Money is a huge factor in all relationships and marriages, especially when husbands use money to control their wives. If you’re being controlled by your husband’s money, you need to make some changes in your life.
Here’s what Alison (not her real name) says:
“My boyfriend of almost 10 years is always making excuses for everything he does and then blaming me…One of my biggest issues is that he promised to give me an insurance policy in case something happens to him. He has told me this many times and now says he won’t because it is my fault that our relationship is bad. He uses money as his weapon against me. I feel that he cannot truly have a committed relationship because as soon as something happens not to his liking he breaks up with me, and then wants me back. This has been his cycle for the 9 years of our relationship. He is also separated from his wife, whom he will never divorce. I do care about him, but I am tired of the same of conversations, which go nowhere. I want more out of life then fighting all the time.” – on Is Your Boyfriend Emotionally Abusive? 4 Ways to Get Strong and Leave.
Alison is right: he cannot truly have a committed relationship — and his refusal to divorce his first wife is evidence of this! He is protecting himself from committing to her by staying married to his first wife.
And she’s letting him control her, both with his first marriage and with the insurance policy.
If you think you’re being manipulated by your husband or boyfriend – or know you are – read The Gaslight Effect: How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulation Others Use to Control Your Life. It’s time to stand up for yourself!
And, here are a few tips for wives who are tired of financial promises, threats, and disappointments.
The first way to stop being controlled by your husband’s money is…
Get your own money and your own insurance policies! If you’re with a man who can’t commit to you or marriage with you, then you need to start thinking independently. You need to rely on yourself, not him. Money is the single most important source of power that a woman can have. The second most important source of power is social networks (family, friends, colleagues – they can get you anywhere you need to go!).
You don’t need hundreds of thousands of dollars to be financially independent. You just need to be able to support yourself. For help getting out from under your husband’s thumb and money threats, read Can You Support Yourself? 5 Signs of Financial Independence.
Stop having the same arguments about money and control
I get it — my husband and I have the same old arguments, too! We don’t fight about money, because we’re both savers and most of our finances are enmeshed. However, I do have my own checking account, credit card in my name, and US savings account. This is my way to stay financially independent.
But back to having the same old arguments: there is no point in having the same conversations that go nowhere — and after nine years, Alison is sick of them! I don’t blame her. It’s a waste of time and energy. Yet, married couples do it all the time – whether or not husbands are using money to control their wives. It’s just a bad habit we have, but it only takes one half of the couple to stop the argument. That is, it takes two to argue.
Stop arguing about money. Start taking action instead.
Believe what he does, not what he says
Does your husband promise to give you money, put your name on the mortgage, show you the credit card bills, include you on investment decisions, or add you to his the insurance policy? Talk is cheap. Don’t believe that he’ll actually stop using the promise of money to control you until he actually follows through on his promises.
If your husband has promised you something financial, then set a date and time to deal with it (eg, make an appointment with the mortgage broker or bank to get your name on the mortgage). Stop nodding and being grateful; start asking him to back up his words with actions.
Try to get an objective perspective on your marriage
Alison’s husband does not want to marry her, does not want to put her on his insurance policy, and uses money to control and manipulate her. Maybe he loves her in his own way, but he’s not committing to her or uniting his life with hers.
She has a choice: either she stays in this relationship and accepts this man for who he is (and not expect to be on his insurance policy, and not resent him for promising he’ll take financial care of her and then withdrawing that promise), or she leaves him. She can’t change him – nor will he stop using money to control her.
If you’re tired of struggling with your finances, read Why Are Women Bad With Money? 7 Money Mistakes Women Make.
Does your husband use money to control you? Comments welcome!
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.