More Millennials have admitted to committing financial infidelity than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers because they're more likely to have divorced parents, which made them more protective of their finances, according to a survey from CreditCards.com.
"This is not one of those instances where asking for forgiveness is easier than asking for permission. You want to make sure that you have that boundary, that limit, set up beforehand and then, stick with it," said Dr. Viviana.
When comparing financial infidelity to an affair, Dr. Viviana said sometimes what is most damaging is what secret money is spent on. She said make the distinction between privacy and secrecy. Privacy is something that can still be respected. Secrecy is making your partner feel like an outsider.
She said most people who are hiding finances might do so because they want to maintain control, not for malice, just to create independence and autonomy in a relationship.
"People just don't like to answer to other people," said Dr. Viviana. "Sometimes what is most damaging is what you're spending the secret money on, other times, it's the fact that it was a betrayal."
She said more Millennials are keeping a separate account to use for their own discretionary spending.
The study found men were more likely than women to admit to keeping a financial secret. People who made at least $80k a year, were much more likely to say they kept secret finances because they were embarrassed how they handle their money.