A Harris poll for the National Endowment for Financial Education found that financial problems cause more than 70% of U.S. divorces. And it’s likely that financial infidelity contributed to the 8% divorce rate in Indiana. An older couple struggling with financial infidelity could find themselves having a gray divorce.
A divorce is “gray” when the spouses are 50 or older. In 2019, around one out of every four U.S. divorces involved couples at least 50 years old. Some of these >gray divorces occur because of financial infidelity.
Financial infidelity is when one or both spouses lies about or hides financial information. They keep the information from their spouse, the same as when a person has a sexual or emotional affair. And like with sexual or emotional infidelity, financial infidelity can lead to divorce.
Couples engage in this behavior for several reasons. A spouse might feel shame about their financial situation. Or perhaps they feel their spouse is too strict about family spending. It’s also possible a spouse is hiding money because they’re trying to get ahead financially.
Financial infidelity includes hiding credit card statements or having credit cards in secret. Lying about your spending or income is also financial infidelity. Other acts of financial infidelity include getting loans, opening bank accounts or hiding purchases from your spouse.
The discovery of financial infidelity can cause feelings of resentment, betrayal and distrust. It’s often just as troublesome as sexual or emotional infidelity. But couples who engage in this behavior don’t always get divorced. They might decide to seek therapy and work on their financial problems in an effort to repair the marriage.