When a spouse wants to surprise a partner with a special gift, he or she might try to hide the purchase until after giving the gift. Most people would agree this falls into an acceptable realm of hiding purchases.
However, other situations involving hidden purchases, assets or debts may signal serious problems in a marriage.
The extent of financial infidelity in the U.S.
NBC News indicates that a study conducted by CreditCards.com found a whopping 15 million people admit to hiding either bank accounts or credit card accounts from their partners. That means 15 million people may carry debt they do not know about or have lost assets without their knowledge.
Debt and financial infidelity
One spouse might take out a home equity loan, a second mortgage or a new personal loan without telling the other person. A spouse might also open a new credit card without telling the other party. In some situations, creditors may view both spouses as financially liable for the debts. The unknowing spouse might end up paying debt they never knew existed until it is too late.
Asset theft and financial infidelity
Some couples share joint accounts but also keep individual bank accounts. This opens the door for one spouse to funnel joint money into a sole account, essentially stealing from the other person.
Behavioral changes may signal financial infidelity
The Simple Dollar recommends spouses remain aware of notable shifts in their partners’ behavior, especially when the topic of money comes up in conversation. When a person tries to avoid talking about money or snaps at the other person when conversations center around money, a problem may exist.