By Melanie Hasty-Grant


Having been a therapist for many years, one of the most devastating issues when working with couples, is infidelity.  There are many forms of infidelity.  Let’s review three of them. Most often what comes to mind is a sexual affair. A sexual affair is when a person engages in sexual activity with someone other than their spouse.  This could be anything from sexual intercourse, to kissing, to making out.   Also included in this category are online affairs through chat rooms, dating and pornography sites.

A lesser known type of affair is what is called an emotional affair.

Emotional infidelity is defined when one partner goes outside the primary relationship to get his or her emotional needs met — and it is more common and more damaging than you might imagine. If you are talking about problems that are happening in your marriage or with your spouse with someone else of the opposite sex, if you find yourself taking extra time getting ready in the morning to impress a certain coworker, if you are texting excessively with someone who isn’t your partner, if you are hiding emails from your spouse, you may already be having an emotional affair.

Finally, there is Financial Infidelity.  Financial Infidelity is the secretive act of spending money, possessing credit and credit cards, holding secret accounts or stashes of money, borrowing money, or otherwise incurring debt unknown to one’s spouse.  MSN money reported on a study in 2008  that showed 50% of respondents had committed some form of financial infidelity. At least two or three times a year, I have new prospective clients come in to visit with me that are struggling with financial infidelity.  It most often finally comes to roost because of the accumulated debt and creditor issues.  The following are some signs of financial infidelity and ways to go about uncovering dishonest financial behavior.

Review Documents. 

Review tax returns, bank account statements, credit card statements, investment statements regularly.  Look at the inflows, outflows, and where the money goes.  When money has been hidden, the biggest sign is a real disconnect between income reported and the money available to pay the bills.  Look for transfers between accounts that you were not aware of.  If you see this, try to get info on why the money was transferred to another account and where this account is.

Changes in behavior.

Watch for changes in your spouse’s behavior. You know what you consider normal behavior in your spouse.  If they start acting differently, it may be cause for suspicion.  Excessive secrecy, changes in money flow, unexplained gaps between income and expenditures all could be cause for concern.

Changes to accounts.

If addresses are changed and statements go to another address, that is a red flag.  Bank accounts in a family member’s name should raise questions.  Bank statements showing regular wire transfers or checks to a random person should also be a concern.

Review all signed legal agreements.

Read and review all tax returns. Make sure you understand everything that you have signed in the past and are signing.

In order to prevent financial infidelity, both partners need to be involved in the finances.  The way people get taken advantage of, no matter what the relationship, is when they turn a blind eye.  You need to be able to trust your spouse while at the same time know what is going on. Stay faithful my friends.

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