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Don't keep this secret from your spouse if you want a happier marriage

Posted: January 22, 2015 6:39 p.m.
Updated: January 22, 2015 6:39 p.m.
Herb Scribner/

According to a new report, spouses often lie to each other about the purchases they make. Keeping your relationship free of these lies could make it a little more conflict-free.

According to a new report cited by CNN Money, Americans lie to their spouses about what they spend their money on. The report said one in five Americans don't tell their spouse about a purchase of $500 or more. And 7.2 million Americans haven’t told their spouses about a secret bank account they have.

These lies could potentially damage a relationship, especially since money is a sensitive area for most couples and is one of the leading sources of conflict, according to a 2011 study published in Family Relationships.

Money is also often tied to one’s emotions, the study said, so any martial battle becomes more personal, which makes arguments more heated between spouses.

But couples are happier when partners share financial burdens, according to a report cited by U.S. News and World Report. Couples often report splitting financial decisions between the two of them, which relieves them of the stress of making financial decisions on their own.

“No one likes handling money on their own,” according to US News and World Report. “Investing and other types of financial decisions can be stressful and often come with a hefty dose of responsibility. Handling it solo can be stressful. That’s why couples usually report that they prefer to share jobs and are more satisfied when they tackle decisions together.”

Forbes writer Tim Maurer wrote that couples who share financial decisions, even when one spouse handles the finances, make better choices with how they spend their money.

"Financial spouses tend to be analytical and more prone to taking on risk, but financial planning and investing is not an exact science," Maurer wrote. "That means the non-financial thoughts of the non-financial spouse are vital to the success of a balanced plan."

He also said it's important for spouses to be equally financially literate, which holds both partners accountable for financial mistakes that may happen.

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