Money is a difficult topic to talk about – no matter how close you are with the other person, how long you’ve known them and how much you trust them.
This is evidenced by the fact that money troubles is one of the top causes of divorce. Any one of a number of money-related topics can be difficult to deal with, but confronting your significant other if you suspect them of lying about money is one of the harder discussions to have.
If one person in a relationship is going behind the other’s back when it comes to finances, there could be a number of things he or she is doing with the money – they could be spending it on themselves, they could be keeping some out of their paycheck for themselves (if this wasn’t already agreed upon), they could have been dishonest about the cost of a purchase – and the list goes on and on.
Is Your Partner Lying About Spending Money?
What’s perhaps more important than where and how this money is being spent, is WHY this money is being spent. When you confront your partner about their behavior, don’t judge or get angry. The person doing the spending could be afraid of the reaction they’ll get if they were to tell the truth, and by introducing anger into the discussion, you’re doing just the thing they’re fearful of.
Instead, provide what I call a “soft landing” using my Money Love Language, which I talk about in “Financial Infidelity.” Create and environment of empathy, clarity and validation – not shame.
There are a couple of exercises put forth in my book that are beneficial in this instance. Utilizing the Money Gram helps you how your money history – it uncovers why you spend by looking at the patterns from your family and your past.
Was money dealt with in a secretive way? Have you been treated like a child in the past in regards to money? The second exercise is Mirror, Mirror which shows where the person spends, why they’re inclined to spend, and calls for transparency.
What Can You Do?
If you’re in a relationship with someone who is prone to hide purchases or lie about finances, it’s important to reward them when they’re NOT spending instead of getting mad when they ARE. This helps encourage honesty and builds an environment of safety that the spender will feel safe in.