Daily Dupaco

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Financial infidelity common among couples

Ever lied to your partner about a purchase? If so, you're not alone. Those little white lies can add up to a big problem for relationships.

Three in 10 Americans who have combined their finances with a partner admit to lying about money matters, according to a December survey commissioned by the National Endowment for Financial Education.
Here are some of the findings:

* 30 percent have hid a statement or a bill.
* 15 percent kept a secret bank account.
* 11 percent lied about how much money they earned.

If financial trust has been broken, there are some basic ways to mend the breach. Denny Grant, a licensed mental health counselor at Hillcrest Mental Health Center in Dubuque, offers these tips:

Be honest. It's important to come clean--completely. Openness, communication and working together are critical.

Practice forgiveness. If your partner has been financially deceptive, agree to offer one free pass. "It's so essential for the other person not to be prosecutor and throw it back in their face again and again," Grant says.

Take a quiz. The NEFE's LifeValues Quiz can help you identify how your money values are alike or different, and it sheds light on the areas that need work.

Set parameters. "In my marriage, we made a deal that if we were spending anything over $50 we'd get consent from the other person," Grant says. "That ongoing agreement is based on mutual respect for one another."

"Just because there's a little financial deception does not mean the core of the relationship is unhealthy," Grant says. "No relationship is perfect, and it can feel good to work through those issues."

By Emily Kittle

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