Money and secrets don’t mix

Any couple will tell you that the cornerstone of a successful, happy and lifelong marriage is good, open communication. And they’ll probably also tell you that one of the leading causes of divorce is financial issues.

What happens then, if you combine poor communication with poor financial decisions? For instance what if you find out that your spouse is not only not on the same page financially, but that they’ve gone out and got a secret credit card that they’ve loaded up with debt? Or perhaps you are the spouse who’s decidedly to do some sneaky spending?



Either way, it’s time to fess up and make a plan. Here’s what you do in this circumstance:

Full disclosure

The first step towards repair after financial infidelity (much like regular infidelity) is for both of you to lay all of your cards on the table (pardon the pun). You need to know exactly what you are up against so that you can develop a plan.

You need to account for these debts in your household budget and move towards paying it off. You may be able to find room in your monthly spending. If not, you might want to consider debt consolidation as an option.


What’s behind this extra spending? Is it gambling or other addictive behaviour? Is it simply a need to acquire stuff?

Either way, you need to figure out together what the motivation is behind this secret spending- and knock the problem out at the root.

What’s mine is yours

What many couples don’t realize that, ultimately, you are responsible for your spouse’s debt, even if it’s not your card. There are implications that could be serious- which is something to consider, no matter what side of the table you are on. It’s worth pulling your credit report to verify the conditions on the debt in question.