Financial abuse is underrated compared to physical and emotional abuse but plays an equal part in bringing out the truth about your almost perfect man. A husband who uses you financially is as cruel as the one who beats his wife. Financial abuse in marriage mostly results when one spouse uses finance to seek control over the relationship. Something as harmless as opening an account in your name or convincing you to hand the financial accounting over are tell-tale signs of financial abuse. In a domestic scenario, financial abuse is almost always present with other kinds of domestic abuse.
A drunk husband beats his wife every night after drowning himself in alcohol and then swiping his wife’s cards to get more substance to abuse might look like physical abuse with underlying tones of financial strain. Gaslighting you to prove you are not stable enough to handle monetary issues is emotional and mental torment. As much as we would like to believe that with love in a relationship, it doesn’t matter if you do not know where your savings keep getting lost, it rarely is the case.
Financial Abuse In Marriage
After marriage, it is normal to spend your spouse’s money. I mean…in sickness and in health, in poverty and in wealth and all that, right? Now, it’s all good when you both can account for the money the other is spending. If you find your account balance dropping too fast, too soon every month, especially when you do not know where the money is going, you are in for a financial treat. And not the kind that’s sweet.
If your husband is charged with the accounting and financial part of the household and he dodges the topic of paying the bills late or having to borrow money from his parents or your parents without you knowing about it, it doesn’t mean you are spending too much.
It means there’s something going on with finances that he doesn’t want you to know about. Spending money on another woman might be the first thought that pops up in your head, but financial abuse can also come from online gambling, excessive spending on oneself, or worst of all, financial infidelity. In any form, it doesn’t just affect you, there are major effects of infidelity on children too.
Financial abuse is often accompanied by emotional and physical abuse. Financial conflict is an everyday thing in the marriage. The trust built will be lost because not only is your husband abusing you emotionally and physically but is also spending your hard-earned money. But not all financial abuse is done consciously. Splurging on customizable bikes or vintage cars when you have to save up enough to get a new fridge is a sign of financial abuse.
This just shows your spouse cares about his wants more than your joint needs. There can also be a chance that your narcissistic and controlling husband uses finance as a way to steer the relationship the way he wants to. Without enough financial independence, it’s harder for you to move out or leave him.
11 Signs Your Husband Uses You Financially
The objective of this blog is not to put unnecessary negativity in your marriage, but we are exposing the worst-case scenarios so that you can be aware. It doesn’t mean that you dissect your relationship with a fine-tooth comb. If everything feels a little too close to real life for you, if you have a gut feeling that the disappearing money is more his fault than yours, here are clear signs to clear your doubt.
We have compiled a list of signs that can serve you as a yardstick to assess your financial situation. These signs will help you regain financial control, especially if you are the primary bread earner of the house. If you are in a happy marriage, these signs can simply help you keep track and plan better. It is always good to know if your husband has fallen off track with your money. Because trust us when we tell you, that money issues can ruin your relationship.
1. Joint accounts but not really
Joint accounts are opened by married couples as savings account both to be used for household payments or for long-term investments – like buying a car, buying a house, etc. But most of the expenditure is by your husband and rarely for joint purposes. You seem to be losing more money from the account than you earn.
If you are putting in more money than him and yet the financial plan is not being followed, there is something that is fishy. It could be your husband and if that is the case, you need to take action right now. You can start with some simple questions about the numbers not adding up. If he hesitates or diverts the conversation, it is likely that your husband is using you financially.
2. No access to your finances
Probably a huge blinding red flag in marriage if you do not have access to your own accounts. Your ATM, your account, and your UPI pin are all handled by your husband while you do not have access to his. When you don’t know how and where your money is going then this is something you seriously need to address. And this is what absolute financial abuse looks like. These are signs of a control freak.
In such a case the relationship becomes a power game. The person who controls the money has the power. If you are the one who brings in the ingredients, you should be the one controlling the cooking. At best you can share the control and create a harmonious team. Generally, if he’s been in control for a while, he won’t give it up easily. You need to be firm. You cannot let anyone else control your finances or your life.
3. A lot of over-pricey stuff in the house
Did you think you could really afford the double-door smart fridge that is currently sitting in your kitchen? Do you think the vintage bike stays in pristine condition because your husband cleans it every day? The Apple watch he ordered the other day seems something a lot of money can buy. But you do not have that kind of money…so where did that come from?
Looking at all the expensive stuff in your place all at the same time, especially when you have no access to your account, your husband doesn’t want to “burden” or want you to “worry about it” makes you wonder about the kind of work your husband does. Put all these anxious thoughts in your head and put one and one together and you might have a financial debt to pay off later in life.
