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Figuring out finances and infidelity

“Are you cheating on me or something?” husband-head asked suspiciously, his eyes narrowing as he looked me up and down when I walked into the room.”No, of course not,” I replied, immediately ducking behind the bathroom door to hide. “Why in the world would you say that?”Husband-head motioned for me to come out.”Let’s see here, you’re wearing a new leather coat, a sweater I’ve never seen before and a brand new pair of boots that I’m guessing cost about $200,” he summed up. “I do believe you’ve been cheating.”In a way, he was right. I hadn’t been completely honest with him.Apparently it’s called “financial infidelity” when spouses hide their spending activities without first consulting their other half.”Is it cheating if you lie about where the money went?” an article on MSN Money asks and then answers. “Yep. And it’s every bit as damaging to your relationship as the physical kind.”I don’t know if I would go quite that far, but surely every married couple at some time has spent money without first getting permission from their spouse.”This old thing?” is a standard response in every woman’s repertoire, when busted wearing a new piece of clothing. “Why, I’ve had this thing for ages!”At this point, I will usually turn it around to make husband-head feel guilty.”Obviously, you just don’t notice me anymore,” I’ll pretend to pout.Of course he hasn’t noticed the new item – I just took off the price tag.But I do buy lots of stuff online, like shoes and clothes. Not that I wear them or anything – I just like to buy ’em. In fact, I still have clothes on hangers with the price tags on and shoes stuffed in the back of the closet that I’ve never worn.And then there are the trips. The clothes and shoes are pretty easy to explain away, but the trips are a little more difficult since it’s pretty obvious when I’m not physically in the house. But by the time I tell husband-head about it, the non-refundable ticket has already been purchased.”Oh, and by the way, I’m going to Europe to visit a friend next month,” I informed husband-head several years ago. That went one went over pretty well.Visits to the hair salon or tanning packages are easier in that I just write “grocery store” in the check register.But husband-head has his own little personal expenses as well.The major one is the fantasy football leagues he joins every fall. This typically costs several hundred dollars.”I need another $50 for this new league,” husband-head will inform me, after he’s already joined eight others.Which would have been fine, but had I known, I wouldn’t have ordered another pair of shoes.He also likes to go yard sale-ing on the weekends during the warmer months and has already come home with an air hockey game and a pool table.”Look!” husband-head said after scoring his latest toy. “Isn’t this fun?””Yes!” I thought to myself. “We can’t be out of money – we still have checks left!”But while he might ask for the money for his football leagues, there have been times when he’s spent lots of dough himself without consulting me.Like the time I sent him to Wal-Mart to get some socks, shorts and undies.I approved all of his purchases when he came home until he told me there was another “surprise” outside.Sure enough, there was a black, convertible sports car in the driveway.”I said you could spend $200, not $20,000, you nincompoop!” I screamed at the top of my lungs when I realized he hadn’t borrowed the car from a friend – he’d bought the damn thing.But, like the non-refundable plane tickets, we were stuck with it.Just the other day, husband-head asked if he could have money to go to Las Vegas with some of his friends.At least he asked.So, aside from a few things, perhaps we don’t cheat on each other financially as much as some other people.But I saw a really cute pair of clogs in a catalog for about $150 …Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.


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