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Until hidden purchases do us part

We all know the traditional wedding vows that discuss sickness and health, love and cherish, and all that other good stuff until death do us part.

But there isn’t any mention of hiding purchases from your spouse.

Given the number of marriages that dissolve due in large part to financial reasons, it should come as no surprise that so many spouses are hiding purchases from their spouse.

According to an article on Yahoo! Finance, approximately 80% of married people hide some spending from their spouse. For women and men alike, the purchases most often hidden are clothing and accessories at 43% and 24% respectively. When looking at the second most hidden purchase, there is a clear separation between the men and women as 21% of women have hidden gift purchases while 19% of men have hidden alcohol purchases.

Why are spouses feeling the need to hide these purchases?

In some cases there may be unscrupulous reasons, as evidenced by the Yahoo! article that indicates 4% of husbands and 1% of women have hidden purchases on dating websites.

However, generally speaking, many of the purchases that are hidden are much more innocent in nature. The new skirt. The new tie or shirt. A haircut and color – spending anything more than $10-15 on your hair is just a foreign concept to most men.

Communication is lacking.

As mentioned earlier, money plays an important role in many marriages and unfortunately, that role is often one of stress and fighting. By hiding a purchase, one spouse may feel that they can simply avoid the potential argument about how they spend money.

This may work for awhile, but eventually the other spouse will learn of the purchase and the fact that it was hidden. Not only can this cause further tension regarding finances, but it may also introduce doubt into what else is being hidden.

Whether it be hiding purchases or general financial issues in a marriage, more often than not it has to do with a lack of communication between partners.

In drastic cases, one spouse may be hiding an entire account (whether that be a checking / savings account for discretionary spending or a secret credit card) that is used to keep their activities under wraps. In less severe cases, husbands might be hiding a round of golf here and there while wives might be hiding a manicure or the latest Coach purse.

Regardless of the secret, keeping them from your spouse is building your marriage on an unstable foundation.

Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that every purchase has to be discussed and approved by both spouses. It is entirely possible to be open and honest about the amount of money that is being spent without disclosing where each and every penny went.

Give open, honest communication a try.

Couples that argue about money are more likely to hide purchases from one another, which ultimately causes more arguments about money when the purchases are revealed. Rather than continue that cycle in your own relationship, try to be as open and honest about how money is being spent in your relationship. It might sound silly to do as an adult, but one great way to resolve the desire to hide purchases from one another is to utilize an allowance.

While keeping purchases a secret may not always represent an unhealthy relationship, you will likely find that openly discussing money and how it is spent will bring you and your partner closer together and minimize an area of potential conflict.

Have you ever hidden a purchase from your spouse?

What were you hiding? And why?

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