The Kenwood Press
: 02/15/2018

Keeping secrets creates anxiety

Donna Colfer

Keeping secrets around money creates a false sense of power and control. Underneath that false sense of power is fear or shame. But it’s pushed down so far that we begin to believe the façade of being in control. Our face looks the same. Our actions don’t reveal anything unusual. We say everything is just fine, but the amount of energy it takes to keep secrets around money develops an unconscious undercurrent of discontent, worry, and anxiety. A pattern of holding these negative energies around money cuts off the natural flow of abundance that lives and breathes all around us, preventing us from being in the present moment. Being in the flow of abundance comes more easily when you can see what IS working financially and are willing to take action on what isn’t.

It’s not easy to take action on what isn’t working financially when fear or shame is running in the background. So take the time to do some self-talk and ask a few questions to slow down the fear response. What do you fear might happen? What is more probable? What other possible results can you think of? What do you hope will happen? It doesn’t take long to do this and it will actually save you time and money in the long run.

Here are some examples of self-talk to justify secrets around money:

“I’m feeling down. If I buy this, I’ll feel so much better. He/she will never know because he/she doesn’t look at the credit card bill when it comes in. It’s just one time.” Ignoring the fact it happens every month when you “feel down” and you wonder why you can’t pay the credit card off no matter how much effort is made.

“I’m tired of being controlled by my partner and I deserve to buy this for myself. I can do what I want, when I want, and I don’t need his/her permission. I have to ‘put up with’ his/her idiosyncrasies. I deserve to be happy.” But when the partner finds out, here comes the lecture and the feeling of being punished like a child. The resentment builds, and the cycle repeats itself on next month’s credit card bill. A great way to deteriorate intimacy in a relationship.

“I know better and wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize my family. I’ll just keep it to myself. It’ll all work out. It always does. I don’t want to worry him/her by discussing our money situation. He’ll/she’ll be upset and I don’t want the kids to hear us argue.”

Withholding pertinent financial information from a partner stems from our role modeling and the environment in which we grew up. I worked with a client who was raised by a single mom who could barely make ends meet every month. They lived hand to mouth. High school proved to be difficult when she compared herself to her peers. Her friends had nicer clothes, went on vacations, and lived in beautiful homes. She felt shame and embarrassment. She found a way to go to college and afterwards landed great jobs paying good salaries. She became accustomed to making purchases whenever she wanted and experienced how good they made her feel (Innocent/Fool archetypes). She finally felt she fit in and was equal to her peers. But making good money without good management skills led once again to living hand to mouth, repeating her mother’s pattern.

Once she married and had a child, her new role was stay-at-home mom. Again, her tendency to feel unworthy led to a lack of fulfillment, especially because she wasn’t making money. To mask the feeling, she made purchases but kept them a secret from her husband. Over time, this created more credit card debt than they could afford, and he expressed concern. Luckily, he’s a kind and understanding man and they have a deep love for each other. She was motivated and willing to heal her past: she asked for help (Warrior archetype). Understanding her money patterns and gaining the knowledge to create a spending plan, she turned around her relationship not only with money, but also with herself and her husband, and developed forgiveness towards her mother (Magician archetype).

When love and respect is the foundation of your relationship with your partner, talking openly about your feelings, fears, and desires is easier. It takes courage to communicate about money, especially when you’ve become accustomed to keeping secrets. Love is a healing salve. It allows courage to surface, and allows abundance to be seen all around you, not just the undercurrent of familiar negative emotions. When we love, we can take risks telling the truth without knowing the outcome.

Learn more about your relationship with money: visit and take the complimentary “Money Type Quiz.” Only you see the results. Or contact me at