Sadly, in far too many abusive relationships, one partner will come home to see that the TV or gaming system is gone. The person who sold it will make up some excuse, of course, like “I needed it for the rent”. This should always raise a red flag. First of all, these decisions should be made together. Second of all, if that property was yours, and it means that they stole your private property. You could actually call the police on them for something like that. Thirdly, this level of desperation usually means that someone else is going on. They may be hiding a drug habit or some other kind of issues that you have no idea about.
14. Discouraging Higher Education or Professional Development
Many couples who get married young eventually decide later that they want to go back to school. If your partner is discouraging you from receiving a higher education, it is often a sign that they feel insecure. Either they are afraid that once you improve yourself, you might think you are “too good” for your spouse. Or, if you begin to make more money, they will no longer have as much control over you.
If your partner is trying to discourage you from going back to school, get down to the core reasons why. Maybe they have a perfectly rational reason for discouraging you, because they disagree with the major you chose. In a case like that, they may truly have your best interests at heart. They support you in moving forward with your life, but they think you can do it a better route. On the other hand, if there is no rational reason why they are trying to stop you, they may just be trying to hold you back.
Earlier in this list, we mentioned the fact that an abusive partner might try to get you to quit your job. It is not always so blatantly obvious. If you refuse to quit, they may begin to sabotage your life so that you get fired. This can come in the form of turning off your phone so that your alarm never goes off, jumping into the shower when they know full-well that you need to get ready for work, or encouraging you to stay up too late at night.
There are a variety of reasons why one spouse may choose to be financially dependent on the other. For the vast majority of human history, women have been stay-at-home moms while the husbands went off to work. But in today’s world, there are plenty of households where both partners work. There is even an increased amount of men who decide to become a stay-at-home dad, because their wife has the higher income.
With this being said, there is a huge difference between partners choosing what they want, and one making a demand of the other. If two partners having a conversation about financial dependency and coming to an agreement that child care is too expensive, and one person should stay home with the kids, that’s perfectly fine. But if one partner is trying to force it on the other, that is never okay. Many times, it comes under the guise of “I want to take care of you.”
If one partner is constantly demanding to see what the other bought with their money, this means that there is zero trust. This might escalate into an argument, or at the very least, it insinuates that they either want to control your spending, or they believe you are incapable of making financial decisions on your own. There needs to be some level of trust in a relationship in order for it to work.
If one partner must ask the other permission to make every single purchase in their life, this puts an incredible amount of power and control into the other person’s hands. Even when you are married, you are still two independent people. You each have your own personalities, thoughts, desires, wants, and needs. And you are both adults who can make your own decisions. As long as you are both on the same page about how much you need to budget every month, it should not be your partner’s concern how you spend the miscellaneous money that is yours.
If one partner is financially dependent on another, this means that they need to ask for the bare necessities in order to survive. Unfortunately, this happens more often to women. They need feminine products, deodorant, makeup, medicine, and other toiletries in order to take care of themselves. And if they don’t have the money to buy these things, it can seriously have negative consequences on their health or self-esteem. Denying someone of their basic needs is one of the most abusive things you can do to someone.
Any time you are about to make a big financial decision like buying a house or a car, you should always run the idea by your partner first. If you suddenly come home with a brand new car that requires an additional $500 per month expense, that is never okay. This amount of money will mean that the both of you will most likely struggle to pay the bills. Also, if your partner suddenly decides to make a huge financial decision (like buying a new car) the odds are that you will have to make sacrifices in order to satisfy your partner’s desires. Something like this is incredibly selfish, and it is a sign that they never took your thoughts or feelings into consideration first.
Many experts say that in order for a married couple to have a successful financial relationship, they need to have a joint bank account. It is fine to still maintain your independent accounts, but opening the joint bank account is good for a few reasons. You can use it for the mortgage payment, utilities, and other shared expenses. This way, you both have access to the account, and you know that bills are getting paid on time. Everything is transparent. If one partner is in control of everything, and they never let you see the balance, this is an indicator of financial abuse.
Each person can still have their autonomy by maintaining their own personal accounts for their own purchases. In fact, everyone should have their own account that their spouse does not have access to, in case of a divorce. But even with these accounts, it should never be a problem to just pass your phone over to your partner and show them the balance. If your partner has never been willing to show you, it probably means they are hiding something.
In the last entry, we talked about being open and honest with one another about your bank account balances. There are some people out there who even feel comfortable enough to swap username and passwords to each other’s online banking. If you feel comfortable with this, that’s fine. But there is a huge difference between letting someone see how much you have in your account and a partner demanding that they give you the password. Swapping private information should be a choice. And if one person is overly animate about having access to your private accounts, this is a red flag that they may have bad intentions.
Some people are lucky enough to have inherited valuable things from friends and family. Maybe it’s a car, artwork, collectables, or a home. If your partner breaks these items knowing full-well how valuable they truly are, it is very literally destroying one of your assets. Or, maybe they are destroying something like your cell phone, knowing that you now have to spend hundreds of dollars in order to get a replacement. Even if they never lay a finger on you, this is a form of violence. It is often one of the first indicators that the relationship will get progressively worse as time goes on.
When you are working, your partner should have respect for the fact that you need time to get your job done. You need to concentrate on the tasks in front of you, and maintain a professional appearance in front of your boss and co-workers. So if your spouse is frequently calling, texting, or even showing up to your workplace unannounced, this is a form of harassment. In most cases, you will not be able to get your work done if they are constantly distracting you, and it may even lead to you getting fired.
When you first begin dating someone, it might take a while to find out just how much the other person makes. Unfortunately, some people never get over that shyness of asking how much they get paid, what their savings account is like, credit score, etc. Some abusive partners will try to get away with keeping this a secret for a long time. If they are withholding this information, or become very dodgy, it is often a sign that they will be incredibly difficult in other parts of the financial dynamic down the line in the relationship.
Just because you are married to someone does not give them the right to open a credit card in your name. This is still identity theft. Once you are married, it becomes all too easy for your partner to gain access to your personal information like your social security number and address. Since these credit cards are linked to your credit score, it could completely ruin you as an individual. If your partner does this, it is not okay. And if you suspect that it may be happening, check out CreditSesame. They will tell you how many accounts you have open, as well as your credit score.
Some couples choose to divvy out the bills to one another, instead of paying everything from a joint bank account. For example, the husband pays the electric while the wife pays for cable and Internet. An abusive partner will either threaten or make good on the act of not paying the bills. This is especially when they refuse to pay for head and electricity. Or, if they refuse to pay for credit cards, it means that your credit score will begin to go down.