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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Two shall become One ~ Financial Infidelity


I heard a story once about a woman who loved to spend money! She was truly a shop-aholic in every sense of the word.

Her husband had sat her down and talked about the fact that they really needed to be on a budget and would appreciate her help with this endeavor.
So one day she sheepishly came home with yet another new outfit from her favorite designer.

She was so excited about her great find and she just knew that her husband would see things her way once he saw how wonderful she looked in this new outfit. She rushed upstairs and put it on to model for her husband.

As she was spinning and twirling in front of her less than impressed husband, he reminded her that they had made a commitment not to spend any money that was not in the budget.

"Oh, but look how darling this is honey, I just couldn't resist! I'm telling you...the devil made me do it!" she said.

"But you know that when the devil is tempting you, you should just tell him, 'get thee behind me satan!'" the husband said.

"Oh, but I DID!" she said, "and the devil said that it looked good from the back too!"

The story is funny, but unfortunately the subject matter is not.
So guess what today's post is about?
That's right.
Honoring our husband with the way that we handle the family finances and spend money.

Prov 31:10-12
10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,all the days of her life.

Prov 31:27
She watches over the affairs of her household

It is called, "financial infidelity" and it is one of the leading causes of divorce today.

The signs of financial infidelity include hiding money or debt, failure to disclose assets, keeping a secret bank account, and secret spending.

This type of dishonesty can threaten a marriage.

The spending and secrets are basically the symptoms.
The real problem is there's been a breakdown in trust between a husband and wife.

I love to shop. I love to spend money. But I have learned that unless we are in agreement about the money spent, it can bring strife into our marriage.

I want to encourage you to respect your husband with your spending. Never make a major financial decisions without his consent.
Be a team financially.
If you have to purchase something secretely, you probably shouldn't be purchasing it.

I think we all want our husband's to have full confidence in us and know that we will bring him good and not harm as the Proverbs say.

Let's not open our marriage up to "financial infidelity."
Create trust by honoring one another with your spending.

I'm praying for your marriages!

Our hope is in Him,


Char said...

Hi Sue

Thanks for sharing that with us (me). Since my husband closed his business down, he's left all of the finances up to me (we both earn, I just decide who gets paid what, if you know what I mean). I grew to resent it on many an occasion in the last few months. Your post really spoke to me about the responsibility I have as a wife to support him even in the financial department.

Thanks so much!

Lelia Chealey said...

That's good Sue. I have been one that what started out innocent---being asked at stores to save 15% by opening a credit card---ended up thousands of dollars in debt and a PO box that my dear husband had no idea about. I'll never forget the August day sitting across the table from him confessing my secret life. Lots of grace & forgiveness that day as he said,"Okay honey, we'll make it through this."
Even though this has been years ago, it's been a LONG tough road of rebuilding trust and especially trying to live out Pr. 31:10-12.
Wish I would've read this long time ago, but the state I was in then I probably wouldn't have listened anyway. ~sigh~ ;)
Thanks Sue!
I love coming her for P&C...always fills my heart with such joy. Bless you...

Praise and Coffee said...

It's a high calling! I'm so glad that you see it that way. Your husband is a blessed man!

Thank you so much for your candidness- I appreciate it and believe that you are not alone! Many women have walked this walk and you are a testimony of humility in your marriage. I'm so glad it worked out!
Thanks for your honesty.

Trish D said...

Wonderful post - this has been an issue for us, and we are still paying the consequences for my actions. Oh, how I wish that I had been honest with him when it was just a couple hundred dollars... I will say that we've come out of it stronger, but I wish we'd built up our relationship in a different way.

Angela Baylis said...

Great post today, but it hit a little too close to home. If we want to hide it, we probably shouldn't be buying it. Ouch! It really is infidelity and I minimize it too often. Thank you for the reminder.

Karen said...

Sue- Once again, you have hit on something that touches so many. How true that "infidelity" in marriage can take on many forms- and financial infidelity is one of the more insidious that seems so prevalent in our society of "gotta have it now". Don't know too many female friends or family(myself included) that aren't lured in by a "good sale", whether it's a new bag, outfit, or home accessory. But it is so important to work out a budget with your spouse for your household, and then stay within it. Growing up, my father used to tell my sister and me we had "champagne taste on a beer budget". Funny, because years (and years!) later, it must have stuck- because both my sister and I have make a game of trying to find bargains to fit within our families budgets. And it is something my husband also try to instill in our teenaged son- that a $50.00 pair of jeans etc. are not what "makes" a person- it's who you are- who God made you to be- the life you are living. Thanks for such an important reminder! Karen Morris

Praise and Coffee said...

