Money Secrets = Money Conflicts

I have a confession to make - I've minimized the amount I paid for an outfit so my husband wouldn't get angry with me. How many of you have done something similar? When I talk with women about their money histories I hear similar stories fairly often. One woman hides her purchases in the trunk of the car and waits until her husband is asleep to bring them in. Another writes a check for part of a purchase and pays cash for the rest.

Are these women being clever or disempowered with their money? I understand the deception though, as money is the #1 area of conflict in relationships. Dr. Klontz & Klontz call this  money pattern "financial infidelity," which just means keeping financial secrets from your partner and secrets fuel dysfunction.

Men keep money secrets too and tend to spend on bigger ticket items. I know of a man who bought and kept a piece of property without his wife's knowledge. When they divorced, the property was completely under the joint property radar. "Some take out a second mortgage, cash out a 401 (k), or make risky investments." (Klontz & Klontz) All of these are examples of financial infidelity or what I would call  just plaid fraud.

The way to change the money conflict dynamic is: 1) Willingness & Safety: You have to feel safe enough to talk to your partner about your beliefs, values and actions with money without attack or reprisal. 2) Develop a plan of spending and savings (don't call it a budget  if that creates resistance!!) 3) Start off with a 30-60 day plan. Talk weekly. Keep to your plan and discuss challenges/obstacles that come up. 4) If the plan isn't working or all you do is fight, seek counseling or coaching help. (Telford-Sahl) (Klontz & Klontz)  Money is the canary in the coal-mine of marriage and there are probably deeper issues going on. A good Certified Money Coach who follows Deborah Price's system is one place to start.