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Issues with finances can be a major hurdle in romantic relationships, with nearly a third (30%) of couples dealing with financial infidelity in the past year, according to a recent survey from U.S. News & World Report.

Similar to romantic infidelity, financial infidelity is when a partner deliberately chooses not to tell the truth, but in this case it regards something around money.

While financial infidelity can certainly take on several forms, the survey findings identified that the biggest money-related lies that came up in relationships were secretive purchases (31.4%), hiding debts (28.7%) and dishonesty about income (22.6%).

These numbers help paint a bigger picture of how strong of an impact money has in our partnerships. A key part in overcoming lying to your spouse about the huge amount of credit card debt you may have, or your partner being dishonest about how much money they really make, is to get a better understanding of your own, and each other’s personal finance management skills.

“Couples are likely to have varying levels of financial literacy,” Beverly Harzog, credit card expert at U.S. News & World Report, tells Select. “The important thing is that they grow together and are able to make compromises when it comes to budgeting and spending. There are so many resources available for increasing your financial knowledge, such as books, websites and free apps.”

In short, being well-versed together in how your money works and where your money goes can help you avoid any financial infidelity down the line. From chipping away at debt, to being proactive about budgeting, it’s vital to take advantage of resources to get on the same page with each other.

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There’s a strong correlation between financial infidelity and major debt loads

For many couples, carrying the weight of debt can make or break a relationship — especially when one partner doesn’t know about the other’s financial burden.

According to the U.S. News survey, over half of couples who experienced financial infidelity also happened to be in major debt. On the flip side, of those who didn’t experience financial infidelity, only 22.7% were in debt.

Tackling your debt, or at least talking openly about it with your partner, is a good first step in getting on the same page. “Couples need to be in agreement when it comes to debt reduction,” Harzog says. “You’re setting a joint financial goal and you need to work together to make it happen.”

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