Seems clear, this is an area that satan is using!
I believe that "coming clean" will thwart off his plans to destroy our marriages.

Thanks so much!
I think there will be much more ministry in the comments than the post today!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your blog concerning finances. When I got married I didnt realise how difficult the whole financial thing would be. I did make a promise to myself though that I would never lie to my husband about anything to do with finances - and I have managed to keep that promise although it has been very difficult on occasions. We got married quite late in life so had very set ideas about money and finances and how they should be spent. Things are easier now though.
Thanks again for your words of wisdom.

Natalie said...

so true!

i worked in retail and you would not believe how many women hid thier credit cards and purchases from their husbands. spending can be a dangerous addiction.

Susan said...

This is such a great post, Sue. I must admit I had never thought of the spenders being in a form of Infidelity but you are right on. I am sure MANY are going to be helped by reading this with the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

I am so thankful my husband and I have never had our finances be an issue in our marriage. From day one it's been OUR money and we never make major purchases without consulting each other and discussing it before hand.

I know disputes over money is one of the leading problems in so many marriages. So sad and so unnecessary!!!!

Naomi Dalton said...

you qouted I love to shop. I love to spend money. But I have learned that unless we are in agreement about the money spent, it can bring strife into our marriage.

I can testify first hand about this. I know that the devil would like nothing better than to have a wedge between a husband and a wife in the matters of finances. If they cant agree on how to handle the finances than how in the world can we ever agree to handle other things like the kids, etc etc..

I have learned first hand what it is like to keep things from my husband and the consequences it incurs when there is deception in the area of finances.

WE have to Thank you and Mark for all the encouragement you have given us in helping us to see how we should handle the affairs of our finances. We are sooo close to being debt free that I can run to the end and lay claim to it.

I love all the wisdom you give to each one of us and I pray a blessing right now over you and your family!!


concerned parent said...

I feel this can be a very dangerous road for both parties. A budget that is agreed upon is promise to keep the finances safe and the family secure from financial harm. We have not always seen eye to eye on this and it did cause us harm along the way, learning from mistakes is a very valuable lesson. Good lesson for all.

Praise and Coffee said...

Thanks for the insight and encouragement Naomi.
We miss you guys!

a woman who is said...

I am sending out invitations to come drop by my Blog Party. Thanks for already stopping by Sue. I am celebrating my One Year Blogging Anniversary. Everyone is invited to come on over and post a comment to sign up for my door prizes.

I have linked and highlighted Sue’s blog as one of my favorite finds this year.

Tuesday "Two Shall Become One" is a blog I, and apparently many other women are really enjoying. Thanks again Sue!

Frazzled Farm Wife said...

"Be a team financially" that phrase!

MaryLu said...

Sue, I came over here, read your post and felt the conviction from the Lord to share my own story. My post today is because of you. I pray that it will inspire someone to "come clean" with their financial infidelity.
I'm linking back to your blog from my post again. I look forward every Tuesday to read what you say.
Thanks for doing what you are doing.
I think you are right, you have stumbled across a huge issue in Christian marriages today. (All marriages really!)

Mocha with Linda said...

Such wise, wise counsel. Thanks!

Susannah said...

Amen. This is an important topic that I think needs to be discussed a lot more in the marriage literature. The root issue really is trust and dealing with finances as a unit. Thanks for your encouraging words. :~D

Anonymous said...

This hits close to home because I use to be that woman. I had to learn the hard way. We ended up in financial binds that we are still reaping from today. Today, my dh handles every aspect of the finances. I had to come to terms that I am not blessed with the gifts of balancing the budget. It has taught me to become more frugal and how to work with what I have. Every time I shop, I ask myself if this is something that I NEED or something that I WANT. Thank the Lord that I am able to see now but I was sure hard headed. I never spend a dime without consulting the head of our home first. It's so much more peaceful. :-) Thanks for sharing.

Praise and Coffee said...

Thanks so much for all your honesty. I hope everyone hops over to Marylu's to read her testimony!


Susan Skitt said...

Great words Sue. So true about the breakdown of trust. Pride, wanting what we want no matter what the cost financially or cost to our relationships leads to destruction. I needed these words today. I do love to shop...

Dimple Queen said...

