The scenario of financial abuse in marriage is all too common and all too chilling. But, what is financial abuse in a marriage?
According to financial abuse definition, it translates into one partner exercising control over the other partner’s access to financial resources, which diminishes the abused partner’s capacity to be financially self-sufficient and forces them to depend on the perpetrator financially.
A partner in an toxic marriage attempts to assert control by taking overall assets. The underlying intent of the financially abusive partner is clear: keep the spouse from having the means to leave the union.
When one spouse creates a situation in which the other spouse does not have access to liquid assets, financial abuse, also known as economic abuse, is in play.
Financial abuse is a very sick dynamic in a marriage.
Every expenditure is aggressively accounted for. Purchases at grocery stores and other venues are vigorously tracked, with the “buyer” given just enough money to complete the task.
Other expenditures like health care expenses, clothing, and the like are discouraged. If a partner does not comply with these rigid demands, there is a “price” to pay.
A spouse that requires a detailed expense report of marital finances, receipts, and anecdotal descriptions of your spending is a spouse with pronounced control issues. This hawk-eyed approach is one of the key financial abuse signs.
Further, requiring that you remit every penny of change after expenditure is an area of concern. Monitoring is compounded by the advent of digital accounts.
Because digital interfaces afford consumers “Real-Time” monitoring of financial transactions and balances, the scrutiny from the one perpetrating financial abuse in marriage can be even more pronounced.
These are just some of the glaring financial abuse in marriage facts.
Often the financial abuse individuals endure morphs into something far more nefarious.
If your partner will not let you work outside of the home, the issue runs far deeper than finances. A dangerous situation exists if you are unable to leave home.
No one should ever feel restricted in this way. Even if you are made to feel guilty about working, be on your guard. You should never be made to feel shame about wanting to work outside the home. It would also be helpful to become aware of some key dynamics of abuse in a relationship and seek help.
If you have experienced any of these tell-tale signs of financial abuse in marriage, you are probably dealing with other types of abuse in your marriage. Emotional abuse, physical abuse, and the like should not be tolerated under any circumstances.
If your situation resonates with any of these financial abuse examples, perhaps the most important thing to do is to create an escape plan for yourself and your dependents.
By nature, an escape plan will require a lot of behind the scenes, clandestine work. Store some money with a trusted friend or family member. Identify an emergency place of residence.
Let police officials know about the predicament of financial abuse in the marriage so that a file and response will be ready when you need it.
Gather your important documents, prescriptions, and the like and have them ready for quick retrieval should the moment of escape present itself.
First and foremost, do not hesitate to ask for help. Do not put yourself in a situation that provides few avenues for escape.
If financial abuse in marriage is your reality and your partner exhibits the red-flag characteristics of an abuser, then choosing to leave the abuser and establishing a financial plan for survival is a must-have.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.