Financial Infidelity, When Your Partner lies About Money

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When a partner lies about money it’s also called Financial infidelity This is an issue that is currently affecting marriages on a large scale in recent times. Many marriages have collapsed due to this issue and many more are on the brink. This article is for someone out there i believe. 


Keeping some little money stowed away for rainy days will not impact negatively on your married life but when you notice that your spouse has stowed away huge amounts of money you knew nothing about it’s heartbreaking. A marriage that already has other issues will be severely impacted by financial infidelity.

If you have ever lied to your spouse about money, i need you to understand this right now. You are playing with fire. Many mantra’s are being thrown about online about how a man or woman should have money stowed away just in case things do not go as planned. That’s utter rubbish. Insecure people come up with mantra’s that feed their insecurities. If you suspect things may not go as planned, it simply means that your marriage is not all in one piece. If that is the case, discuss this with your partner by highlighting what your concerns are or seek external help. Keeping things away from your partner is wrong and goes against the very foundations of trust in a marriage (sad but true). Would you keep a boyfriend on the side as a woman just because your husband MAY be cheating?

I stumbled on a survey that was carried out in 2011 asking if partners were cheating financially and the feedback blew my mind.

31% Admit Money Deception  “Over half of all financial cheaters admitted hiding cash (58%) or minor purchases (54%). Of the offenders, 30% have hidden a bill, 16% have hidden a major purchase, 15% had a secret bank account, 11% lied about their debts and another 11% lied about the amount of money they earned.”

Money deception is fast becoming one of the biggest reasons marriages are crumbling in Nigeria, across Africa and the world over.

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Reasons Partners Lie About Money

In the past years, i’ve noticed a pattern with cases where partners tell “Money Lies”.These are predominantly the reasons;

1) The Need for Control – One of the partners sees this as important for them to maintain control or a semblance of it

2) The Fear of the Unknown – A partner discovers something not so nice about their relationship and then decide that stowing away money for the future is a solution to a futuristic problem that may soon arise.

3) Guilt of Money Source – Many partners are guilty of how they got the money in their account and cannot explain it away. Especially if their partner is on a particularly intellectual wavelength and would ask layered questions.

4) Pragmatic Reasons – One of the partner believes that the other tends to be a bit unrealistic in their approach to financial issues and decides to take the initiative in becoming the financial hero without carrying the ostensibly weak partner along.

Warning Signs of Financial Infidelity

  • Lots of arguments about money
  • You discover they have a secret bank account (not the ones they had before you two were married)
  • Your partner sorts every bill out without you getting involved in finances (this could just be that your partner has made this their sole responsibility)
  • One partner begins to spend money as a way of getting back at the other
  • You catch your partner telling a money lie
  • You generally do not trust your spouse
  • Your partner gets aggressive and defensive when you initiate money talks
  • When your gut simply tells you they are lying to you (Your gut is something to be trained and then listened to most times)
  • You discover your partner has a habit of owing other people
In many marriages, partners are deciding to start saving their own money, open different accounts to stow away cash, devise ways to steal from a spouse with higher earning power so they can save the money or convert the bounty to cash and save it. Many “Fem-wise Empowerment” factions and “Bro Code Homie”  advisors will tell you these are the ways to go but i hate to break it to you. It’s not. You are only hurting your marriage. Doing any of these simply means you have already lost faith in your marriage.
Here are steps that have worked for couples in times past;
  • FACE THE SITUATION – Pretending this money issue does not exist will not help either you or your marriage. Have an honest and serious discussion with your partner regarding it.
  • BARE YOUR SOUL – If you were the one that was lied to, tell your partner that the dishonesty has affected your trust for them,makes you feel betrayed, unimportant and incited panic in your heart. If you were the one that lied, admit your mistake,re-assure them that you will be honest moving forward, be sincere with your apology and seal t up with something steamy, hot n memorable 
  • GET REAL – Tell your partner what is within your realistic capacity to save the financial issue. You can decide to open a joint account or simply open an account for sorting out things  and then have your individual accounts where both of you can deposit money for personal use.
  • GET WEEKLY OR MONTHLY ASSESSMENTS – Both of you must have weekly or monthly status assessments in ten minutes or even less to discuss upcoming bills, goals, problems and future plans. This makes whoever the major provider may be get a feeling of support. Nobody wants to talk about money worries and for most who talk about it, they are doing so because they may have already hit a brick wall.
  • SPEAK TO A THERAPIST – If the suggestions did not work or the financial infidelity has already led to a collapse in your marriage/relationship, do not be shy, seek out a financial advisor or a marriage counselor near you to help you. It’s really not about saving face anymore or putting up appearances.
When you hide, keep secrets or give metered information about money to your partner, it could signal the existence of more issues in your marriage. As always, i hope this article helped someone out there. I believe that it wasn’t mere coincidence that made you stumble upon my article on this issue. Begin taking these active steps i detailed to get your life back. Knowledge they say is power but i say in it’s right application lies real mastery.

Written by Obike Temple.

Temple Obike is a licensed marriage and family therapist, speaker, author and psychotherapist who has counseled over one thousand, two hundred clients comprising of couples, individuals, abuse victims (substance, physical, emotional and sexual) and grief-stricken clients. With over 70,000 in-counseling minutes (1,000+ hours) accrued in practice. He runs his private psychotherapy & counseling practice out of Lagos, Nigeria and has counseling centers in Abuja and Port-Harcourt. His practice also provides options for both online and on-site services.

His private practice has positively empowered lives through his online counseling, podcasts, free advisory services and free online materials.  Readership of his articles also receive a growing number of visitors alongside subscriptions to his email newsletter at His passion for empowering and uncovering the secrets to lifelong marriages and personal development led to his new book titled “Soul Bodega” available on amazon and across other online and traditional stores.

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