As a Houston marital counselor, I’ve found that many of my clients aren’t familiar with the term “financial infidelity,” which may be why so many of us engage in it! One study found that as many as 1 in 3 are guilty of it, and nearly 50% of the time, it led to relationship problems.

So, what is a financial infidelity? It’s anytime one partner is spending money that is not in the couple’s budget, or that you aren’t completely sure your partner would support you in spending. It’s about secrets, which are the essence of any type of infidelity.

Houston Marital Counselor: Why Financial Honesty Is Crucial

As the Houston marital counselor, I can tell you that trust and communication are two of the most important ingredients for a successful relationship. And even though you may be lying about something that seems small, it can build up doubts in your partner’s mind and affect other aspects of your relationship.

Financial infidelity is also often a symptom of the fact that you are talking about other relationship problems. You may both have different priorities, and that affects how you want to spend your money. You may be more focused on building up a comfortable retirement fund while your partner believes that you should live a little more in the now while you can appreciate it more.

These are serious relationship problems that don’t go away just because your partner isn’t aware of your last shopping spree. Instead, it’s better to work out a financial plan together – for the long term and short term – and to revisit it regularly, as well as before any major life change (like a job change or a new child). If you have trouble talking through the details, there are two experts you can consult: a financial planner or accountant and a Houston marital counselor.