10 Hidden Costs of Cheating on Your Partner

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THE FINANCE OF PHILANDERING

Love may be free, but affairs rarely are. On top of the moral and ethical issues that come with cheating on your mate, the costs associated with secret affairs can accumulate quickly. We're not judging, just pointing out some financial realities. Here are some of the extra expenses you might consider before deciding to engage in a surreptitious romance.
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SECURE DATING SITE

Dating sites like Ashley Madison make it easier for those with intentions of straying to find others who are okay with being the other woman or man. Secrecy is a top priority, and it can cost guys a pretty penny to communicate with women on Ashley Madison. On the low end, an introductory membership starts around $50. Plus, there are also cancellation fees and a $20 membership initiation. For women seeking men, full membership on Ashley Madison is free.
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PASSION GIFTS FOR YOUR LOVER

Since your passion-fueled gifting is meant to show your lover how much you care for them even though you are not always with them, it can lean toward the expensive, easily in the range of $50 to $100 for classic jewelry. Even low-cost items have a way of adding up, and once someone is accustomed to receiving tokens of affection, it's a difficult habit to break.
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GUILT GIFTS FOR YOUR SPOUSE/PARTNER

There's often at least some guilt involved when cheating on your partner, or at least some fear of being caught, both of which motivate gift purchases to keep your mate happy and your image positive. Buying something from each "business trip" like jewelry or other mementos is not only a telltale sign that something could be off, it also cuts into your bottom-line budget. Small trinkets may cost only $10 or $20, but depending on how many "trips" you're taking, they can add up.
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SEPARATE PHONES

Many people go all out and have duplicate devices like phones and iPads, in order to preserve secrecy and minimize the risk of getting caught. Since you can't exactly add these devices to the family plan, it means full price for a separate contract. An extra phone can cost several hundred dollars a year.
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HOTEL ROOMS

A sense of breaking taboo adds to the attraction of adultery, and hotels are the classic meeting spot for quick get-togethers, even if your lover has their own place. A few hotel rooms a month can have a significant impact on your expenses, especially if you spring for someplace decent to set the mood. A nice bed-and-breakfast can easily top $200.
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DRY CLEANING

Stray scents, makeup, and hairs are all pitfalls to avoid when trying to maintain a secret affair. This leads to dry cleaning, ideally from a place that is not too close to home. You'll want to tip the cleaners generously as well, to ensure their loyalty to you as a good customer. On the low end, dry cleaning can be a few dollars each for simple cotton items, and upward of $10 for difficult materials like silk.
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RESTAURANTS AND BARS

Your clandestine meeting spot may be in the next town over, but it's still likely to be a bar or a restaurant, which costs money. Since your time with your lover can be all about indulgence, the focus tends to be on creating the best experience rather than watching the budget. The tab at a favorite bar or restaurant can easily run into the $50 range.
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VACATIONS AND TRIPS

So-called "business trips" can't seem to come up often enough when you have someone to escape with. Unfortunately, with phony business trips, even if you get away with the deception, you're likely not actually doing anything work-related that might lead to a promotion or more money. You may be taking time off from earning in order to spend, and using up vacation time to boot.
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REPLACEMENT ITEMS

Ripped a shirt off in the heat of the moment? Stained a shirt collar with lipstick? Spilled ketchup on a white dress while you were "in a board meeting?" It's not just clothes that can need replacement; jewelry and other personal items can also be lost while sneaking around.
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DIVORCE

Chances are that if you are cheating, there's something wrong. Maybe it blows over, or maybe you decide to stick it out, but many end up getting caught and divorced. Aside from being emotionally taxing, divorce is an expensive process that will not be made any cheaper if your spouse caught you cheating. The price of a divorce can easily be in the thousands or even the millions, depending on your tax bracket.