Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Am I experiencing the foundations of financial abuse?

(43 Posts)
SandyAgo Tue 17-Sep-13 08:46:49

Financial abuse was cited on DP's divorce papers with his ex wife claiming that she never had any access to money and had to ask him for money all the time and he'd only give it if she gave a good enough reason. I thought "dp?? nah no way! that funny, generous, lovely bloke I see? no chance" so I assumed it had been written to improve the divorce 'reason' iyswim?

So we've been living together a few months now and lately a few things have happened that have made me think "mmmm that's a bit off ... " and then looking back in hindsight, he's been a bit weird with money for quite some time but I never picked up on it.

Examples - if ever I left a note like £10 or £20 on the window ledge/table he would take it and put it in his wallet. His reasoning being that money should not be left around as it will get lost and if he sees money lying around, he'll put it in his wallet. ok ... but this made me panic a bit more than I felt I should in my own house about leaving money lying around as I'd 'lose' it to DP.

One time I had £70 on me (think I sold something) and I left it near the microwave as I was busy. I knew exactly what I'd be spending it on and when I went back to pick it up it had gone, DP had taken the lot. I confronted him and he said "yes I have it, you only have to ask" and he gave me SOME of it back - now thinking back - was this my first experience of him making me ask for money like his ex said?

Anyway lots of examples of this so i won't go on.

Another thing though is that lately whenever I go to my purse it is empty. The other day I had £25 in there which I needed for my horse. I got to the stables to realise my purse was empty. I was blaming poor DS in my head (who has in the past stolen money but not for a long time) and when I got home I asked DP who said "yes, I took it." shock I said "why would you do that??" and he replied "sorry, I had no money on me and needed some." so I said "yes but then you left me with no money!" he apologised again and said he was wrong to do it but why would anyone do that anyway?? I can see why you'd take a couple of quid if you were in a rush and had no money but to take everything I had?? this has happened more than once too.

Last night we sold something and got £70. DP asked me what I wanted to do with it so I said "just put some in my purse and some in your wallet." he then half heartedly looked for my purse (I was busy) and said he couldn't find it so would leave me £20 on the side - I thought he didn't like money lying around? no he'll be hoping it's still there when he gets home so he can put it back in his wallet saying I'd left it lying around.

Thing is, I DO have my own bank card and can draw money out whenever I want and he never questions it. so am I being paranoid? or is stricter bank control next on the agenda?

He's suddenly become dead concerned about the bank actually and has made spreadsheets and keeps going on about how skint we are (he never used to) and when I used to bring it up before that we were struggling he'd laugh it off so why the sudden concern?

Another thing is he's become obsessed with child maintanance. We pay ALOT to his two kids and it is a massive chunk of our income. I've never complained though but now he keeps kicking off saying my ex should be paying more and I'm out of order for not taking my ex for everything I can get. I've recently got my ex to up the maintanance which he did with no argument and I can't help feeling that DP is trying to cause a bit of friction. He then said "anyway Ive been thinking I should put my maintanance up and pay more" this put the fear of god into me as we're struggling as it is but then thinking about it - is this just his way of 'enouraging' me to get at my ex for more money?

He knows I'm obssessed with travelling too and am so looking forward to going to Greece next year. He's started using that against me now saying "well that will only happen if we have the money, maybe you should speak to your ex?" and then the latest one "maybe you need to get some work?" - he knows full well I'm already studying full time until next August and have landed myself a part time job to do aside that and he knows how I fret about not paying my way and he always says I'm been silly and DO pay my way ... yet when he's after a dig he kicks me where it hurts and implies I could do more to get money using the holiday as an excuse??

Am I being paranoid or what? he doesn't seem the type but when you sit back and add it all up it paints a bit of a dark picture.

LumpySpace Tue 17-Sep-13 09:39:33

My DH does that to, Katy! You'd think my handbag contained a nest of fire ants.

Bakingtins Tue 17-Sep-13 09:43:21

My DH and I have a joint account, 9 yrs of marriage, kids together. I would not dream of taking money out of his wallet without asking. We do often sub each other small amounts of cash, but I would not just take it. I think what your (D)P is doing is theft.
As for grudgingly giving you some of your own money back....

Did he really con you into thinking his ex was lying about him?

mistlethrush Tue 17-Sep-13 09:52:21

I've been married for 15 years - and we have a joint account where all our money goes - but if I'm running short I ask DH - and vice versa.

He should not be pressurising you to ask for more maintenance - particularly if he then speaks of upping his (actually I wouldn't be surprised if that's just an excuse for squirrelling money away somewhere on the side).

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Tue 17-Sep-13 09:54:42

Wait for it, he will surely start to question whether you can afford a horse soon, if he hasn't done so already? (I bet the expense of that winds the crap out of him).
Look this guy is stealing from you as well as emotionally abusing you.
Out of interest, does he live in your house or the other way round, or is it joint?

expatinscotland Tue 17-Sep-13 09:56:43

And why is his maintenance affecting your income that is for you and your kids?

TheSilverySoothsayer Tue 17-Sep-13 09:57:05

Cocklodger - and I haven't read all the thread. Chuck him out.

OurSpoonsCameFromJohnLewis Tue 17-Sep-13 10:00:00

Do you have a polite relationship with the ex? Any chance you could get her side of the story?

expatinscotland Tue 17-Sep-13 10:01:28

'Do you have a polite relationship with the ex? Any chance you could get her side of the story?'

