Love & Money: When Partners in Love Must Act as Business Partners, Too

Couples tend to function as either little ecosystems or fiefdoms. At one end of the spectrum, some duos have a fully symbiotic relationship, sharing everything including their money, while others decide to operate as mini-money monarchies.

Thankfully, there also exists everything in between. Chances are, however, that if you and your partner don’t share your money habits, goals and dreams that financial infidelity can sneak into your relationship.

Last night we covered the story of a man named Steve who handed over all money responsibilities to his wife, only later to find out that she had been keeping double books, using his identity to open credit cards, neglected paying the bills and the mortgage and putting their home in foreclosure. An extreme scenario to be sure, but it reflects how insidious money cheating can be. Whether you choose to keep all your accounts separate or meld everything together, make sure that you’re open about money as you would be about your other relationships. If it’s autonomy you seek, just agree to check in with each other if you spend over a certain amount, say $500.

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As we demand transparency from our banks and government, shine that light on your own money as a couple. After all, if you’re truly partners in life, act at a minimum as business partners as well. Your relationship and your money will be all the better for it.