Was Blake Lively Financially Cheated On?

Published October 13th, 2022
Reading Time: 5 minutes
financial infidelity

Written by:

Veronica Karas, MBA, CFP®, CFC™
Zoe Network Advisor

Was Blake Lively Financially Cheated On?

Published October 13th, 2022 
Reading Time: 5 minutes
financial infidelity

Written by:

Veronica Karas, MBA, CFP®, CFC™
Zoe Network Advisor

It is impossible not to chuckle when Ryan Reynolds says he would use Blake Lively as a body shield to protect their children, and we idolize Blake for joking and calling Ryan Gosling the Ryan of her life. How could a power couple like them have issues!? Believe it or not, Lively is a victim of financial infidelity. 

We can all thank the set of Green Lantern for sparking the beautiful romance of America’s favorite couple. It is impossible not to chuckle when Ryan Reynolds says he would use Blake Lively as a body shield to protect their children, and we idolize Blake for joking and calling Ryan Gosling the Ryan of her life. How could a power couple like them have issues!? Believe it or not, Lively is a victim of financial infidelity. 

You are not alone if your first thought was: “If it happened to her, it could happen to me.” Blake Lively didn’t see it coming, either. Ryan Reynolds recently found himself in the proverbial dog house for an unfortunately common reason: he spent a tremendous amount of money without discussing it with his wife. Ryan revealed on Jimmy Kimmel Live that he spent $2.75 million on a Welsh soccer team and did not discuss it with his wife.

While your spouse might not be out and about purchasing professional soccer teams, this type of betrayal, known as “financial infidelity,” is more common than you think. According to a recent U.S. News & World Report survey, about 30% of couples have experienced financial infidelity.

Broken Hearts and Broken Wallets

No one likes a broken heart, but everyone is terrified of their wallets falling apart. While many people think cheating in relationships is purely physical and emotional, financial betrayals can often be as damaging and hurtful. 

How can you avoid a financial betrayal? Become aware of how they might occur. Financial infidelity is when couples with joint finances lie to each other about money. Here are the kind of financial infidelities that couples have experienced:

  • Keeping purchases secret: 31.4%
  • Hiding debts or accounts: 28.7%
  • Lying about income: 22.6%
  • Draining money from savings: 10.4%
  • Lending money without consent: 6.9%

Only 8.5% of survey respondents learned about their partner’s behavior from a confession. The rest of the time, the infidelity was surprisingly discovered. Therefore, it may be worthwhile to consider the motives of the person who is being deceitful. For example, 38% of survey respondents noted that they lied to avoid arguments, and 23.1% were embarrassed about mishandling money.

Eyes Out for the Cheaters

If you are currently in a relationship, it may be easy to hit the ‘panic’ button, but the survey results point us in a different direction. Preventing this type of betrayal starts early in the relationship by building solid foundations for communication about money. 

In my second book, “Money Matters: Merging Lives, Merging Finances,” I provide checklists and question lists for couples to go through together as they move through the various phases of a relationship – from dating to living together and then to marriage. There are many ways to build stronger and better relationships with money and your partner. It starts with having discussions around finances.

The Financial Honeymoon Phase Should Never End

Start small and open the lines of communication. Be open about your income, your ongoing expenses, whether you must financially support someone (today or in the future), and your general feelings about saving money. 

If there were such a thing as a money soulmate, you would find very few people that are a perfect fit and many people that are at least compatible. Find something basic to agree on, such as credit-related issues. Placing a limit on credit card spending and making timely payments is a great starting point.

Preventing financial infidelity is a much easier task than overcoming it. However, if you have experienced this and are committed to working through it, consider starting with the below tips:

1. Set Joint Financial Goals

Get on the same page regarding money, credit, debt, investments, and your general financial goals. Figure out where you are going. Are you committed to retiring early? Do you want to buy a bigger house or downsize? Are you going to pay for college for the kids? Would you like to donate $10,000 a year to charity? Whatever is important to both of you, figure out how much it will cost and write it down.

2. Set Up Weekly Money Meetings

The only way to be consistent with your goals is to find ways to hold each other accountable. Your money meeting should include discussions around who will pay the monthly bills, whether to open a new credit card, how much you have saved towards your financial goals, how you will pay for the next vacation, and if any adjustments need to be made. Consider including periodic credit report check-ins, especially if tackling debt is a significant factor for you. You can obtain your credit report free online once a year.

3. Create Room for Independence

When a betrayal occurs, it can be easy to try and tackle the problem by grasping tightly to the reigns for control. Avoid treating your spouse like a child getting an allowance. Unless the infidelity is due to significant issues that need to be worked through with a qualified therapist, you would want to set up a monthly budget that allows each of you some leeway and freedom. You can achieve this by agreeing to a dollar amount you can spend each month on whatever you choose.

4. Get Resourceful 

There are many services today that can help people struggling with financial challenges. Whether that includes working with someone on a budget, taking courses to improve financial literacy, finding a great fiduciary to help manage the investments, or working with someone on debt consolidation – if you need it, someone is an expert and can help! Do not let your ego get in the way of asking for help.

When both people are committed to making the relationship work, we must agree that we are all human and mistakes happen. Communication is often the hardest and the best way to move forward. 

Financial Infidelity Free

Usually, the most uncomfortable conversations with our partners strengthen the relationship – not just in the moment, but for the long haul. Unfortunately, financial literacy is widely lacking in the United States, and many parents still avoid discussing finances with their children, making them more susceptible to financial infidelity. 

Blake Lively probably wishes she’d been in the loop when Ryan Reynolds spent $2.75 million. Money should be a tool for a couple’s continued evolution instead of a pain point. Once you agree to joint finances with your partner, you must work to understand the money blueprints you have together. 

Disclosure: This blog is not investment advice and should not be relied on for such advice or as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting, tax, legal or financial advisors. The observations of industry trends should not be read as recommendations for stocks or sectors.

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