Over the last 20 years, I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with many couples in the area of finances. It’s amazing that when people get born again, they misunderstand that their poor financial habits aren’t instantaneously “born again” as well. The same bad habits you formed when you were single follow you into marriage. A commonly known statistic is that 50% of marriages end in divorce. It is also known that the number one reason people get divorced is not because of sexual infidelity, but because of financial disharmony. I am here to tell you that financial infidelity can be just as damaging as sexual infidelity, yet many Christians act like keeping money secrets is okay. If this were the case, the statistics would prove otherwise.
A commonly known statistic is that 50% of marriages end in divorce.
Some time ago, Today.com reported a survey conducted with 24,000 men and women. The survey showed that virtually 50% of married couples admit to keeping money secrets from their partners. In addition to these astounding numbers, the survey exposed the fact that nearly 60% of the women surveyed confessed to lying to their husbands about money, and almost 40% of men disclosed that they often lied to their wives about money. This same survey revealed that 63% of men and 70% of women agreed that being truthful and authentic about money is just as important as being exclusively committed to their spouse. The study also unveiled the fact that over 31% of married couples in America have committed financial infidelity at some point in their marriage. Money doesn’t cheat, people do!
Money doesn’t cheat, people do!
Amos 3:3 (Message Bible) says:
Do two people walk hand in hand if they aren’t going to the same place?
How can you reach a place of financial harmony and freedom, if you’re keeping secrets? Could it be that the reason so many couples aren’t out of debt, constantly argue about money, and have no financial peace is due to hidden matters of the wallet?
You can’t have financial harmony and freedom if you’re keeping financial secrets.
You don’t have to sneak away to a motel with someone other than your spouse to be cheating. Many people have already committed financial fraud before they even walk down the aisle on their wedding day. You negated to tell your future spouse that your credit score is -300, or that you owe Uncle Sam a small fortune. Just like the snake beguiled Eve in the garden by being small and subtle, your secret financial escapades are just as deceptive, and consequently, just as destructive. The acts can begin small then aggregate, having a snowball effect.
Many people have already committed financial fraud before they even walk down the aisle on their wedding day.
Here are signs you may be cheating on your spouse with your wallet:
- You lie about making purchases “on sale,” when in actuality, you paid full price.
- You have “He Money” or “She Money” – money that “he” or “she” doesn’t know about.
- You hide bank statements, OR, have an account your spouse doesn’t know about.
- You get direct deposits into a secret account.
- You hide bonus checks or your 401K statements.
- You have a P.O. Box that your credit card statements go to.
- You leave bags from the mall in your trunk and slowly introduce them in your closet so your spouse doesn’t notice. Then when they ask you if the outfit is new, you say “This old thing?”
- You’re dishonest about your financial affairs, like how much debt you really have. And the list goes on and on.
Here are some guidelines to assist you in having financial fidelity in your marriage:
- Be completely honest and transparent about how much debt you are in. Taking care of it in the beginning prevents it from becoming a huge issue in the future.
- Establish an interval (weekly, monthly, quarterly) for discussing the family finances and set some financial standards TOGETHER.
- Both partners should be involved in paying household bills, as this creates checks and balances, as well as transparency.
- Set parameters or close individual accounts (bank, credit, etc.), and make them joint. Agree that all online account access may be shared by both, husband and wife.
Financial harmony is a wonderful thing. You can’t pray away bad habits, you have to change them!