Let me start by telling you (‘you’ might mean my readership, or ‘you’ might mean Mrs. DQYDJ!) that if I did I certainly wouldn’t write an article about it!
Still, I enjoy living on the edge. This is an interesting question – is it ever okay to lie to your partner about finances? We’ve all heard that “money is the leading cause of divorce”. While evidence is mixed on that front, the truth is that the number of money fights a couple has is a good predictor of divorce rates. While tossing out lies might avoid a fight now, it might also lead to an even bigger fight in the future. Regardless, let’s look at the cases for both. Pick a side!
The Case for Lying to Your Spouse, Fiancée, or Significant Other. Why Should you Lie about Money?
Ahh, lying. Everyone’s done it, so let’s try to justify it when it comes to money matters! Here are a few reasons I can see someone lying about money to their partner:
- I said ‘partner’ but I didn’t specify how long you’ve been with the other person. If you just started dating or seeing each other, I can see you lying (or at least being coy) about how much money you make, or the amount of debt you are carrying. That’s probably not a first-date type of thing to bring up, is it?
- Would you drink alcohol in front of an alcoholic? Well, would you discuss money in front of a spendaholic? If your partner had a spending problem, would you tell him or her that you just came across some money? What about if they told you that they had a problem and they didn’t want to know about new credit limits, credit cards, and money?
- What about if you promised your family an upcoming bonus and your company didn’t deliver? (Okay, that’s been done.)
- You’re trying to avoid a fight which would occur too soon after another fight (things are currently strained). Perhaps you’ll bring up the issue later?
There are plenty of other reasons (please add them in the comments!), but the ones I listed above would be a good start for someone trying to justify the behavior.
The Case Against Lying to Your Spouse, Fiancée, or Significant Other. Why Shouldn’t you Lie about Money?
Jonathan Swift once said “Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after it.“ Say what you will about lying, but the truth will set you free (and possibly get you in trouble for your earlier lie!). There are plenty of reasons to come clean!
- Let’s be honest – your partner is probably going to find out what happened anyway!
- Morals, Ethics, and Religion. Whether you think any of those is a good reason to avoid lying is up to you, but most people strive to be people of integrity – and that includes telling the truth in all situations (and it helps your reputation!).
- Lying will lead to a bigger fight later – why not get it over with?
- Think about it: the issue you are considering lying about is money related. There might be some drastic measures you need to take in the meantime to react to a money issue – and you will need your partner’s buy in or help.
Think of any other ones? Add them in the comments.
Honesty Is The Best Policy!
I fall on the side of honesty. Mrs. DQYDJ appreciates the honesty and open dialog – and I can confidently say that she doesn’t lie to me about money either. I’m not so naïve to think that everyone is like us, however… so let’s open this up to comments!
Readers, is it ever okay to lie to your partner about money?