Money and Lies

A lot of people lie to their spouses about money: one in three according to a study cited yesterday in The Wall Street Journal; another recent study put the figures at more than half of women but a little more than one-third of men. We may never know the exact number, but we do know it’s enough to be more common than not.

Billfold pal Janet Paskin wrote a good post yesterday on the Wall Street Journal’s work/life balance blog, The Juggle. The topic at hand: It’s not uncommon for people to lie to their significant others about money. This is probably already common knowledge, but also still surprises me every time I hear about it. And this may make me sound naive, or like a hopeless romantic, which I totally am, but isn’t planting untruths in your relationship eventually going to bloom into something really terrible—some sort of monstrous thing that will eat both your hearts and make you burst into tears when you hear Phil Collins’s “Against All Odds” playing softly at the supermarket? Take a look at me now: The lies have destroyed us.

Have you lied to a loved one about money? I have not, but maybe because I’ve never had a reason to. A friend told me a story once about how she had amassed a giant load of credit card debt (c. $30,000), and kept this from her boyfriend until he proposed to her. She said, “Before I say yes, there’s something you need to know about me.” And the truth came out. He was shocked at first, but since it was true love, he stuck with her, and they paid off that debt in three years. The truth will set you free, you guys.

Photo: Flickr/Xanetia

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