This week I am broken-hearted because I learned that financial infidelity has struck my family.
My brother is in the military and has spent the last few years deployed in very dangerous places. He has a wife and children, so he had prepared for the worst and left legal power of attorney documents for his wife, to be used in case of emergency. While he was away, his wife opened accounts in his name without his permission, ran up massive debts, and hid the entire problem from my brother. He did not learn of this until he returned to the U.S. and discovered that they were bankrupt and losing their home. The money he had sent home was used to make frivolous purchases.
Because of the seriousness of the financial catastrophe, my brother and his family were unable to attend our wedding.
My brother did not want us to worry about him or to spend our wedding money helping him out, so he did not tell us why they could not attend. He made up a story about having to work that weekend. It hurt me greatly not to have him there. I thought it was because he did not care.
This week my brother called me to tell me the truth. He is a very private person but he shared his situation with me in the hopes that I would understand and know how much it saddened him not to be at our wedding. Of course, we understood completely. Our only concern is that he and his wife are able to recover from this disaster.
It is a new experience for me to be directly affected by someone else’s financial infidelity. While I can never understand why this happened, I hope that it does not destroy their marriage. It is a sobering lesson for us, as we are in the process of completing our own legal documents giving each other power. We made it clear with each other that these documents are not ever to be misused, and that if a financial situation ever arises we have to tell each other the whole truth about it. It is a good life lesson for us, but one that comes at great expense to my family.
Has financial infidelity ever been a problem in your relationships?