Cheating is an issue that no couple wants to deal with. And in some instances, the innocent party will simply walk away rather than endure the pain. But what happens when your partner commits financial infidelity? Although trust issues may surface, is it severe enough to throw in the towel? Can a relationship survive financial infidelity?
The answer to this question depends on your relationship and how much you’re willing to put up with, but the good news is that there’s still hope after financial infidelity has been committed.
Here are some ways to survive and move past financial infidelity and rebuild trust with the love of your life:
If you haven’t yet let your partner in on your little secret, now’s the time to do so. I should warn you that their reaction probably won’t be favorable, since you’ve clearly betrayed their trust. But the reaction likely won’t be as bad if they find out from you, rather than on their own, before you confess. Prolonging the conversation will only make things worse. They may wonder why you didn’t come forward sooner, and they may ask what else you’ve been hiding.
Confessing won’t be an easy thing to do, but admitting that you’ve made a mistake is the first step to rectifying the issue.
Once you’ve come clean, it’s time to apologize in the sincerest way possible. If you want your relationship to survive financial infidelity, now’s not the time to be a jerk, especially considering that you’re the one at fault. Even if your significant other is freaking out, take a moment to think about how you would feel if you were in their shoes.
3. Establish a Plan of Action
Sit down with your partner once things have settled down and devise a plan of action. This will demonstrate that you are committed to doing whatever it takes to make things right and to earn their trust back.
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For example, if you’ve accumulated excessive debt balances or wiped the savings account clean, draft up a plan to replenish the stash. Perhaps you could pick up a part-time job, do some freelancing, or slash your expenses?
The idea is to do whatever it takes to fix the issue in the most rapid manner possible.
4. Set Boundaries
This is the time to get to the root of the problem – or what caused the issue – and set boundaries so that history won’t repeat itself. If your case of financial infidelity was a result of retail therapy, implement spending limits and stick to them.
If you made large purchases without your partner’s knowledge, a rule that dictates a maximum purchase amount before the other party must chaperone you is appropriate.
5. Take a Vow of Transparency
So you’ve already apologized and devised a plan of action, but you should seal the deal by taking a vow of transparency. Communicate once again that you regret your decisions, and that you will go the extra mile to make things right in the most transparent manner possible.
6. Start Rebuilding Trust
From this point forward, you should commit to meeting with your spouse at least once a month to talk money. During the meeting, you can touch on your spending plan, debt repayment (if applicable), and the progress made on financial goals (including those implemented to survive the negative impact of financial infidelity).
The Bottom Line
While your relationship won’t recover from financial infidelity overnight, taking these actions will jump-start your journey. The only other option spells the end of the relationship.