Any form of abuse can lead to a poor mental state, wreaking havoc on a person’s cognitive clarity which has the potential to cause addiction. When it comes to domestic abuse, many people think that it involves either physical assault or verbal abuse. However, financial abuse is an important aspect that often goes unnoticed. In fact, 99% of reported domestic violence cases involve financial abuse.
Financial abuse in relationships is when a person takes control of financial resources and traps their partner. Consequently, it limits the victim’s ability to use funds to cover their expenses and they often struggle with debts.
Signs of Financial Abuse
The following signs may indicate you’re in a financially abusive relationship:
They Dictate Your Career Choices
It’s perfectly fine to discuss your career choices with your better half. After all, you have a family now and you ought to think about your responsibilities towards your home. But it doesn’t mean that you’re obliged to do whatever your partner says.
If they have too much say in your career choices and you can’t take actions to further your career without their permission, it’s a red flag. Your partner won’t let you become financially independent by manipulating your decisions. Manipulation can take a toll on your confidence and cause feelings of insecurity and stress, both of which can negatively affect mental health.
They Have Double Standards
You made a small purchase with your own salary, or spent money from a joint account for personal needs. When your partner finds out about the financial activity, they become extremely upset and cause a scene. At the same time, they consider it acceptable to buy whatever they want with the joint account when it’s for them.
Seems familiar? It’s a telltale sign of financial abuse.
Abusive partners usually have double standards. They can’t stand it when you try to do something good for yourself, but they don’t hesitate in spending money on purchases of their own.
Monitoring of Spending
Your spouse may ask you to refund the amount of an item after you purchase something. They may monitor how you spend your own income as well as ask you for detailed reports or receipts of purchases. This intense monitoring of finances isn’t a good sign.
Today, internet banking makes it easier to manage your savings and monitor cash flow. However, if your spouse has the password to your online account and they question you whenever you spend from your bank account, then you should take action to gain financial independence.
You Don’t Have Access to Financial Resources
Some people want to have control over their partners, which is why they monitor their partner’s income and assets. If you’re a victim of financial abuse, you’ll notice that your spouse hides information about their assets. They refrain from sharing with you how they spend their income.
Controlling people prefer to open joint accounts with their partners so they can monitor their spending. However, if you try to ask them why they withdrew a big sum from the joint account, they lose their temper and display extreme bouts of anger.
On the other hand, financial abusers don’t provide their partner with free access to marital assets. If you buy anything from the joint account fund, they ask you to return the entire amount as soon as possible.
If your paycheck goes directly into your partner’s account, it’s a clear sign that you’re a victim of financial abuse in a relationship. They may claim that they’re trying to help you save money, but in reality, it’s just a tactic to control you. If you don’t have free access to your own hard-earned money, it’s time you stand up for your rights.
They Hide Critical Information
In an attempt to maintain their control in the relationship, abusers hide critical information from their partners. When the victim isn’t aware of financial conditions, they can’t become independent and are left at the mercy of their abusive partner.
For instance, your partner may practice financial abuse by hiding how they set the budget or how they increase their earnings through investments. The lack of knowledge prevents victims from living a balanced life and leads to a financial crisis.
Moreover, if your partner didn’t share with you that they owe a huge sum in debt, it can also be a sign of financial abuse. It’s crucial in a relationship that partners share money issues with each other. Not only does it build trust, but also helps overcome financial problems.
They Are Financially Dependent
There’s nothing wrong with helping your partner out in case of an emergency. If they lost their job and are struggling to find a new job, you should help them cover expenses with the help of an allowance. But if your partner takes your generosity for granted and does nothing to support them, then you should be more careful.
Some people see relationships as an opportunity for financial support. Such toxic people depend on their partners for their monetary needs. As a result, they may feel used.
How to Deal with Financial Abuse
Once you identify that you’re a victim of financial abuse, you have to decide whether you want to leave or stay in the relationship. If you go for the latter option, take action to protect yourself from abuse at the hands of your partner.
If your partner is aware of the access codes of your accounts or credit cards, change passwords without further delay and refrain from sharing this information with anyone.
Avoid opening a joint bank account or co-signing a loan with your abusive partner. They may spend your marital assets and also delay the loan installments to create financial problems for you.
Get a free credit report every year. It guides you on whether any bank account was opened or credit was acquired in your name. Also, request the credit bureau to issue fraud alerts if your Social Security number is misused.
While financially abusive partners try different tactics to have an edge over the victims, you can stay safe by knowing your rights and protecting your assets and income from your abusive partner.
Although financial abuse alone may not seem like a big deal, being manipulated, controlled, and taken advantage of over extended periods of time can take a huge toll on mental health. When mental health is weak, we turn to easy solutions to ease us of our pain. More often than not, these solutions involve illicit substances. Be careful of who you involve yourself with, and be aware of your mental state. If you’re concerned with anything mentioned in the blog above, reach out to us today for assistance.
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