By in Debt, Money Management | 8 comments


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Don’t Let Financial Infidelity Ruin Your Relationship

Imagine this, you get an overdue call alert from the video store for a movie (porn) you never rented. Up in arms, you visit the store to dispute the charge where you uncover your hubby’s financial infidelity. He has separate credit cards to fund his porn rentals, downloads, and has amassed $30,000.00 of debt!

Bethany and Scott Palmer, “the money couple”, have a combined 35 years of financial planning experience. Their extensive experience chronicles the pitfalls of money dishonesty between couples and what to do about this grave chasm of trust. If you are in a relationship, read this book and circmvent the travails of money mismatches.


  • The money is a symptom of underlying marital problems.
  • To circumvent money infidelity couples must practice healthy communication.
  • Money attitudes affect every decision we make.
  • This solution oriented approach helps the reader not only define and understand the problem, but offers actionable solutions to prevent and solve couple’s money problems. 
  • The book is filled with colorful anecdotes and stories illustrating the devastating problems of money and relationships.

The Quiz

I love quizzes! Take this questionnaire to find your Financial Infidelity Quotient and see if you have a problem. Sample questions include:

  • Do you have a credit card your partner is unaware of?
  • Are you comfortable with the amount of debt you have?
  • Do you have a secret stash of cash?
  • How often do you and your partner discuss money?

The quiz is a conversation starter and an excellent way to uncover disparate money attitudes. If you don’t know how you differ and what is causing a rift, you and your partner can’t begin to solve your money problems.

Money Personality

The first rule of human behavior is that you must understand a problem before solving it. By determining your money personality styles, you and your partner can begin to deal with the accompanying problems.

Kim, the daughter of missionaries grew up dirt poor. Husband Ed came from an affluent family, had a good job, and made a good living. Kim believed she since she grew up poor, and Ed made enough money, she should get everything she wanted NOW. Ed had more conservative ideas for their cash and resented Kim’s relentless spending. Their problems were deeper than the dollars and cents, but went to the core of their belief systems. Their money personalities were at odds.

  • Saver: These penny pinchers hate spending money and are thrifty on all fronts.
  • Spender: All money is spent. If she/he has it, the money gets used!
  • Risk taker: Believes in order to gain large rewards, you have to take big risks.
  • Security seeker: Planners are security seekers. These folks like to have their ducks in a row and their future in order. (This is my type :)-along  with a bit of the saver and a smidge of the risk taker)
  • Flyer: They just don’t think of money and fly by the seat of their pants. Many creative types fall into this type of category.

Can you see how certain types and combinations of money personalities can lead to big financial problems?


A review wouldn’t be complete without a taste of the solutions section. After all, it’s great to know you have a problem, but not so good if you don’t know how to solve it!

Continuing with the step-by-step tone of the book, the Palmer’s outline several solutions to get out of financial infidelity. At no time do they imply that this is an easy path and on occasion discuss couples who dig themselves out of a mountain of debt and infidelity, only to return to their former state! To whet your appetite, here are a few of their solutions:

  • Stop overspending! (Barb’s note; easier said than done)
  • Accept your situation and realize there is no shame in having money problems.
  • Do not blame! It’s easy to blame one partner or another, but that does not get you out of trouble.
  • Accept responsibility for your problems. You got yourselves into the mess and only you can get yourselves out.
  • Plan- create a plan to get out of financial trouble and stick to it.

 This book is for both those couples just starting out who want to begin their relationship on a strong financial footing and couples in long standing relationships. Those committed to solid communication and honesty will find the resources here to obtain a strong money relationship.

If you are already in a relationship with open and honest communication, you don’t need to read it! Just keep it up.

Book Details

  • Title: First Comes Love Then Comes Money; A Couple’s Guide to Financial Communication
  • Authors: Scott and Bethany Palmer
  • Publisher: Harper One
  • ISBN 978-0-06-164991-2
  • Price: $14.99


What are your biggest “couple money” stressors?  Not a couple, how do you and your friends struggle over money? Do you and your partner talk about money?


  1. According to a survey (can’t remember where I saw this), the number one problem when it comes to relationships is money!

    This may be a good book to read!


    May 10, 2011

  2. I hate porn. I wrote an anti-porn song when I was in law school called “Real Live Woman.” I don’t like people using my weaknesses to sell me something less than the thing I really want.

    So —

    I believe that the way to combat Financial Infidelity is with Financial Intimacy. We need to stop focusing so much on what not to do and put more focus on the positive. Talking about money with your spouse can be a liberating and exciting and fun thing to do. People mess up because they are scared of bad things that can come of it and thus become secretive and all this sort of thing.

    It’s not easy to engage in Financial Intimacy. Of course, it’s not easy to ask a girl you like to dance either. But the potential payoff is real and large. So sometimes you just have to put yourself out there and take a chance.


    Rob Bennett

    May 10, 2011

  3. Interesting how everything revolves around money! We generally do not have money issues because we talk about any large purchases together. Our lifestyle is pretty low key. I guess when couples consider compatibility they should consider financial compatibility.


    May 10, 2011

  4. I’ve also read that money is the #1 thing couples fight about.

    More importantly, I received this great advice from a stranger when I was 18:

    Before you get married, make sure you and your partner are aligned in your values & goals on these 4 items: money, sex, religion and children.

    I’d throw a 5th and 6th item in there — career and location — and I’d venture to say that if you and your partner can get those 6 issues worked out, you’ll be doing great.

    Paula @

    May 10, 2011

  5. @Moneycone-This topic seems to turn up in the media a lot. And it is a good read, there are a lot of actionable tips.
    @Rob-This comment is so on target. Financial intimacy is a wonderful phrase to underscore the importance of the closeness required in a committed relationship. And “doing hard things” is my personal mantra. Nothing good comes from taking the easy route! Thanks for mentioning these important topics.
    @Krantcents-more wisdom; talk about large purchases and maintain a low key lifestyle. Extravagance is a sure fire path to financial problems unless you are ultra wealthy.
    @Paula-This is an awesome 6 point list. In my relationship with El Carino, we are on target with all 6, thank goodness. This comment merits a blog post!


    May 10, 2011

  6. Excellent article, I loved the information.

    Dinheiro Como Ganhar

    May 11, 2011

  7. Sounds like a great book that many people could benefit from.

    I took the quiz and I passed with flying colors. I have friends who think my life might be boring, but I will take boring over volatile any day of the week. We have been married twenty years, and we would have never made it this far without open communication and no secrets. (Well, not that I know of. 🙂 )

    Everyday Tips

    May 11, 2011

  8. @Everyday-Your relationship longevity suggests things are going quite well 🙂 Congrats on the quiz results.


    May 11, 2011

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