Valentine’s Day will soon be here accompanied by the buying frenzy of flowers, jewelry, sexy lingerie, chocolates and other gifts we’ve been told equate with love.
Culturally, women are so conditioned to respond to Valentine’s Day that even in financially abusive relationships, receiving a Valentine gift or card from their lover or spouse renews a woman’s hope for a loving future together.
Women tell themselves “he must love me, look at that lovely card and present, he wouldn’t do that for me if he didn’t love me”, and so on. They might think “he’s sorry about the things he’s done, and now he’s showing me he loves me by making Valentine’s Day special for us.”
I wish that was true. Unfortunately, that’s romantic thinking, not reality. A financial abuser before Valentine’s Day is the same financial abuser afterwards. He’s just buying time until the next round.
In public, this abuser can be charming, an upstanding member of the community, the life of the party. Privately, he may be a control freak with the intent to isolate his wife into a state of total financial dependence.
That’s why it’s important for women to understand that financial control can be a precursor to future physical abuse. Women find out too late that the husband or boyfriend who won’t talk about money is saying “I’m in charge here and I refuse to discuss it”.
Signs of Financial Abuse
Controlling the finances.
Withholding money or credit cards.
Giving you an allowance.
Making you account for every penny you spend.
Stealing from you or using your money without asking.
Exploiting your assets for personal gain
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.)
Remember: A financial abuser before Valentines Day is the same financial abuser the day after.
If something about your relationship with your husband or partner scares you and you need to talk, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or go to Http://www.nrcdv.org