Of the types of abuse, it is financial that probably gets the least attention. It isn’t just an issue that affects the elderly or vulnerable. It affects what might seemingly look like a healthy relationship. Remember that abuse is a form of control, and money can be used as an instrument of control. These are the signs of financial abuse to be aware of
1. Do You Have to Ask for Things?
There is a difference between asking for something, and having to ask for something. A couple should talk about purchases, especially big ones. Couples should talk about budgets and how best to manage investments. If you are in joint control of the money, then you should ask your partner if a purchase is okay because it is his money too. On the other hand, if you ask to buy something because you need permission, then you may be a victim of financial abuse. When he makes a purchase, does he ask you?
2. Are You Choosing to Be a Victim?
Financial abuse is the same as any other type of abuse. On some level, you are choosing to be abused. If he is using his money as a weapon, you are a free person and able to leave him. You may have to live without a car and the luxuries you are accustomed to, but if you are staying with him because he is a good provider, then you are making yourself a victim.
3. It is Okay if He Takes Charge of the Money
The idea that a man being in charge of the money means you are being financially abused is ridiculous. A couple should make joint investment and spending decisions, but it is always best if just one person handles the money, accounts and accounting. The other person shouldn’t be restricted from access to such things, but one person should take control. The person in charge should be the one that is best with money, the best at accounting, the best at budgeting, and the best at saving and investing. It is financial abuse when the best person for the job is not in control.
4. Are You Always Lending Him Money?
This seems a little unfair. After all, it is okay to lend your lover some money, but there are so many men and women that prey on their partner’s cash that you need to seriously consider saying no. Watch a few episodes of Judge Judy, or read her book KISS (keep it simple stupid), and you will see that it is often the women that lend money and the man that doesn’t pay it back. Instead of lending him money, help him find solutions to his problems. If he cannot make his car payments, then offer to help him find another car or help him find a debt management solution. If he cannot make his rent, then help him find a newer and cheaper place, or give him the details of a financial consultant.
5. Does He Control Your Career?
Some men try to control your career because they want to help you out of your retail job and into a productive career. These are the guys you should marry because they are thinking about you in the long term and they care about your future happiness. Then there are the other men that want you to stay in jobs you hate because they like the money, or because they want to remain the chief provider. These are the men that are financially abusing you. These are the men that want to keep you down so that they may stay in control.
6. Is He Making Financial Moves in Your Name?
In other words, is he refinancing the mortgage, applying for credit cards, and spending your retirement fund without your expressed permission or knowledge (sometimes both)? This is a common sign of financial abuse.
7. Does He Keep Telling You That You Live in Luxury Because of Him?
You are a victim of financial abuse if he keeps rubbing your nose in the fact that you live the way you do because of him. It is okay if he mentions it once or twice, especially if he is the main earner in the house. There are times when he may feel that you are being reckless with the money or that you are enjoying the money more than he is. On the other hand, if he uses his earning power as a weapon to win arguments, to convince you of things, or to keep you in your place, then you are the victim of financial abuse.
Money in relationships is a difficult issue – many relationships break down for reasons connected to finances. It’s so important to pay attention to your money and your financial responsibilities as a couple.
Have you ever found yourself as a victim of financial abuse or maybe you considered some of the issues above normal?