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Dealing with Financial Infidelity in a Marriage
Episode 159th February 2020 • The Prosperous Doc • Spaugh Dameron Tenny
00:00:00 00:46:21

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Money is among the main causes of stress in a marriage. It’s a tough topic to talk about in many couples, whether you’re in the medical field or not. And the core issue isn’t money itself, but in how much you trust your partner when it comes to managing your finances. (01:39) One of the biggest problems that have affected couples is financial infidelity, wherein a spouse makes major money decisions in secrecy. If not addressed or prevented, this can have detrimental effects that impact a marriage.

This episode’s guests are John and Joan, a couple who shares their story of struggling through financial infidelity to shed light on this issue. John is a physician who, although had the same goals in terms of money with his wife, made some secret decisions that have taken a toll on their finances and their marriage.

John talks about intellectual restlessness and curiosity, something that is quite common in physicians and medical practitioners due to their line of work. (24:55) He says that while it’s good to know more about a certain topic like financial vehicles, it leads to gaining false confidence that can lead to making ill-advised decisions. (18:36) You tend to develop a blind spot on the risks, failing to see that the more risks present, the more opportunities there are for losses and failure. (22:48)

To avoid creating this prison and being entrapped in an unfortunate financial situation, John says you should acknowledge the problem and stop the behavior before it’s too late. Come clean and be honest to your spouse, so you can find solutions together. It won’t be an easy and pleasant experience, but you have the power to change your situation. (41:51)

Joan also believes that whoever is in charge of the financial decisions in the relationship must be more transparent, honest and open. It’s also good to listen to a third-party’s opinion to provide an objective point of view to help you and your spouse align your goals and act as a referee when necessary. (38:57)

At the end of the day, living in secrecy in a relationship creates a huge mental burden. (41:01) In terms of finances, it’s always best to work in a more transparent way with your spouse and value your relationship more.

This week’s White Coat Wisdom is dedicated to residents or fellows who are transitioning from training to practice, or even attendings who are thinking of changing practices. This period can be a stressful time, but you can certainly prepare for it. First, make sure that you save cash so you don’t have to rely on loans or your credit card for expenses that you will incur.

Additionally, you should know about any possible gaps in your health insurance and what your options are. Ask which benefits you can carry over to your next role and which ones begin once you’ve signed on your new job. Paying attention to these details will help make your transition a successful one.

In this week’s White Coat Achievement segment, we honor Dr. Jeffrey Smith, an orthopedic traumatologist and physician wellness advocate from San Diego, California. He is the founder of Surgeon Masters, a company that’s dedicated to promoting wellness and raising relevant issues in the surgeon community.

Besides helping create successful and sustainable medical practices, Surgeon Masters is also focused on treating physician burnout and providing strategies to prevent this from occurring. He also hosts the Surgeon Masters Podcast and Wellness Edge, a wellness and resilience training program.

The White Coat Wellness podcast by Spaugh Dameron Tenny highlights real-life stories from doctors and dentist to encourage and inspire listeners through discussions of professional successes and failures in addition to personal stories and financial wellness advice. Spaugh Dameron Tenny is a comprehensive financial planning firm serving doctors and dentist in Charlotte, NC. To find out more about Spaugh Dameron Tenny, visit our website at or our Facebook group You can also connect with our host, Shane Tenny, CFP at or on Twitter



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