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Micro-Cheating: What Is It? How does It Affect You?
Updated: January 09, 2021 |
Taylor Kovar, CFP

Do Minor Financial Infidelities Add Up to a Big Deal?

Micro-cheating. What is it? Is it wrong? Could you be micro-cheating with money in your relationship?

Do you conveniently leave out information or leave out certain facts? Are you ever not honest about the whole amount you spent while shopping or are you hiding money as a “secret” savings? Do those little white lies hurt anything?

Thought Catalog, “a digital youth, culture magazine” with 30 million followers coined the term “micro-cheating” to mean “a series of small actions most people don’t realize they’re doing but can lead to their partner questioning their loyalty”.

They say it’s cheating without realizing it.  They suggest “micro-cheating” is anything you may feel guilty about telling your partner.

What do you think?

People lit up social media blasting the idea that a man can’t joke with another woman at work without it being micro-cheating, or a woman can’t think some guy is hot without it being a dig against her current boyfriend and qualifies as “micro-cheating”.

Some tweeted about wearing blindfolds when they go out so they don’t accidentally “micro-cheat”.

Are we really talking about crossing a line? And is there room on the side of the line before it’s crossed that is ok?

We think the answer is probably found in the words “lies” and “cheating”. Does it help to put “micro” in front of your dishonesty or less-than-admirable behavior? Probably not. And if it’s not horrible behavior with an ulterior motive should the word “cheating” be attached to it at all?

Something else to consider is if people are looking for micro-cheating does it encourage abusive control? Does it give an excuse to a control freak to monitor every move, every look, and every word? Or does it reveal dishonesty and lack of respect for the other person in the relationship?

With all of the horrible stories of “hidden” sexual harassment in Hollywood lately, it seems people are really ready to talk about morality and appropriate behavior. That is a good thing!

As a married man are you just admiring a beautiful woman or are you thinking of a way to strike up a conversation with her in hopes it leads somewhere?

Are you moving money from one account to another to meet an unusual shortfall this month or are you hiding the financial reality of income vs. expenses from your spouse? Are you hiding cash in a drawer each week … just in case?

What level of honesty is helpful in a relationship and when is your behavior crossing the line?

We think any intentional misrepresentation of hiding or spending money is “financial infidelity” and not healthy for your relationship. BUT bullying someone about money every single day is not what we’re recommending either.

In fact, any bullying or control in a relationship is harmful. You are an adult partnership, not a parent and a child.

If you feel like you are being controlled in your relationship when it comes to money, here are 3 Steps to Take To Stop a Money Controller:

  1. Know the signs.
  2. Ask yourself “What prompts this controlling?”
  3. Get serious about it – now.

Be honest. Don’t micro-cheat, but don’t micro-manage. Trust one another to have other healthy relationships and to be honest about your money too.

If you feel like it might be “small” “tiny” cheating – stop. Don’t do it.

We know it is so easy to cheat with money. Just don’t do it. And don’t control someone to the point they feel like they don’t have any choice, but to hide their behavior.

Be transparent. Work as a team. Invest in your relationship. It’s priceless so treat it like it is.

If it feels like cheating, it is probably cheating. Make a better choice to take care of your relationship.

As always, we would love to hear what you think!

Taylor & Megan Kovar

The Money Couple

Taylor & Megan Kovar posing at the Fredonia Hotel in Nacogdoches Texas


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