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