Do you have a money secret that you’re keeping from your partner?
This is not a straight forward money talk to have with your partner and that’s why it’s the second talk. It’s a good talk to get out of the way early on in your relationship. However, it comes with a warning.
If your secret involves a betrayal of your partner then be careful about jumping right in and telling them!
Seek help from a trusted friend, counsellor, spiritual teacher, therapist or if you are in a 12 Step Programme, your sponsor before blurting out your secret! You do not want to cause more harm to your partner. If you are uncertain about the impact on your partner then don’t tell for now. That being said, our secrets keep us sick so they are always best spoken to at least a trusted person rather than kept inside and hidden.
We all have secrets and some of those secrets involve and cost money!
I think the best time to tell your partner a secret or ‘money secret’ would be before you move in together or get married. Particularly, if it costs money because your partner is going to eventually find out.
Usually the lying hurts more than the actual act!
Some secrets can carry quite a bit of shame like a spending habit, too much debt (usually caused by too much spending), maybe regular visits to a massage parlour or sex workers, gaming, pornography, gambling, a drug or pokie habit! Maybe you feel that you’re just not good with money and feel shame about this. If you don’t tell your partner about this stuff then you are taking away their power of choice and you are being, amongst other things, financially unfaithful to your partner.
Financial infidelity can be as devastating to your partner and relationship as physical or emotional infidelity. And the other thing is, the energy it takes to keep a secret (telling a lie), is exhausting and you are only really harming yourself.
Here’s what I suggest doing,
- Speak to a trusted person before you tell your partner your secret.
- Plan your disclosure. If there is real betrayal involved then think about having a counsellor with you.
- Have a plan ready, that you can show your partner, setting out how you are going to remedy any financial impacts of your secret. Your plan should also include a program of recovery if you have been unable to stop doing what you are doing on your own. In other words, if you have an addiction.
- Commit to ongoing transparency with each other and commit to weekly money talks.
- Be kind to yourself and each other. It’s amazing what you can work through together. This is called intimacy.
Paris Bordon, Venetian Women at their Toilet, about 1545
Some places to find help or more information.
Talking about money can be really hard. If you are feeling overwhelmed, I’ve listed some organisations and websites below that could provide you with further support and information.