Living With a Cheater: Financial Affairs
Face it, ladies. Infidelity is expensive. If your man is cheating on you then he needs extra cash to pay for dinner, drinks, and hotel rooms. Most family budgets are not so generous that these extra expenses can be easily covered. If your man is cheating on you then he needs to find a way to fund his indiscretions. If you want to protect yourself then you need to sleuth his money laundering techniques and track his schedule. Do not tip your hand that you are watching the accounts and adding up expenses. Lay low while you gather evidence.
My research quickly revealed that there are as many ways to fund infidelity as there are cheating hearts. The women I interviewed were married to professional class men including lawyers, physicians, military officers, accountants, teachers, engineers, and bankers. They related similar tales of money laundering schemes. I will expose the four most common means these men used to garner a little extra cash.
Just put it on my card, please
Marilyn found it irritating that every time they went out to dinner with friends her adulterer insisted upon collecting cash from the other diners and charging the entire bill to his credit card. She does not doubt that each of the other diners paid for their meals but that cash never seemed to land in their checking account when it was time to pay the Visa bill. When Marilyn mustered the courage to ask her adulterer about the cash he said that he used the cash for gas. Bank statements, however, revealed that he continued to make his usual withdrawals at the gas station. She asked again but never received a satisfactory answer to her accounting questions. Over time she grew suspicious and began tracking his expenses. She found a clear pattern to his collection of funds and extended, unaccounted for, time away from the family. She said he had other ways of collecting funds but this was his favorite.
Expense accounts and chaos
Alyssa is still wondering just what her adulterer did with their money. She readily admits that she was an easy target for her legal finance ex. She began to suspect he had other interests when he refused to account for time spent away from the family. He would arrive home hours late from work and would rage at her when she asked where he had been. "None of your dammed business," he would bark.
"He lived a second life, apart from me and the kids," she said. "I was naive and ill-equipped to fight my raging husband on his terms so I began fighting on my terms. I turned inward and began using my wits to uncover his schemes. I knew that he had plenty of unaccounted for time between his business travels and his late nights out when he was in town but how did he fund his trysts? "
Alyssa soon discovered that her ex covered his expenses through chaos. He travelled extensively and covered his expenses through company travel vouchers. She reconciled the bank account and paid the bills each month. It was always a stretch. The bills and the reimbursements never quite matched. His chaotic submissions for reimbursements made it difficult to track expenses and reimbursements but with patience and stealth she began to uncover a pattern of "missed vouchers" and extra time away from home. She began to suspect this extra cash was deposited in another account. She could account for how much was missing but never discovered where it went.
FLEX spending account
Margaret had been divorced for three years before her adulterer's tax sheltered scheme made sense. She had uncovered several money laundering schemes when she was married but had never connected the FLEX spending account to his infidelity. She did not understand what a FLEX account was and could not get an answer from her adulterer. He routinely told her to pay the dentist or other healthcare practitioners for services not yet rendered and to get a receipt for tax purposes. She did as she was told but did not understand why.
A FLEX spending account, Margaret later learned, is a means of sheltering income from taxes. At the close of each year she estimates her out of pocket medical expenses for the coming year and has that money withdrawn from her paycheck, before taxes. She is then reimbursed for medical expenses throughout the year by submitting receipts for dental work, prescription eye glasses, and other approved medical expenses. It suddenly made sense! Her ex needed medical receipts in order to be reimbursed from his FLEX spending account. Naturally he funneled the FLEX money into his own account.
"How do you like that? A tax sheltered affair! Now that is clever!" Margaret said her adulterer is by far the craftiest man she has ever met. She thinks he ought to go into politics.
Hidden accounts and extra credit cards
Patricia left her troubled marriage almost a decade ago. She has been working on putting all the deceit behind her but just when she thinks she has forgiven the last of it another layer of treachery reveals itself. She tossed her head and smirked over a recent discovery. "One part of the discovery is not that big of a deal compared to everything else, but maybe it can help another woman if this part of my story is revealed."
Patricia said that she recently received a credit report for a totally unrelated matter. "I mean, I really was not looking to uncover anything about my adulterer. The credit report was connected to my own business development." When she scanned through the report she noticed one active credit card listed in her ex husband's name. It had been opened during their marriage but she had never been on the card. Recent expenses were listed. "It was damning." She did not bother digging any further except to have it removed from her report. When she requested that the card be removed from her credit report she was told that a bank account was attached to it. It is from this account that the card is paid. Based upon recent activity and the years the card has been active Patricia believes this card has seen a lot of clandestine action.
Patricia cautions women to be wise as serpents but gentle as a dove when she suspects her husband is unfaithful. "Do not be afraid to dig a little deeper to get the answers you need," she advises.