Anyone who has ever been in a relationship with a narcissist – whether it be romantic, familial, or otherwise – knows that their deviousness knows no bounds. They seem to be the smartest one in the room when it comes to cheating and causing disruption or upset of any kind: personally, socially, relationally, and, believe it or not, financially.
How do they do it?
A narcissist believes to the core of their soul that anything that is theirs is theirs but also anything that is yours is theirs as well. Their feelings (and actions!) of entitlement would have most step back in awe – can they really think that they should have unlimited access to everything? The lengths they will go to to get as much as they can goes way beyond the boundaries of what is fair – or legal. It just doesn’t seem logical.
Believe it or not, this act has a name: Narcissistic Financial Infidelity.
Narcissistic financial infidelity refers to the act of hiding financial information or engaging in deceptive financial behavior within a relationship, such as a marriage or a partnership. It can lead to trust issues, conflict, and potential financial ruin for the victim if not addressed early on.
Below are some red flags of narcissistic financial infidelity to watch for:
1. Secretive behavior: Your partner becomes unusually secretive about their finances, and you notice they are unwilling to discuss money matters openly.
2. Hidden accounts or assets: You discover that your partner has undisclosed bank accounts, credit cards, investments, or other assets that they have kept hidden from you.
3. Unexplained expenses: You notice unexplained expenses on bank statements or credit card bills that your partner cannot (or will not) account for when questioned.
4. Excessive secrecy with passwords: Your partner becomes overly protective of their financial accounts and passwords, not allowing you access even when you previously had it.
5. Lies and deception: You catch your partner lying about financial matters, such as their income, debt, or spending habits.
6. Sudden financial troubles: Your partner suddenly faces significant financial problems without any clear explanation or understanding of how they got into such a situation.
7. Extravagant spending habits: Your partner starts spending excessively without involving you in financial decisions or discussing the implications of such spending.
8. Draining joint accounts: Funds from joint accounts are consistently depleted without a valid explanation or agreement between both partners.
9. Ignoring financial responsibilities: Your partner consistently avoids contributing to shared expenses or bills, leaving you to shoulder the financial burden.
10. Refusing financial discussions: Your attempts to discuss money matters with your partner are met with hostility or avoidance.
11. Unexplained gifts or cash withdrawals: Your partner receives unexplained gifts or makes frequent cash withdrawals without a valid reason.
12. Financial secrets from family and friends: You learn that your partner has been hiding their financial situation from close family members or friends.
It’s essential to have open and honest lines of communication about finances within any relationship. If you notice any of these red flags, it’s crucial to address the issue immediately and seek professional help if necessary to rebuild trust and work towards financial transparency. Financial infidelity can be damaging, but with understanding and effort, it’s possible to overcome these challenges.