Related reading: How to be Financially Independent as a Married Woman
4. Anger because you spent money
Does your husband show visible anger if you spend money to buy a new dress or a new pair of sneakers? You know it cannot be money trouble because you earn enough to run a household. So, while you cannot judge where the anger is coming from especially when he splurges on things he can live without, it is time to find some answers.
The anger is due to the fact that he cannot control your spending. Your spending money means lesser money left for him to spend. Also, digital monitoring of your expenditure and anger resulting from its means he has clear signs of gaining financial control over your life. Big, big, big red flag.
5. You feel guilty and possibly a little scared
Minimal spending makes you feel guilty about it. And possibly a little scared because you know your husband will find out about it. These are signs that you are a victim of manipulation in relationships. You should be mindful of your expenses but you should have a free hand or at least the option to discuss it with your husband from an equal position of control.
Emotional manipulation in matters of finance is a very subtle sign that can go unnoticed if not watched out for. Find the time and go through expenditures made by both of you, assess their utility, and compare what was necessary and what was an impulsive waste.
6. Doesn’t want to talk about finances with you
Apart from taking over the financing of the household, your hubby does not entertain any open discussions about money. If you have noticed a significant drop in the account balance and ask him about it, the answers are unreliable and flimsy. If this sounds familiar, you need to have the talk.
No clear answer is given, no passbook is produced and worst of all, you were not notified. If he intentionally dodges your general query about finances, it means he is not only callous with money but is not caring enough, or thoughtful enough in informing his wife about his spending.
Related reading: 8 Signs Your Boyfriend Is In The Relationship Only For The Money
7. Revenge splurging
You got a new phone because your old phone was decades old with a broken screen? Alright then! I will get the Dell Alienware because …just. This kind of revenge splurging is not hard to miss and if this kind of behavior follows a pattern, better get help. Financial toxicity can not come in a clearer form than this.
Major financial decisions should be taken as a team and when it comes to family finances, there is no room for unnecessary selfish spending. It is better to detoxify this toxicity as soon as possible to contain any further damage to your future. They say love conquers all, but sometimes money conquers love.
8. You cannot go over the given spending quota
Therapists talk about how many a time one of the partners is given an “allowance” for weekly spending. If your husband sets a weekly limit for you for spending, get out. And get out fast. Allowance is to be given by a parent to a child. A marital relationship where both earners do not have the same right on the money is a troubling marriage.
Now, if you have a spending problem and exceed credit limits, then you seriously need to take the matter into your hands. Talk to a couples’ counselor if your husband is not willing to listen to you. Do it quick before he brings down your allowance for the week. He has no right to unless you give it to him.
9. You discover hidden debts
So you managed to get your hands on your husband’s expenses and turns out his loans are bigger than the iceberg that sank the Titanic. He might also have borrowed money from friends and hasn’t been able to pay them back yet. The debts are piling up and as his wife, you are too, financially burdened now. What’s worse is that he never mentioned this crushing debt in his name.
Feel cheated enough yet? It must feel like you do not even know who is this man you married. Credit card companies thrive on debts and impulsive behavior. Debt is like termites, it doesn’t seem to be much in the beginning. Then the power of compounding kicks in and before you know it, the termites have eaten away a huge chunk of your finances. Call for pest control before it is too late.
Related reading: Is My Married Lover With Me Just For Sex And Money?
10. Inability to stick to a budget
You might be the kind of person who still collects her pocket full of change in a piggy bank. You have great money management skills and sticking to a budget is more of a responsibility than a want. But your husband either refuses to or doesn’t want to stick to a budget. He has no money management idea and no knowledge of sustainable spending.
His inability to stick to a budget always makes you compromise on your spending. This is like being punished for being good at something. You need to be firm about the budget. Even if the sum is small that you compromise on every month, when you look at the larger picture say five years into the future, you’ll realize how deep this issue is.
11. Doesn’t of approve you working
If your husband does not approve of you earning your own money the feminist in you has to see the problem. You need to ask yourself, what is more important, money or identity? Often financial abusers tend to be in power by being the sole earner and possibly the sole spender in the relationship. This toxic trait is nefarious and if you love your husband try getting professional help before it turns too sour.
Financial abuse is very common and real. Seek professional help for your husband if you intend to fix the situation. If not, it’s better to find a way out for yourself. Get help from a friend if you ever intend to walk out on your abuser. Stay positive and stay strong.