Sometimes You Have to Cheat to Protect Your Marriage


moneyThis just in. I've never stepped outside with another man (or another woman for that matter), and I wouldn't consider it. But it turns out I've been cheating on my husband for years now without even knowing it. 

How have I done it? Money. I hide it. All around our house. In fits of "financial infidelity," I'm apparently betraying the very core of our marriage.

It's fairly common -- a Harris Interactive online poll of 2,019 adults released this month shows 31 percent of American couples with combined finances were financially unfaithful. They lie about hidden cash or extra bank accounts, extravagant purchases, and other credit cards.

Nothing like being part of the crowd to make you feel better. I'm one of three in every 10 Americans. I'm not a freak! And yet, the word infidelity is stuck in my craw. I'm not a freak, sure, but if the warnings out of the National Endowment for Financial Education are to be believed, I'm risking everything we've been working for since we said "I do."

They think I'm a bad wife. I say I'm just protecting our marriage.

Because my husband sucks with money. Raised by two parents who had absolutely no financial sense at all, he has none himself. He sees something, he wants something, he buys something, and there is no pause in between each action for reflection. There's never a question of whether he needs something, truly needs it. I've talked to him and talked to him and talked to him until I was blue in the face, but it's all to no avail.

I love him dearly, would never leave him -- or cheat on him in a sexual sense. I'm not leaving this marriage. I blame his parents for not teaching him better money management skills, but I also blame them for passing on a genetic predisposition to forgo planning at every stage. They created a kind, loving son. But they also created a money monster.

I wish I had seen it before we were married. But we were both poor college students at the time. We had no money and therefore there was no money to waste. Combining our finances -- or lack thereof -- seemed appropriate at the time of marriage. And now I'm paying for it, quite literally.

So when talking doesn't work, when you still love your spouse, what do you do? The bills have to be covered. The emergency fund has to be there. The markers of responsible financial planning have to be met so we have a house today and in 20 years. I hide money from him to do all that and more. I hide money from him to protect our futures.

According to the "experts," I'm the bad guy here. He of the $400 item because I just had to have it, even though there are three more in the closet, is being open and honest about his financial foibles. And I'm the cheater.

So yes, I cheat on my husband every day. But I do it because I love him too much to do otherwise.

Do you ever think it's OK to lie to your spouse?


Image via emdot/Flickr

marriage, lying


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bluem... bluemonkeygirl

Hey.. sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Knitt... KnittinMama

I dont like liars and I dont like doing it. However I have and will again in order to buy myself things. You know all womens desires. Dish soap, laundry detergent, toilet paper. I have a money monster myself. We just dont have the money to feed him.

Erin1108 Erin1108

I also have a money monster. We just do it a little differently. He has his personal checking account, and I have mine. When he gets his paycheck, I take what I need for bills and combine it with my paycheck. He then gets the remaining balance for whatever during the month. I have access to his checking account, but he does not have access to mine. I am open about my balance, he can look at it any time he wants to, but he can't take anything out. He was raised by parents who believe it's ok to buy what you want first, and not pay bills or buy food. While he's not nearly that bad, he stills goes through money like crazy. I do not hide anything from him financially, but he also realizes that money is not his strong suit, and trusts me enough not to cheat him. He also knows that when we have extra money for something he really wants, he usually gets it. So, do I understand the need to take control over your money? Yes. Do I understand lying about it and hiding it? Yes, because if DH were a different person (not realizing his downfalls), I would probably have to in order to pay our bills.

Joyce Stafford

A ‘money monster’ I love that, it totally fits my husband. I don’t go around hiding money from him, I just don’t let him have access to any of it- mine that is, he has complete control of his own money. But I have a bit of old family money- money generations of my family worked hard to save and pass down, there isn’t much left, but what is left I’m hoping to add to and send on down the line as well. However my husband is more into spending everything on stupid crap. So not only does he not have access  to my money- I also have it set up to go into a trust fund for my son should anything happen to me, a trust my sister will oversee, as I explained to my husband when I set it up that way was so that the money would go to start our child out on his life, not to buy him his first motorcycle at the age of two.  I love my husband, but when it comes to money, I don’t trust him with a dime.

nonmember avatar Allboys

I think in your situation you have to financially protect the both of you. If I were in your shoes I would do the same thing.

Antoinette McCrea

If I didnt take money and put it in a separate account at a different bank we wouldnt have any money in case of emergencies. Besides a women should always have her own money.

idsol... idsoldierswife

Only 30%?  I don't believe it.  I'll bet the 70% that said no are LYING!  I'll bet at least half or more do it.  It's such a common thing to the point that people JOKE about how the woman will buy something and keep it in the trunk of the car until he goes to work and then hang it in the closet like it was always there.  We're all guilty of it.

melly... mellygraham

Unfortunately I have been the money monster in our relationship...we need it, the kids need it, or I just plain want us to have it.  I'm learning though, with a 4th baby on the way it puts things in perspective. Come to think of it, maybe he should start hiding money from me!!

Brittany Hugley

Personally, my husband and i have never really had much to begin with, so weve not had this problem really.. I do know couples that have seperate "his and hers" checking accounts, and i think its odd, but i understand some people just cant be trusted with money. Lying about money is never a good idea. If you have a money monster-you can still be honest with them about how much you are putting away, out of reach. I dont believe in being dishonest about it though, it can ruin relationships. I think one person might have the best interests of the other at heart, but who's to tell a grown man what he can and cannot spend his money on? (besides the bills of course) I think some women become too controlling of everything. Im not being judgemental of anyone here in particular, but ive seen it a lot.

momof... momoftwo0406

I don't think you should lie about it. But I can understand that sometimes you just have to. I'm glad that he trust me to have 100%control of his money. I take what I need and he gets what is left over. His mother is horrible with money songs knows how bad it can get. If hr wants to buy something special he asks if we have the money. If he was not so open and I had to hide money I think I would because my kids and bills come first

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