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Coach Kelley’s Ten Tips on Identifying Financial Abuse Thank you for stopping by as always my goal is to empower and transform your life. When we think of abuse, many of us of think physical, sexual and verbal. Not often do we think of financial or spiritual abuse. Personally speaking, I have experienced all forms that which includes incest, sexual, verbal, physical, emotional, mental, financial and spiritual abuse. However, for this blog, I will speak to financial abuse. Financial abuse is a common tactic used by abusers to gain power and control in a relationship. The forms of financial abuse may be subtle or overt but in general, include tactics to limit the partner’s access to assets or conceal information and accessibility to the family finances (National Network to End Domestic Violence). Listed below are my ten tips on identifying financial abuse in a relationship.

1. Threatens To Leave You:  Has your spouse ever threatened to leave you knowing he was the bread winner and you would have nowhere to go? If so, that is not only a form of control but also financial abuse in reverse. Although he isn’t abusing any of your finances, he is abusing the fact that you rely on him to pay all bills as you are not in any position to care for self financially.

2. Limits Access to Assets:  Has your significant other ever told you don’t need a debit card, the pin number or a bank account? If so, he has plans on financially abusing you. My old friend Shirley was married to a very controlling man. Not only was he financially abusive, but he checked the car mileage to see if she had driven the car while he worked. What’s more, he made sure she only had a certain amount of money in her account to spend on a daily basis. In fact, when she left him, she had to cry a desperate plea, while in her pajamas, to the bank teller to allow her to pull enough money out to purchase a plane ticket and leave.

3. Controls How Much Money is Spent: If your man tells you how to spend every dime, what to spend it on and when to spend it, you might want to rethink your relationship. If he trusts you, why does he have to monitor every dime? Now if you’re out spending the rent on your hair and nails then maybe he needs to control how you spend money. However, if you are financially responsible and he controls your spending, he is financially abusing you.

4. Encourages You to Quit Your Job: Although there are men who love providing for and taking care of their significant others, there are many who like to control their woman’s every move. Has your man or husband encouraged you to quit your job, if so, what was his reason? Will you have access to all income and possibly a bank account of your own? If his reasoning is, I just want you to stay home and take care of the kids, and without access to money, I think your answer should be a big fat NO. I see future control.

5. Withholds Money: I remember a time when I was off work due to a back injury and my ex-boyfriend Daniel wasn’t appreciative of the fact that I wouldn’t have sex with him when he wanted it. So, he withheld the money I needed and threatened not to pay my bills after he promised to. The sad part is, I never promised sex, so I didn’t understand his anger. As many women that he had outside of me, I thought him paying the bills was an arrangement until I went back to work. At any rate, if your man is withholding money or giving you an allowance, he is financially abusing you via controlling how much you have as well as your ability to be mobile.

6. Hides Information about Family Finances: Everyone knows we need money for just about everything so if your spouse is hiding information about family finances, he doesn’t want you to have access. Therefore, he is financially abusing you. He doesn’t want you to know as it is a possibility you might attempt to utilize those resources when he denies you. If you don’t have access, he continues to control you.

7. Uses the Absence of your Income Against You: Does your spouse constantly remind you of how you have no money and can’t care for yourself, and how you need him? Does he throw up all the things he does and pays for in your face? Does he remind you of the things you need and refuses to purchase them? If so, he is financially abusing you and wants to remind you of how you need him and will suffer without his money and support.

8. Uses Your Money or Property Against Your Will: One of my clients experienced this with her ex-husband. She owned several apartment buildings, and her husband used one of her unfinished buildings to meet women. He also spent money from her account to sponsor these women. I have never experienced that, but listening to her story made me want to find her ex. lol. In essence, if your man is spending your money and using your property without asking, he is abusing your assets.

9. Refusal to Pay Bills and Destroys Partner’s Credit: Have you ever allowed your significant other to use your name for credit cards, car loans or another type of credit and did not pay the bills and ruined your name? If so, that is financial abuse. If he destroys your name, how will you use your name for credit?

10. Tracks Every Dime You Make: Tracking your money is a good way to ensure that you will never become independent. Does your man question you about every dime you make? If so, he is trying to make sure you remain dependent on him. It may appear as if he wants you to make more, but secretly he wants to keep you reliant on his income, so he feels needed.

