Dear Barb—Bank On It

Dear Barb:

My husband and I have been married for three years and I just found out he has a bank account that I did not know anything about.  I discovered it when I went on the computer to check our mutual bank account.  I noticed in the bookmarks there was a link to a bank, which was not the bank where we do our banking.  When I clicked on the link it went to the login page and the access card number was already inserted, just waiting for a password.  I had no idea that my husband had this bank account.  When I confronted him he didn’t lie about it, he admitted that he had this account.  He does not see anything wrong with this.  He will not tell me how much is in it, he says it’s his personal business.  I feel really betrayed.  As a married couple I feel we should be open about stuff like this.  Am I expecting too much? Thanks, Megan.

Hi Megan:

Great question!  Keeping financial secrets from your spouse or significant other has a name: financial infidelity.  And chances are, suspicions that your partner is not being fully honest with you about money is affecting your relationship, according to a new report from

According to a national survey, dated February 14th, 2017 conducted by the Financial Planning Standards Council and Credit Canada, 36% of Canadian’s are victims of financial infidelity.  Men and women are equally victims of financial infidelity from a partner.  So you are not alone.  I agree with you that in a relationship you need to be completely open and honest about finances.  Lying about money can be as devastating as actually being unfaithful with another person.  Once a partner lies, the trust in the relationship has been jeopardized and this could lead to separation or divorce.  However, partners can choose to have their own bank account, but you both should know about the account and how it is being funded.  For example, is the money in the account coming from the family budget? If it is, you both should agree on how much will be deposited into this account.  My suggestion to you and your husband would be to make an appointment with a credit counsellor where you will be able to discuss your finances in a safe environment with a mediator present.  The counsellor should be able to discover the reason why your husband feels a need to hide his finances from you.  There could be many reasons, including problems with addiction, whether it is drugs, alcohol, gambling or shopping.  Other reasons could be so that the person will be able to make purchases that their partner may not approve of.

Email your questions to  Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed.  This column is for entertainment only.  The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.