Loved this today! And the verse just helped me decide on a THEME for my table at our churches "Tables on Parade"...I am excited....I had been bouncing around a few verses, I have read this one MANY times, but this is the one I will use!!!!


A Stone Gatherer said...

I am so thankful for my husband, and that even before we got married we discussed our finances! We have always been a team in this area, Thank God! The funny thing is when he's stressed, I'm not, and when I get stressed, he's not! It balances, and God always provides!

Fran said...

I speak from experience and DO NOT SPEND IN SECRET!!! It is horrible and will eventually come out in the light of day.....thank goodness it did and we are back to a wonderful place.

Thanks for the word Sue!!

Paula said...

Your timing is perfect once again. Just last night me and the DH had a discussion about my EBAY purchases. Thanks for the reminder.

Amy Wyatt said...

Thanks for the thought provoking post. I left something for you at my site today. Thanks for encouraging us and challenging us in our walks with God.

Mississippi Songbird said...

Yes, Our hope IS in him.. God Bless you.. Thank you for this post. Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting topic, but I don't see any comments about when the husband won't stay on husband has always trusted me to pay the bills, do the investments, etc. What I have observed is that women will spend a little money here and there, but men spend big money (hundreds or thousands at a time) on their desires. For instance, my husband wanted the bigger house, not me. I like to save...he wants to buy a tractor!! By the grace of God, we are fine financially, but I have to chuckle about the differences between us.

Praise and Coffee said...

So true. Sometimes they are so different than us and the reasons we spend.
I appreciate the way you brought this up and yet didn't "slam" your husband. Thank you!

The main reason it has not been brought up is because this is directed at wives and how we are spending and staying faithful in this area.

With each of my Two shall become One Tuesdays, I try to only address how we as wives are handling things and how God would have us respond. It would be too easy to place blame, and I believe that so many of our marriage problems can be helped if we first look in a mirror.

However, you bring up a good do we respond when they over spend?
It sounds like you have been through this and God has blessed your obedience in the finances.

I think a Godly response should be bathed in prayer and in the context of the love in 1 Cor 13 that we looked at last week.

Thanks for bringing this up with grace!

Aunt Angie said...

THAT is needed and necessary! Awesome words of truth. I am afraid that the younger couples marrying today may not realize the value of the "combined responsibilty" for finances.
I appreciate your words of wisdom here!
I also wanted to thank you for your kind comment on my CWO Cafe post this morning. Bless you!

Sassyfrazz said...

Thanks for sharing this with all of us! It is very important to be on the same page, financially. It really helps the marriage to work on this subject. I totally gave the financial work to my husband's control. He feels better about it. We talk about purchases before they happen, and already things are better all around for it.

Thanks again~

Lisa Spence said...

Being a team financially is great advice!

Cheryl said...

I have been married for a long time and I really have a major problem here. My husband likes to save money and I like to spend it. I have bought so many things that he does not know about and am trying my best to get it paid off. We have had an incident come up recently, I almost made a major purchase without telling him, again. Of course he would have found out very soon but I waited, this time, for his approval and it felt so good. Thank the Lord it really worked out for us. You have a wonderful post this week. I really enjoyed this. Thanks! God Bless~

Gretchen said...

I had never heard the term financial infidelity before. Great post about how we need to honor God and our marriages in ALL ways, not just the easy ones.


Shari said...

Most people don't "plan to fail" - they just "fail to plan".

We make financial decisions Together. We have learned (thehard way)to honour each other in this area. That means NO Manipulation when one of us wants to purchase something or give money away... no trying to "convince" the other or have them cry "uncle".

Tithing has never been an issue... it's done out of simple obedience BUT the area of Extra giving cause tremendous conflict in our early years of marriage.

My husband would be in a service or hear of a need and give a significant amount without us ever talking about it.

As the book keeper for our household,I was then left scrambling trying to figure out how to make it ends meet!!

It caused conflict and I developed a Rotten attitude about giving - it took away the joy in giving. Later I would often feel guilty about my attitude.

Anyhow, we came up with a plan to resolve this issue. When we hear of a need, we pray about it and then each write the amount down on paper... we then will meet in the middle.

Now here is the neat part - my amount is now often higher than that of my husband. We both now get great joy out of giving and are giving more than ever before.

I have a wonderful husband who wants to honour me in every area, for this I'm such a thankful woman.

Tamatha said...

Good thing I didn't buy that couch today!lol

Anonymous said...

Sue, again your awesome!! Thanks!!

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