My father had a double life. He ran a second family that he kept secret from my mother and his kids for many years. When he finally told my mother the marriage was over, he had obscured his true finances, so it was impossible for her to find out where he hid his money.
Not surprisingly I’d found it hard to trust partners when it comes to money – until I met my husband. I’m not alone. I hear from plenty of women and men, some more financially savvy than my mum, who have been duped.
Often the lies about the finances are uncovered accidentally. One woman I know found her husband of more than 30 years had been conned into sending thousands of dollars to his secret eastern European “girlfriend”.
Another thought she and her banker husband had paid off their mortgage and were in a solid financial position. Then she found out he had drawn down on the house and they were mortgaged to the hilt. She later discovered he had lost their self-managed superannuation fund money, too.
Another discovered her husband had not paid his tax for more than 15 years, even though he told her he had been putting in his tax returns. He faced a huge tax bill and even more in fines.
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