Financial abuse is real, but you seldom hear about it because most women were experiencing this type of damage are ashamed that they’re going through it. They don’t want to talk about it, not even with their friends, especially not with their family. As much as possible, they want to show everyone that they made the right decision, that they married the right man.
Women who suffer financial abuse tend to hold on much longer than those suffering from other abuses like physical, emotional, or psychological abuse. Financial abuse may not be physical, but it is emotional and mental in every way. Elizabeth Babcock, LCSW expresses that, “Abusers often threaten their targets with financial, personal, and/or public ruin. They threaten to take and alienate the kids. They threaten whatever they believe will keep the target frozen in place and it often works.”
Financial abuse is when your husband deprives you of the means to a comfortable and worry-free life. It is when you compromise your plans because your husband could not provide the essential things your family needs. It is when money becomes the main reason for your arguments.
It is emotional and psychological abuse because it continually makes you worry about money matters. You don’t have the freedom to enjoy life because you are limited and hindered by the responsibility that your husband is supposed to be taking care of, or if he is able, he deprives your right of the little things that could make you more comfortable and stress-free.
Are you financially abused? Here are five signs you are:
- You don’t have a choice when it comes to choosing a career.
You can’t afford to lose your current job even though you’re not sure if it’s what you want. You are not happy, and you want to have a career change, but you just can’t because you have a lot of bills to pay.
- You work but never get the chance to spend for yourself.
You want to buy something for yourself but don’t get to because the money that you earn is for the house expenses. He lets you take over the responsibility of providing for your household and still acts to be the head of the family. “When one person has sole control over the finances it creates an unhealthy control element,” Angel M. Hoodye, MS, LPCS, CART said.
- You feel like everything you spend is being tracked.
If your partner is the one providing, and he sends you out to groceries, you hesitate to buy something other than what’s needed because he will probably go to check what you bought, and you have to give back the change.
- He threatens to leave.
Your partner threatens to leave you and the kids whenever you fight. It’s his way of winning the argument because he knows you have nowhere to go. You don’t have an income, and your children need his financial support.
- You’re pregnant all the time. Some women get pregnant just a few weeks after they give birth. They don’t get the chance to make something of themselves and would be dependent on her husband who has less care about what you need emotionally, psychologically and financially.
What do you do when you are abused financially? Talk to him. Tell him how you feel. Maybe, he isn’t aware of what you’re going through because perhaps he thinks you are okay with how things are. Communicate with him because it is essential that he knows how you feel. “It can be hard to talk about abuse, as nobody wants to think of themselves as a victim,” says Nicole Tammelleo, LCSW-R. But you should have to consider it no matter what.
If things stay the same even after you talked, then that’s the time you can decide for yourself if you’re still willing to go through the emotional and psychological stress of being financially abused.