I’ve written about this before, but women I know keep running into it. It bears repeating.
One of the earliest signs of future abusive behavior in marriage is financial control. A husband controls the purse strings, refusing to share financial information with his wife but expecting that she account for every choice and every penny spent.
Many wives suffer in silence, telling themselves that their husband?s controlling behavior is a personality quirk.They may still have access to joint finances, reasonable mobility and buying choices. They are frustrated by their husband?s attitude and behavior, but they don?t live with a gnawing sense of fear.
Financial abuse is different.
It is behavior designed to isolate a woman into a state of complete financial dependence. The most important thing to remember about financial abuse is that the abuser is not out of control. He can, at the drop of a hat, change his behavior to suit the social circumstances. He can be charming and persuasive, but his objective is to isolate his partner and make her dependence on him total.He is deliberately choosing to control his partner’s behavior by cutting off her access to money, mobility and choice.
Financial abuse can often lead to physical abuse as well. It happens within all age ranges, educational levels, ethnic backgrounds, and financial levels. The rich socialite who lives in the largest house in the best neighborhood is as likely to be a victim of financial abuse as the poorest wife in the toughest section of town.
The thing to remember about financial abuse is that it often precedes emotional, verbal and ultimately physical abuse. Here are some signs to watch out for:
Controlling the finances.
Withholding money or credit cards.
Giving you an allowance.
Making you account for every penny you spend.
Stealing from you or taking your money.
Using your assets for his personal benefit.
Withholding basic necessities (food, clothes, medications, shelter).
Preventing you from working or choosing your own career.
Sabotaging your job (making you miss work or calling constantly, etc.)
If something about your relationship with your husband or partner scares you and you need to talk, you can get help by contacting the following:
National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or go to http://www.nrcdv.org.
This website lists the numbers and locations of domestic violence hotlines for the 50 states.