No one expects betrayal, lies, or secrets to infiltrate their marriage. Even fewer imagine that those devastating blows would come from how your spouse handles money. Yet financial infidelity has the power to wreck your intimacy if you aren’t prepared to navigate the situation—or avoid it altogether. 

What is Financial Infidelity?

Infidelity, in the plainest sense of the word, means violating the boundaries of your relationship. 

When it comes to your financial intimacy, infidelity includes choosing not to tell the truth about your spending habits, debts, income, and otherwise. 

This deceit breaks the trust between you and your spouse. It’s a heartbreak that can feel as painful as any other form of betrayal. In fact, financial infidelity often comes with an additional set of fears and challenges, especially in severe cases where your family’s financial future is at risk.

What Does Financial Infidelity Look Like in a Marriage?

Financial infidelity is something most couples don’t want to think about. But since money is consistently a top reason for divorce, you can’t afford to take this topic lightly.

Knowing the signs of financial infidelity can help you be honest with each other, hold each other accountable, and keep your marriage secure. Here are some examples of what it can look like within a marriage: 

Secret Spending

Among the ONE Family, 52% of you say you have kept a purchase a secret from your spouse. When purchases are not discussed ahead of time or included in a shared budget, secret spending or overspending becomes a form of financial infidelity, especially if you use a hidden account or secret credit card to pay for the items. 

Sometimes, the spending spouse feels like their actions are justified or even necessary. For instance, maybe they wanted to bless others, buy Christmas presents (we’ve been there!), or make fun family memories. But at the end of the day, trust that is broken—no matter how good the reason—is hard to earn back. 

Tip: If you want to buy a surprise gift for your spouse without them knowing, earmark a certain amount in your budget. They don’t have to know the specific gift, but it should be a conversation. 

Hidden Debt

A devastating form of financial infidelity is when one spouse accumulates debt on secret credit cards or loans. In some cases, a spouse goes behind the other spouse’s back to open an account, thinking they can keep things under control. This destroys not only the financial intimacy in the marriage but also your emotional intimacy.  

Undisclosed or Withheld Accounts

Having secret bank accounts, retirement accounts, or other investments that your spouse knows nothing about is a form of financial infidelity. This could include lying about how much is in an account or restricting your spouse’s access to the account.


Another form of financial infidelity is secret gambling—as well as any associated debts or losses. Risking money in a game or bet without your spouse’s knowledge creates severe cracks throughout your 6 Pillars of Intimacy®

If gambling has become an addiction, you need professional help.  

Lying or Misleading Your Spouse

Financial infidelity includes downplaying your debts, lying about bonuses, exaggerating savings, being vague about your income, hiding important receipts or bank statements, or misleading your spouse about the state of your finances in any other way. 

Not only does it weaken your Financial Intimacy Pillar, but it directly undermines the trust and emotional intimacy you have built as a couple. 

9 Tips for Overcoming Financial Infidelity

The road to healing after financial infidelity is long. Here are nine practical steps to take as you restore your 6 Pillars of Intimacy®

  1. Get it all out in the open: Clear, honest, and open communication is essential for moving forward. Share the truth about your debts, assets, spending habits, and other money matters.
  2. Seek professional help: If the financial infidelity is severe, seek help from a financial planner, counselor, or marriage coach. They can suggest strategies relevant to your specific situation. 
  3. Establish clear boundaries: Determine how to approach finances in the coming weeks or months. For example, will there be spending limits? What cards or accounts will you be using? How often will you review finances together?  
  4. Create a budget: Get clear about your regular expenses, savings goals, loan payments, and discretionary spending. Consider a side hustle to make ends meet or make progress faster.
  5. Set goals and celebrate small wins: If you’re working to pay off debt, set reasonable goals that you can work toward together. Plan to celebrate your progress in little ways.
  6. Minimize conflict: Understandably, this situation can create tension between the two of you. To avoid further pain, work together to fix the situation. Avoid attacking your spouse, blaming each other, or getting defensive. If you are struggling with constant conflict, have a therapist or marriage coach facilitate your discussions.
  7. Focus on honesty: Share your thoughts and feelings with each other as you process the situation. In other words, slowly begin to rebuild your emotional intimacy.
  8. Remember what matters most: During this time, it’s also essential to recognize the value of your marriage. Money is an important tool in life, but it’s not the most important thing. 
  9. Explore your money personalities: Plenty of couples have opposite money habits or tendencies. If that’s you, you’ll need to compromise on things in healthy ways. Take some time to learn more about how you and your spouse view money so you can achieve your goals together.

Rebuilding Trust and Intimacy

Money can be very emotional for people. The spouse who committed financial infidelity might be feeling shame, regret, or frustration about the situation. For the spouse who feels cheated, it’s likely they’ll feel anger, disappointment, and confusion.

It’s all too easy to point the finger at your spouse and think:

  • They never stick to the budget.
  • They always tell me “no.”
  • I make all the sacrifices.
  • We never get to do anything fun.

Forgiveness is a crucial step if you want to experience an extraordinary marriage. Of course, it can be hard to do. 

With the Trust Factor + Trust Me! Bundle, you and your spouse can discover how to handle breaches of trust (both small and large) and restore the damage it does to your marriage. This bundle includes the physical copy of The Trust Factor: How To Rebuild Trust In Your Marriage and the full-length video recording of Trust Me! Restore, Renew & Rebuild Your Foundation.

Everything you need to rebuild the trust in your marriage is available to you right now. Grab the Trust Factor + Trust Me! Bundle and start restoring your marriage today!

Watch the video below to rekindle the spark and restore the connection in your marriage today!

In the 6 Pillars of Intimacy®, you will discover secrets that have transformed countless marriages. Its ideas are simple, practical, and powerful. You’ll be inspired to look at your marriage through a new lens and be encouraged by its commonsense approach.

Alisa and Tony DiLorenzo's proven approach to building intimacy in marriage will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your spouse – starting today. Click HERE to get your copy today!

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