14th Sep 2015
Dealing with financial infidelity
Author: Jo Lamble
Dealing with financial infidelity

Relationship expert Jo Lamble answers many prickly questions in her book, Answers to Everyday Questions about Relationships. This week she has advice on how John can get past his wife’s financial infidelity.

Q. John
I have just found out my wife has spent most of our savings and I am devastated. I love her dearly but can’t believe she has been so deceitful. Aside from the financial ruin we are now facing, how do I move forward with our relationship? I don’t think I can afford to leave.

A. Financial infidelity has devastating effects on a relationship. The betrayal you must feel would be on par with that felt by people whose partners have had an affair. Is it possible that your wife has a gambling problem? Or perhaps she has an ‘addiction’ to shopping.

Hopefully she is getting help for whatever led her to lose your savings. If she gains insight into her behaviour and learns some strategies, she is less likely to fall into the same trap. She will also be capable of showing you empathy once she understands her own actions.

Then, it is a matter of you both deciding whether or not you want to recommit to your marriage. When an affair is discovered, both people need to recommit or the relationship will end. The same can be said for financial infidelity. With insight, understanding, and a renewed commitment, it’s possible to move forward.

Editor’s note: You may wish to seek counselling both separately then together. Your GP will be able to assist you with a Mental Health Plan, which may entitle you to a number of free counselling sessions. You may also wish to seek financial counselling which can help you to create a plan of how you are going to get your finances back on track, as well as work out a solution to how you manage your finances in the future. You can find out more about financial counsellors by reading Resolving financial difficulty.



    To make a comment, please register or login
    15th Sep 2015
    HMM ? I don't think the Poor Dear had any Pocket Money as a Kid ? And now She is getting even Big Time ! :-)
    15th Sep 2015
    just remember ,if a Partner has Debts in their own name,the other person is NOT liable for them.

    15th Sep 2015
    But loving people pay them for them anyhow ! I Did !
    15th Sep 2015
    Yes I did too parti to the tune of a few hundred thousand. It's easy to forgive but its hard to forget. I have to bite my tongue occasionally but it gets easier as time passes.
    John my experience involved a few very long discussions about past present and future behaviours. Don't be surprised if you learn something new about each of you and your relationship with each other. Look at it as a symptom, not an unacceptable problem. It's time to open your heart not close it mate. Good luck!
    15th Sep 2015
    rob 101
    Why then did I have to pay off the credit card after my husband died. The card was in his name.
    15th Sep 2015
    He may have slipped You in as Guarantor ? :-(
    15th Sep 2015
    Get the Contract ! You may have a comeback !
    15th Sep 2015
    I expect it was actually his estate that paid off his credit card, which of course it must pay all his debts, before giving you what was left.
    15th Sep 2015
    Under common law a man is responsible for his wife's debts but his wife is not responsible for his.
    15th Sep 2015
    Good onya Bonny . You tell her !! I cant use the letter box on this Site ??? Dunno ?

    15th Sep 2015
    Money, it is said, can't buy happiness, but somehow it's more comfortable to cry in a Lexus than it is a Ford.
    15th Sep 2015
    she may be stashing it away somewhere before she leaves
    15th Sep 2015
    I've seen that one before today ! :-) :-) ( Not Me) Served the Deviot Right !! :-) :-)
    Young Simmo
    15th Sep 2015
    I have a similar problem. Last year my wife spent $39 on books on the net without telling me. I spent $1000 on an electric bike but I told her.
    OK I agree, I am perfect.
    16th Sep 2015
    They were Sex Books and Yours was a Bike ! So You both have an Interest in Riding Now there's a Start !!
    15th Sep 2015
    Iam a firm believer in each person in a relationship having their own bank acccount and also a joint account from which all bills etc are paid.

    If one partner does not work they should still have a certain amount which is theirs to do with as they wish.
    15th Sep 2015
    I have been poor and I have been extremely comfortable. I know which one I prefer.
    15th Sep 2015
    Yeah !! I like the Extremely Comfortable one too ! Ill never Get Rid of Her !! :-)
    16th Sep 2015
    I agree with "Radish" .I had the same problem and we find the solution was separate bank accounts . It is good to have some independence ,even if one does not work outside the home.
    16th Sep 2015
    Trust no one...take them no where
    16th Sep 2015
    ERM ? You mean Don't Vote ? :-0 :-)
    16th Sep 2015
    IMO a couple -- married -- should tell their partner everything and both agree to it b4 doing anything, it is wrong to spend all the money or even any of it unless it is agreed on by both.
    Well thats how we always did it anyway.

    Unless each partner has a Bank account of their own and another to pay bills etc and have agreed to this.
    16th Sep 2015
    Yep Agreed ! :-)
    20th Sep 2015
    It is easier when you have fixed and regular amounts coming in - but not so easy when amounts vary. Be aware that checking on your joint finances is a responsibility for each of you. One person should not be given all the responsibility - or temptations. Educate yourselves on financial matters and keep ahead of possible problems.

    Gambling, excessive spending, and dementia are problems which can creep up slowly. Don't imagine that your family is immune. Get medical and psychological help for everyone who is affected.

    Decide how much is needed for household expenses and savings. Keep that in an account which requires two signatures (not either one or the other). Review the situation together on a regular basis.

    Each person should receive a regular equal small personal amount to do with what they wish.

    Anything extra should go into savings - for such things as repairs, holidays, or emergencies.

    Do not, under any circumstances, put all the budgeting, bill payments, or record keeping onto one person. Even if you hate doing it, you should both be fully involved and up-to-date on what is happening on a daily basis.

    Restoring love and trust to their former levels may be impossible, but perhaps a healthier and more balanced relationship will be the positive outcome.
    23rd Mar 2017
    Allocate an amount each week for each other that you can spend without having to justify what you spent it on. I found that by doing this I could keep in check my husbands weekly trips to TAB and I don't have to feel guilty about the cups of coffee with my friends

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