Why couples shouldn't trust each other with money

Couples are lying to one another about money - and it’s enormously dangerous

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Couples lie about money

When it comes to money matters, married couples have no faith in one another. They may have promised to love and honour their spouse, but they didn't say anything about trusting them with a credit card. A new study has revealed just how far apart married couples are when it comes to their finances.

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The survey, by Paymentsense, found that only a third of women trust their husband with their debit card PIN, while just 43% say they would hand over their credit card.

Unfortunately, this lack of trust seems to have come about as the result of bitter experience. Some 40% of women and 38% of men admit to lying to their spouse about what they spend their money on. Apparently 10% of women have lied about what they spend on food, and 16% say they lie and pretend they bought something in a sale in order to hide how much they spent. Meanwhile, 23% of men have lied about their alcohol bill.

There's every chance that these fall into the category of 'little white lies'. Where a couple has already set aside money to cover the basics, and have separate accounts to spend as they wish, then they are lying to protect the other person's good image of them rather than to disguise a major overspend.

More worrying

However, there's always the risk that these figures also contain a number of married couples who've either learned not to trust one another - or who are about to go through that horrible learning curve.

We all face ups and downs in life, but some people will try to hide it from their other half for one reason or another - while their situation deteriorates. Some will be out of work or on a reduced income for a period. Others will face unexpected expenses, or an issue with spending. When lying about money is in the DNA of a marriage, it's easy for these things to go undetected until it's too late.

Each couple will have to come to their own understanding about how much of their finances are shared, and how much is private. There will always be one spouse who is better with money than the other, and a small amount of flexibility built into their relationship to deal with it.

However, all couples need to understand the bottom line that if one spouse starts suffering from any kind of financial problem, they must tell their other half. If it gets any worse, it's going to become a problem for them both, so they deserve the opportunity to help stop it becoming any more of an issue than it has to.

Too trusting

Ironically, while older married couples have a problem with a lack of trust, and little white lies, younger people and newer couples have precisely the opposite problem.

Almost a third of people who have been in a relationship for less than a year admit their partner knows their PIN, and 45% trust their partner with their credit card.

The number of people who have been fleeced by partners is chronically under-reported, because people are too embarrassed to admit it to the authorities, but those that hit the headlines demonstrate just how much damage a dishonest partner can do.

Newer couples could learn something from the fact that just 46% of married people trust their spouse with their credit card. It demonstrates that when they get to know one another properly, even though they clearly love one another, more than half of people decide that their other half is not to be trusted financially.

It means that once you get to know your new partner properly, there's a more than 50% chance that you'll discover that letting them know your PIN was a bad idea.

But what do you think? Do you trust your other half with money? And would you give them your credit card? Let us know in the comments.


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