“Financial Infidelity” Is When A Person Hides or Withholds Money-Related Issues and Decisions from Their Partner
Abuse comes in different types, not just in the physical form – abuse can be emotional, verbal, relational, sexual, or financial.
While many discuss sexual infidelity as a serious breach of trust, money-related cheating can sink relationships too.
by Arman Khan.
April 18, 2022
Vinod, a 38-year-old writer, believes that for some, love is a luxury and the price you’ve to pay for it could often be crushing. He said he learnt this the hard way when, nearly a decade before gay sex was decriminalised in India, his first boyfriend cheated him off money just because Vinod could not easily break off their relationship for the fear of crushing loneliness.
“He didn’t earn much and used to borrow money from me, which at first I thought was OK,” Vinod told VICE. “At first, he would tell me that he needed the money for commuting, food, buying clothes, paying bills, etc. But with time, it became a habit for him to borrow without even batting an eyelid. I think somewhere down the line I got him used to it as well, which I shouldn’t have.”
Vinod would keep a note of how much money he was lending but when he started noticing how his boyfriend’s wallet would never emerge from his pocket, he started asking him where the money he lent him actually went.
“He would avoid answering my questions and instead, always kept cajoling and telling me, ‘Baby, I will pay it back. You know I want to take care of you.’ He would spout such classic lines without hesitation and with supreme confidence.
I think we believe a swindler because we are so needy when it comes to companionship that financial cheating sometimes counts for nothing,” he said.
… Financial infidelity covers a wide range of behaviours. It could mean things that might seem too small or banal – like not filling in your partner on your online purchases or after-work happy hour bills.
It could mean something much more serious too – like siphoning money from shared accounts, lying about your income or debts, lending large amounts without your partner’s consent, making extravagant purchases but keeping them from your partner, or keeping bank accounts or credit cards secret.
According to a recent survey by US News & World Report, nearly 30 percent of couples reported dealing with financial infidelity, with around a third of the sample set reporting “keeping purchases secret.” Another study from 2015 also found that one in five people lied to their partner about their earnings while one in four lied about their debt.
…In the case of Rami, a 28-year-old lawyer, she started noticing a pattern in her boyfriend’s financial transactions a year after they moved in together in June 2020. The pattern, she said, could be distilled to a single motive: keeping up appearances.
“He didn’t tell me that he was fired from his job within a month of us moving in together,” she said.
For the next year, everything seemed normal. He paid his share of the rent money and contributed equally to the daily expenses. But then he started delaying his payments under the pretext that his salary was coming in late. Sometimes, it seemed that he had no money for weeks on end. Then, one day, Rami’s friend called her. Turns out, her boyfriend had borrowed Rs 30,000 ($400) from her friend with the promise to pay it back soon, but had been ghosting her for two months.
“When I confronted him about it, he just broke down. …
… “Every successful relationship, romantic or otherwise, is based on trust,” she told VICE. “Some partners want to hide their expenses or savings because they might be in an abusive relationship, while in other cases, the relationship could be working on fear.”
… Forbes suggests various ways of (Link): spotting financial infidelity before it’s too late: you see new credit card statements arriving in the mail, your name has been removed from a joint account for no apparent reason, passwords to bank accounts are changed without consulting you, there’s unilateral financial decisions, general unwillingness to discuss financial matters, and your partner feeling very paranoid when you stumble upon their emails.
… But, she insisted, concealing should not be an option if you want your relationship to flourish and be healthy.
“You need to draw healthy boundaries in any relationship. If you don’t want your partner to know the details of your transactions, have a separate bank account, and tell your partner why financial autonomy is important to you and how that has nothing to do with them. Have that conversation. If you feel your partner is not listening, you need to reassess the whole relationship.”