The last true taboo in relationships is not sex - it's money.
I recently read a recent U.S. study, called “Couples have their dirty little secrets”, which indicated that as many as 80% of spouses admitted to secret shopping and 18% of married people indicated that they have a credit card that their partner has no idea exists.
In addition, 34% said they feared that if their spouse found out the truth, they would ask for a divorce. Nearly half said they were hiding economic information from their husbands or wives because they didn't want to fight about it.
Hiding purchases and economic decisions from your spouse may be the beginning of the end. The reason? TRUST, a necessary ingredient for any relationship is destroyed.
Financial infidelity is manifested when we hide purchases, when we are not honest about how much money we make, or do not clearly explain the details or implications of the economic decisions we make.
"Financial infidelity," says Gail Saltz, "can be as bad as sexual infidelity, in terms of the pain and destruction it causes.”
So, what is to be done about it? The Bible gives us clear indications.
“So, stop telling lies. Let's always tell the truth to everyone because we are members of the same body.” (Ephesians 4:25)
If we do not do our best to maintain unity in our decisions, we risk becoming separated.
“A kingdom divided by a civil war will be destroyed. In the same way a family divided by fights will disintegrate.” (Mark 3:24,25)
How can we be Financially Faithful and avoid Financial Infidelity? Here are some steps which you could start to take.
1. Open effective channels of communication (Ps 19:1-2)
2. Accept each other and create safe environments where we can speak the truth without fear (Phil 2:1-2)
3. Adopt common biblical principles for economic decision-making (for example – have a clear financial administration, be free from debt, learn to be content, practise integrity, patience & self-control...)
4. Realise God’s unique design for the couple and each other’s unique roles (Gen 2:24)
5. Developing together a plan to control expenses (Pr 21:5; Pr 27:23,24)
6. Design tools to solve common problems (for example, discuss spending above a certain limit, a regular financial evaluation together, use common accounts)
Taking the Compass course, “Money and Marriage” can be of great hep as you plan and develop your financial life together! Take a look.