Most people would agree that open, honest communication is important in a relationship. However, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to be honest with your partner about everything.
Money is often a source of conflict—and even contention—in relationships. Sometimes, one partner has spending habits that aren’t sustainable. Or, maybe one pinches pennies so much that it becomes an obsession.
Everyone has their own “money quirks” to deal with. However, keeping financial secrets from your partner can lead to disaster within your relationship. You might think you’re doing them a favor by keeping them from the stress of those issues. But it’s still a form of dishonesty, and it could end up biting both of you.
Still struggling to be open about your financial situation? Let’s cover a few more reasons you shouldn’t keep financial secrets from your partner.
It Sets a Tone of Distrust
Again, it’s not always easy to open up about difficult subjects. Maybe your financial issues feel like a deep, dark secret. Maybe you’re embarrassed by the amount of debt you’re in or know that you have a problem with gambling you’ve never discussed before.
However, these things have a way of coming to the surface, eventually. If your partner finds out about them before you open up, it’s going to set a tone of distrust for your relationship.
Even if they’re okay with the financial issues, they likely won’t be okay with the fact that you kept a secret from them. It might make them wonder what else you’re hiding, and could damage your intimacy as a couple. Even if you’re able to move forward together, that sense of distrust will be there for quite some time.
Your Problems Could Become Their Problems
If you live with your partner or you’re married, keeping financial secrets could do harm to more than just your future.
Many couples share bank accounts, or at least expenses. If you share an account with your partner and you are irresponsible with your funds, keep in mind that you’re taking money they’ve worked for, too. You could even damage their credit.
If you have separate accounts but are each responsible for certain things, you could still cause problems if you’re not able to make your payments. For example, if you’re in such financial trouble that you’re not able to pay rent or your utility bills keep piling up, it’s not fair for your partner to suffer the consequences of no electricity, heat, or potentially a place to live.
They Can Help You Overcome Financial Difficulties
Perhaps the biggest reason you shouldn’t keep financial secrets from your partner is in the word itself—partner.
Being part of a relationship means staying true to each other, even in difficult times. It’s never easy to open up about something difficult or embarrassing. However, if you come clean about your financial issues, your partner will likely be the first one to want to help.
That might include offering some of their own savings to get you out of debt, or working with you on a plan to start paying back loans more effectively. If you have a spending issue or gambling problem, they can serve as your support system. They’ll be with you as you seek out the help you need to work through those problems.
It can be hard to overcome financial problems on your own. When you’re in a serious relationship, you don’t have to.
If you’ve been keeping financial secrets from your partner, it’s time to open up. Doing so sooner, rather than later, will only strengthen your relationship while undoubtedly improving your financial concerns, knowing you don’t have to handle them alone.
About the Author
Roma Williams is a Houston-based licensed marriage and family therapist, who is also licensed in the states of Georgia, Florida, and California. Her specialties and clinical interests are systems and relationships. Roma enjoys working with couples, including LGBTQ+ and those who live in polyamorous relationships. As an African American woman, Roma has donated time and efforts to causes championing black women and mental health. Roma also enjoys working with individuals on their relationships with themselves and others. Being a California native, and moving to the south in her adult years, Roma has had plenty of experiences that have shaped her cultural development both professionally and personally. In her spare time, Roma enjoys fashion, all things wine, and traveling.
If you are in Houston or in any part of Texas, Georgia, Florida, or California and are ready to work with Roma click here.