Houston - As couples declare their love, for Valentines Day, some may be hiding a secret that could drive a big wedge between them, if it was discovered.
It's the 'Money Talk' about financial infidelity.
A couple of recent surveys find about one of every five people, in a live-in relationship, is hiding a secret-stash from their significant other.
U.S. News and World Report consumer financial expert Beverly Harzog says, "We found that almost 60% thought that financial infidelity was as bad as, or even worse than romantic infidelity."
The magazine's survey found financial infidelity takes on a lot of different forms, from hidden debts or bank accounts to secret income or purchases.
Harzog says it comes from a lack of communication between couples, and it's fairly common.
In a separate survey, CreditCards.com finds a third of people cite privacy or the need to control their own money. A quarter of people surveyed say they're embarrassed about how they handle money. Another quarter say the issue never came up.
"No one should feel that they have to purchase things in secret because they don't have enough freedom," says Harzog, "Discuss why that person feels that way; Give each other a little slack; talk openly and frequently, and share responsibilities and you should be fine."
If you haven't had that conversation, it can certainly be a difficult one. That may be why 40% of those surveyed say they'd never admit to their secret-spending. But having a common understanding of what your goals are, and how you want to get there, might be a healthier approach.