Why? His actions have shown him up as a gaslighting, manipulative, thieving twunt.

nocoolusernameY0 Tue 17-Sep-13 10:12:11

DH spent money out of my purse a couple of times - and took money off the side. It really annoyed me so I said "AY! Don't take money out of my purse without asking!" and "Did you take that money off the side - what's this friggin' Sleeping with the Enemy!" And he stopped.

Before you consider that all of this could be the beginnings of financial abuse (which it could well be), I think you should make it completely clear to him what he can and can't do with you. He might have controlled his ex this way, but it isn't inevitable that your relationship will play out like his last. Tell him "You don't like money lying round, I don't mind it, so if it's yours, put it away; if it's mine: LEAVE IT".

He's not the only one shaping your relationship.

And try not to be hurt about everyone slagging off your DP - you're the only one here who has actually met him smile

OurSpoonsCameFromJohnLewis Tue 17-Sep-13 10:14:49

Good point, expat.

rosieposey Tue 17-Sep-13 10:22:25

Expat is right about the gaslighting ( and the rest) read back what you have written! If that was a friend telling you this you would tell her to get out and scarper before it really turned nasty.

Abuse is insidious - first the financial, then your friends and family ... Please don't waste anymore time with this man - he sounds bloody awful! Not to mention manipulative!

fromparistoberlin Tue 17-Sep-13 10:26:51

Oh dear, what everyone else has said

his ex cited it for a very good reason I am afraid

run for the hills OP

and carry NO CASH, switch card or have a hidden wallet, theiving little fuck

I also agree with whoeever said that you should NOT be financially dependanct on him, get back towork. earn your own money. dont rely on him for money OP

OxfordBags Tue 17-Sep-13 10:46:58

Frankly, your first cue should have been that ABUSE was mentioned in his divorce proceedings. Many abused women who get divorced don't atually have abuse mentioned on the papers, often because the court think there's not enough evidence - or not enough obvious evidence.

Financial abuse is very serious. It is in no way a throwaway term. It would not be cited on divorce papers unless what he had done and how he had treated his ex were very serious matters and very obviously bad. Do not delude yourself that financial abuse is a 'lesser' form of abuse. It means that your partner is an abuser of women. Financial abuse is also abuse of his children; even though he pays maintenance now, I would bet good money (poor choice of words, sorry) that he only does so in order to look like lovely, generous Daddy, and to make their mother look like a liar if the topic of his previous financial abuse is ever mentioned. Also, when he was financially abusing his Ex, his children will have suffered then.

There are more red flags here than at a Communist Party meeting. Taking your money that is lying around, taking it from your purse and not giving you your share of jointly earned money are all theft and all financial abuse. The other stuff you mention is very clear financial abuse too. He is also starting to emotionally abuse you, by gaslighting, and so on. Describing his ex as mental and lazy (not wanting to work) are such clichéd typical abuser statements that they'd be laughable if they weren't so scary.

Please be clear: financial abuse is not something that is the one flaw of a nice, normal man. It is actually the way that that specific abuser manifests his abuse. It does not occur in a vortex, this type of abuser will abuse in other, more subtle ways, which you are already starting to notice.

If you are on speaking terms, ask his Ex how his financial abuse started and how it manifested and developed. I bet the picture she paints will be chillingly familiar, identical even.

Leave this chump, finish your studies, go to Greece or wherever on your own. You love travelling, but staying with this man is a guaranteed one-way trip to abuse, misery, being controlled and you eventually being penniless.

CailinDana Tue 17-Sep-13 10:58:48

I asked how he speaks about his ex as that will tell you if it was abuse or not. The fact he calls her a nutter says all you need to know. With time you will also be told you're mad, you're crazy, you're making things up, seeing things that aren't there etc etc etc. Saying someone is mad is absolutely classic abuser behaviour. All the other stuff could be just bad manners but the "she's nuts" thing tells you it's not.
You can get out now or you can wait until he's hurt and disrespected you a bit more.

TalkativeJim Tue 17-Sep-13 11:06:11

You've only been living together for a few months?

Please please please please please get rid.

Don't discuss it or get into promises to change, etc. Please just tell him it's not working and GET RID.

He's only been there a few months and is already confident in taking control of money which is YOURS - and, really worringly, you AREN'T there going 'oi, that £20 was mine - give it back please'. Think about why that is!! - there's a forbidding, don't argue with me feeling here that he's putting onto you. BAD NEWS.

Already, your financial afairs are his business, and he feels able to quiz and bully you on them. However, his money is his business.

Please, get out before you find that joint account become his, and you end up a nervous, financially dependent wreck.

perfectstorm Tue 17-Sep-13 11:13:57

He steals from you, undermines you, is trying to damage your relationship with your children's father and trying to take sole control of the family finances. You even had a warning in his ex's divorce papers that this is what he is like.

I'm sorry but you already know the answer. And do you really want your kids to witness more of this stuff?

Hookedonclassics Wed 18-Sep-13 03:10:38

What are you going to do about this?

Start wearing a money belt and keep your purse empty? Wait for him to empty the joint account and run up debts that you are liable to pay? Let him keep treating you as the "Bank of Sandy"

Or run for the hills?

Walkacrossthesand Wed 18-Sep-13 08:10:53

This will be difficult for you, OP. At the moment you are hoping this is all fixable so you can continue to build the relationship you hoped for. You can continue to make allowances, turn a blind eye, kid yourself its all ok - or you can construct an exit plan based on your suspicions and the advice you've had here. You could shout at him when he takes your money, you shouldn't have to hide your money in your own home - but i wonder why you havent (yelled at him) previously - are you a bit scared of him?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now