Honesty is obviously important in age gap relationships, but what about when it comes to money? Apparently it can still play a role in May-December relationship problems, because a lot of people are still keeping secrets not only about how much they’re spending, but also how much they’re saving.
If you’ve ever blown money on something really expensive, but chosen not to tell your older man, you’re not the only one. According to a recent report by a credit card web site, 14% of American women have hid a purchase over $500 from their partner. But what’s more surprising is that men are even guiltier of doing this—26% of American men have spent $500 or more without telling their partner.
That’s not all. It turns out that your older man might also be hiding money from you. Around 4.4 million men admit to hiding a bank account or credit card from their wife or common-law partner, versus 2.8 million women who have done the same.
Men are still generally considered to be the primary breadwinner in a lot of marriages and relationships, which is why it’s believable that they’re more likely to hide money. And it’s certainly not hard to imagine an established, successful mature man keeping some of his money in hiding when he first starts dating a younger woman—a lot of age gap relationships start out fairly casual and he understandably wants to protect his earnings in case this younger woman is taking advantage of his deep pockets.
But keeping these kinds of secrets when things get serious can be detrimental to an age gap relationship, because it can be a sign of doubt and lack of trust, which is how many May-December relationship problems start. In fact, a 2013 study found money to be “the top predictor of divorce,” and in another survey, money was listed as the third highest cause of divorce.
We’re not saying that you have to share all of your credit cards and merge all of your bank accounts, but you should be able to be open and honest, even about finances, with your older man. And vice versa—if you’re with him in this age gap relationship for the right reasons, he shouldn’t have to worry about hiding money from you.
Barrett, J., “4.4 Million American Men Hide Away From Their Partners,” NBC News web site, January 21, 2015; http://goo.gl/9cGiKA.