Financial abuse sometimes happens when one person in a relationship has full control of the other’s economic resources or has a larger income. Usually, the person with more finances or who has financial control uses money as a weapon against the other. This is a form of manipulation since, in the modern world, we rely heavily on finances. It takes away the victim’s ability to support themselves hence developing a dependency on the perpetrator. Women have generally been on the receiving end of financial abuse in relationships. It’s reported that 7 out of 10 millennial women have experience financial abuse from a romantic partner. However, in the 21st century, men are victims of this too. It can also happen in other forms of relationships including siblings and parent-children relationships.
Victims are subjected to coercion, degradation, and controlling behaviour which limits their independence. This can have a negative effect on one’s self-esteem, ability to work, financial stability, and emotional well-being. In some cases, people who’ve suffered from financial abuse can experience mental health issues due to emotional abuse. It also limits their freedom of movement. Therefore, they can’t leave their abusive relationship since they don’t have money to pay for even the most basic things.
This form of abuse is not easily recognizable and most people who are in a financially abusive relationship are unaware of it. Though some partners give up their financial responsibilities willingly, most cases are a result of financial abuse. Here are some signs to look out for.
- Promise Of Good Care
This mainly happens when the abuser makes significantly more money than their partner. However, they can still manipulate their financially stable partner to transfer money to them. Financial abusers usually promise to take care of their victims in exchange for transferring money to the abuser or giving up their financial independence. They take advantage of the trust established in relationships to convince the victim to depend on them financially.
- Limited Access To Money
Financial independence makes you a confident person who’s less likely to stay in a toxic relationship. Therefore, to limit this independence, abusive people normally limit their partner’s access to money. They control everything financially from bank transactions to money for groceries. Additionally, they can demand that you give them your paycheck. This mostly happens in more established relationships where the pair shares the same bank account.
- Dismissal Of Financial Talks
Discussing finances with your partner is part of a healthy relationship. However, an abusive spouse will avoid this subject as it’s likely to raise more questions. They will get defensive and in some cases, they can be violent. This is also a tactic to distance the victim from financial involvement in the relationship.
- Pressure To Make Career Choices
Most people experience this form of financial abuse. In healthy relationships, your partner normally encourages your career advancements. They’ll advise you to apply for certain positions or work on certain projects. However, in a financially abusive relationship, the abuser will discourage any kind of career advancement. They’ll pressure you to quit a good job or take too many sick days since it’s likely to cost you your financial security.
- Acquiring Loans In Your Name
It’s not a must to tell your partner every single decision you make financially. However, when it affects them directly, it’s necessary to keep them in the loop. Many spouses have found themselves in debts they were not aware of. Though your partner’s debts are not yours, they can use your name to secure a loan which is a form of financial abuse. Additionally, if your partner is unable to pay off their loan, your assets will be at risk. Marriage: The Financial Burden Of Divorce Part 1
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