Originally posted at Christian Post February 26, 2016.
I saw you quoted in an interesting article in Fortune Magazine about a survey on “financial infidelity”, and they said this, “One in twenty people in the U.S. admit to having started secret bank accounts or credit cards without their partner’s knowledge.” You talked about how financial secrets were not good for a marriage, and I was wondering whether you think it is ever acceptable to set money aside that your spouse does not know about, or does that make someone financially unfaithful?
Curious about Joint Checking
When the Bible says that two become one in marriage, it acknowledges something that those of us in who are part of a couple understand painfully well -- a unifying process is taking place. We are becoming one, rather than magically melding together, and that takes work. Merging finances is one of the hardest things a couple does together, and it takes some time, patience and sincere conversations. And in counseling couples over the years, I have found that there does come a point at which couples can undermine their marriage with financial secrets.
A headline on the topic in The Guardian recently made an excellent point: “Cheating isn’t always sexual – many admit to hiding financial information from their partners, and a frank discussion may be the best way to approach the issue.” While not very often, I agree with the media on this one!
To be clear, there is no Bible verse that says a couple has to have joint checking or that the bills have to be written out by either the wife or the husband. But the ninth commandment, the one that tells people not to lie, is direct.
Lying to your spouse about your money is a problem – and a rather common one. The National Endowment for Financial Education found in a poll that 31 percent of Americans admitted to lying about their finances to their partners, while many others try to say nothing at all, remaining secretive.