What can you do?  · Believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in you, who else will? · Leave. Create a safe exit as these relationships can become physical.

· Establish your credit. Get a credit card and hide it.
· Get a savings account. Pay yourself before anyone else.
· Reach out to friends.

Tell someone, to prepare them for your entrance. In essence, men need to feel needed, well, not men, but little boys. An adult man doesn’t need to feel needed to know that he is worthy. He doesn’t need to control or abuse your financial status to feel good. Also, the idea of you possibly leaving him takes him back to his little boy days of being abandoned by someone he loved and maybe even his mother. A part of the reason people abuse is to make you feel less than they do, so they have a false sense of feeling better. Adult men understand that an independent woman is capable of being interdependent as she needs him for more than a dollar.

You might ask what the purpose of financial abuse is. That is simple, control. People who feel out of control need to control something or someone to feel like their lives are meaningful. Control is a part of our ego or ‘little self.’ Often when women find themselves in relationships with men who financially abuse them, it is because their partner feels as if she has no clue about how to live, spend money, survive and, back to that need to feel empowered. However, the reasoning behind their emotional disturbance has nothing to do with the woman. Men who control women lack esteem and a sense of self-empowerment. Trust me; his behaviors have nothing to do with you, however in order not to attract controlling men anymore, understand the following.
· Remove the victim mindset as nothing was done to you.
· If you behave like a victim you will meet another person just like him until you accept your responsibility and learn the lesson.
· Understand that you attracted than man into your space.
· There is something about him that mirrors you.
· Be accountable for your life and especially your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
· Examine your life with curiosity and not judgment.

Lastly, you are responsible for securing your finances and understanding that you create or co-create everything in your life. Women do not have to rely on men to provide for them. We are just as capable if not more. If you meet a man or have a man who needs you to stay at home broke or make less money than him, he is not the man for you or any woman. If you stay with him, I sincerely ask you to look within yourself and ask, why I feel unworthy of a good man who loves me. Have you ever experience financial abuse? If so, I’d love to hear your story and what you did to get out of it

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Coach Kelley & 6 Nonsexual Ways to Ruin a Relationship Thank you for stopping by, as always my goal is to empower and transform your life. I’ve been on the other end of destroyed relationships as I will share six behaviors that have nothing to with cheating. Not only will these behaviors in your person ruin any relationship, but will destroy “self,” as well as they are all a part of your EGO or “little self.” The most important thing to take away from this blog is the ability to self-reflect and examine if these behaviors actively exist in you. If so, work within to remove them as they serve you no purpose other than self-sabotage.

Emotionally Closed: An emotionally closed person doesn’t know how to express their emotions or refuses to, and is afraid of his or her feelings. And yes, women can be emotionally unavailable as ironic as it seems, I have numerous female clients who have no idea how to express their emotions in a positive way or without anger. So, this is not a male trait, but more so based on your upbringing and conditioning. What’s more, parents inadvertently teach their kids that their feelings are not real; what does that mean? During childhood, when a parent tells a child to shut up and stop crying, (especially boys) or that didn’t hurt, that leaves a child with a false sense of “I don’t have to feel.” In essence, as the child becomes an adult, he or she doesn’t understand expressing emotions or feeling them; they never have or haven’t been allowed. However, there are those who only live in fear; fear of getting hurt, so they refuse to share or be vulnerable. Refusing to share or inability to be vulnerable leads to a communication barrier and will destroy any relationship. Not only that, intimacy does not exist, and without the ability to share who you are and your deepest emotions, your partner does not know who you are. Then it becomes a matter of sleeping with a stranger.

