Keeping Money Secrets From Your Husband Is As Bad As Cheating on Him

couple arguing money Any marriage therapist, priest, rabbi, or anyone who has been married for more than a minute basically will tell you that money is one of the biggest sources of conflict in a marriage. So it's not all that surprising that "financial infidelity" plagues so many of us. In fact, according to a new study from CreditCards.com, one in five Americans has hidden a purchase of $500 or more from their significant other.

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The researchers also concluded that an estimated 7.2 million of us have a bank account or credit card that our spouses don't know about, and men are twice as likely as women to have hidden a purchase from their significant other.

More from The Stir: Marriage 911: What Do You Do When You Don't Agree on Money?

Still, we asked women about their money secrets, and while many said they hide "nothing" from their spouses, many admitted they haven't always been 100 percent honest about cash flow.

"I've never made a crazy big purchase without telling my husband, but I've definitely gone clothes or makeup shopping before without telling him," admits a mom of two. "I hid them in my trunk!"

Sneaky tricks for stashing cash also seem to come into play. A stay-at-home mom of three named Christine "would buy groceries and then get $20 or $30 in cash back at every purchase and save that money for a 'surprise' trip for her family each year at Christmas." Apparently, she did it because "she knew her husband would've told her they couldn't afford the trip if she'd asked, so when he thought all the debit card charges went for groceries," he wasn't aware that that was how she got her vacation money together!

But if that sounds extreme, consider the lengths women preparing for divorce go to.

"I have a secret bank account," shares an anonymous mom. "I lie to my husband about how much I make so I can put a percentage of that in my account. I'm doing this because I am planning on leaving him. I now have saved up enough money for a down payment, furniture, and a car. I've been saving for over a year. Next month, I'll move ... while he's at work. I've waited for this day for two years, finally I'll be free of him."

On the flip side, for some spouses, certain money matters are not so much intentionally hidden as they are simply not discussed.

"Pretty much everything is hidden," explains mom of one, Ashley S. "My husband and I used to have a joint checking account, but it seemed to cause problems with who spent what. Since he and I both work, we both have our own checking accounts and have divided up the bills. He actually has no idea how much I pay for my car, clothes, or other activities. He and I both buy all the necessities for our daughter and have a joint credit card for emergencies. It's actually worked out well for us."

Ultimately, keeping some facts and figures to yourself won't destroy your marriage. Thirty-one percent of men claimed they don't mind if their spouse hides a big purchase, whereas 18 percent of women would have a problem with it. So ladies, looks like minor money secrets are acceptable. But probably not something to make a habit of!

What's a money secret you've kept from your spouse?

 

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