my gut was right! He and his friends were maxing out credit cards, borrowing money, and defaulting on loans, just to keep up the aesthetic of their 'brand' — which meant throwing parties every weekend and paying to get into VIP clubs in the hopes of cutting a deal with someone famous. Their clothing wasn't even organic or made locally like they claimed. It was all lower-grade textiles made in factories overseas. I only found all this out when I went over to his house and there were foreclosure notices all on his front door. That's when he finally came clean."
9. "Ugh, flash back to 13 years ago and my ex-boyfriend resenting me because he spent all his money on things I suggested for his house, like a bed that wasn't a blow-up mattress on the floor. I never nagged or anything; he just kept his problems a secret and got into debt. I still don't know why he didn't just communicate."
10. "My ex and I moved in together together after college. He made twice as much as me at least, but said he had way more student loan debt. I believed him and we split everything 50/50 because I thought our debt to income ratios were the same."
"He acted like he had no money all the time, but after two years of living together, somehow almost all his debt was paid. I was still drowning in mine because I spent all that time thinking we were both struggling.
I totally understand some people prioritize saving more than others. But it’s really frustrating and insulting when they’re trying to literally step on you to get ahead. Like his debt and ability to save mattered so much more than mine. Why? It’s heartbreaking."
11. "My ex and I lived together, were engaged, and were saving up to buy a house. Or at least I was. He always said he was too. We had talked about debt and he said he had none."
Can you relate to these experiences? Share how financial secrets have affected your relationships in the comments.
And for more stories about life and money, check out the rest of our personal finance posts.