Physically Absent: Your significant other is never home with you as working two jobs or hanging his or her friends is more important. He or she comes back when you are sleep or busy, or stays in the basement or garage. These are red flags that he or she is also emotionally unavailable. If he or she isn’t there physically, they certainly can’t be there emotionally. Most men are taught to work hard, bring the check home and be quiet. Well, that is the conditioning you see today among millions of guys. I mean, there are some domesticated men, but, for more the most part, a man’s “assignment” in a relationship is to provide and protect. Man cannot protect anyone if he is never home. The absence of his presence is also a sign of his lack of interest and inability to relate to a woman. Unless a woman is only interested in taking your check, she will request your presence. My husband Patrick attempted to work two jobs as he had no idea how to relate to a woman other than sexually. I shut that down quickly. I need my man home with me sometimes, well; I’m spoiled, so more than sometimes. On the contrary, if a woman is never home, you already know that relationship ended before it began as women are known to be at home with the kids, cooking, cleaning, and waiting for our Kings, after her eight hours of work. Men are not necessarily taught to relate to the feminine energy or the woman. They have been shown to relate to her body parts so it might be wise to assist your man in relating to your brain, emotions, kitchen skills, hobbies, desires and anything else that doesn’t involve being on your back. Does any of this sound familiar, if so, revisit a time in your childhood where your father was either absent or never home as you simply recreated the same energy.

Controlling: I don’t need to explain this as it is self-explanatory, but I will. Everybody wants to control everything. We want to control our children, our bosses, our spouses, the red light, the microwave, time and even decisions that do not affect us. The only thing or person you need to control is you. Not to mention, those you attempt to control will eventually end that relationship. We need to relax more and let things be. Instead of trying to control someone else, why not look in the mirror and figure out if that person is “mirroring” something in you as those in our lives are not there by mistake. We are all mirrors of each other. Trying to control someone expresses a principal amount of immaturity, insecurities, and fear. What’s more, controlling people do not want others to feel good because it takes away their control and draws the attention away from them. Pay attention to you and stop trying to control others or you will find yourself alone. At what point in your childhood did your life feel out of control and you desired to “fix” everything? Go back and nurture that “little” person who felt the need to control everything in their environment in order to feel safe. That little person felt like no one could do anything right and he or she wanted to take over and control or “fix” everything.

Blames Others: Have you ever experienced someone who blamed you for something, and you have no idea how you became involved. For instance, you are the reason they are angry or don’t trust anyone, or the tree fell, or the tire fell off the car. Have you? Because I have experienced being blamed by my ex for him being late for work and I wasn’t even in his house. At any rate, why do we blame? We blame to avoid looking at and dealing with self. It’s easy to blame and for some odd reason hard to look at self. It’s more beneficial to look at self than blame others as it makes room for growth. People who blame are victim-minded and believe something is always happening to them. They have no idea where their faults come from because they refuse to search within their past experiences. Refusing to self-reflect is grounds for termination of any relationship, business and personal alike. When was the last time you blamed someone? Did you ever stop to think that in order to blame someone; you had to be in the experience which makes you accountable; not at fault, but accountable. Go back in your childhood to a time where you told your mom or dad about an experience. Maybe Billy or Keisha punched you at school or maybe the teacher yelled at you. Your parent visited the school and reinforced your victim mindset. They yelled at the teacher, wanted to beat up little Keisha or Billy and never once asked what was your role. Your parents reinforced your behavior to blame and never look at self or how you showed up to the experience.

Competition: One of the most important rules of marriage or a relationship is to recognize that you and your spouse/partner are on the same team, or at least you should be. Competing with others is a behavior learned from the time we enter school, or sometimes home, and that has to halt within relationships as competing can be a real enemy. There is no room for partners to make comparisons about each other or compete. When your partner is on your side or not competing with you, he or she will cheer you on when you excel at something. Have you ever competed with your mate? Do you feel a sense of resentment when your mate accomplishes something big or small? Do you get an attitude when you lose a game? If this is you, you might want to revisit a time in your childhood when you competed with someone, won and felt a sense of empowerment afterward, or gained you the attention you lacked at home or made you feel “good.” At the root level, competing is a sign of insecurities.

Selfish:
This person lacks consideration for others and is only concerned with their profit or pleasure. Selfish people never give in as they will never apologize. They are only concerned with their feelings, life, and overall well-being. You cannot expect a selfish person to understand your needs. Do you always have to have the last piece of chicken or feel a frog in your throat when it’s time to apologize? Are you one of those people who would rather argue than apologize or defend yourself when you know the need for an apology is warranted? If you are that person, you might want to revisit a time in your childhood where you felt unimportant or unseen.

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