“Financial infidelity” rife among couples

Around one in three people commit “financial infidelity” by hiding spending, debt and savings, a major study has revealed.

The research, published by University College London, is said to be the first of its kind to investigate the concept.

According to the paper, a brand new scale was developed to measure an individual’s proneness to financial infidelity in relationships, including questions such as “I would not tell my partner if I lost money gambling” and “I prefer to keep information about my income private from my partner.”

The scale predicted how likely a partner was to “lie about or hide spending or savings, keep debt a secret or have undisclosed gambling habits”.

Entitled Love, Lies and Money: Financial Infidelity in Romantic Relationships, the researchers found that a third (35.7 per cent) of partners commit “financial infidelity” with “potentially toxic consequences” for their relationship.

Commenting on the paper, the university said financial infidelity can be just as damaging to a relationship as adultery.

“The findings indicate that financial infidelity is surprisingly common, and can be influential in terms of both relationship quality and in changing how people spend their money,” said co-author Dr Joe Gladstone.

The researchers added that financial infidelity is also likely to cause marital conflict and stress, but may be a result of an abusive or controlling relationship.

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