Many U.S. couples are keeping a big secret from their significant other that could tear their relationship apart. According to a Bankrate poll, 15 million people are hiding credit cards, checking accounts or savings from their live-in partners. Discovering that your partner is keeping financial secrets can feel like a violation of trust.

Hiding money hits hard

Keeping stashes of money or credit cards secret from your partner can be considered financial infidelity.

Many Americans polled said they would prefer to see their significant others take lovers rather than hide bank accounts from them. When a partner is unfaithful monetarily, the betrayal can be worse than physical cheating.

What are they doing with the hidden funds?

Thoughts may begin to race through your head, “are they spending it on another person, or are they spending it on something else that pleases them in a way that you do not please them as a partner?”

It is difficult to pin down reasons why people financially cheat. One innocent explanation is that people like to keep spending as though they were still single. Sneaking around financially gets harder to do as a relationship evolves.

Eleven percent of couples say they do not talk to their partner about money in any capacity. A healthy relationship thrives with open and ongoing communication. Financial matters should not be treated any differently. When you are in a relationship, secrecy is never a good idea. While keeping separate funds seems like a harmless white lie could feel like a knife in the back to your partner.