People lie to their spouses about all kinds of things — and money is no exception. One 2018 poll found that 41% of Americans admit that they’ve lied to their spouse about money, but that may be an understatement. Another survey found that 75% of couples say that their relationships have suffered some damage due to financial hijinks.
Why do people lie to their spouses about money? Experts say that there’s a range of factors that can cause one spouse to hide financial issues from the other. If one spouse is really controlling, for example, the other may start hiding money or lying about their shopping habits as a self-defense mechanism. Others suffer from hidden (or not-so-hidden) addictions. Some feel compelled to bend to social pressure and “keep up with the Joneses,” while others simply have different values.
So how can you tell if your spouse is hiding something about the family finances? Look for these clues:
- The credit card statements are suddenly invisible. If you aren’t seeing the bills for your credit cards and other expenses, it’s time to find out where they are going. Maybe your spouse is handling everything digitally, but you should ask questions.
- Your spouse rushes to get the mail before you see it. If your spouse seems to be especially anxious about opening the mail and gets stressed about beating you to the mailbox, that’s a worrisome sign that they’re hiding something.
- You have no real contact with your family accountant. It’s one thing for a spouse to handle the majority of the financial paperwork. It’s entirely another to cut a spouse off from contact with the accountant and act like that’s normal.
- You can’t access any of the online accounts. If the passwords have all changed and your spouse didn’t tell you the new ones, that’s a problem.
Discovering that your spouse is keeping financial secrets can easily lead to divorce, and nobody could blame you. Keep in mind, however, that Florida is an equitable distribution state. You can contest the debt that your spouse is trying to stick you with and ask for a fair share of the assets.