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Can a relationship survive financial abuse?

(35 Posts)
popperdoodles Sat 11-Jun-16 11:13:33

Dh and I have a very unequal relationship when it comes to money. It has slowly developed over the years, it wasn't always this way. It has now got to the point where I have no money of my own, every penny I earn goes towards household bills yet dh gets back money for himself for hobbies, socialising etc. I am not happy but feel trapped. When I try to broach the situation with him, he is full of excuses and reasons of why it is this way and I end up believing him. I am beginning to think this is financial abuse. He is otherwise kind and caring. Recently we have had a run of bad luck and had to pay various unexpected expenses which has put a big strain on our finances yet dh seems unwilling to cut back and face up to it. This makes me feel like it's my problem to sort out.

I want to work this through. I don't want to leave him yet how can he treat me like this when he promises he loves me and I am the most important thing to him. We have 3 dc and both work. I worry there is an underlying selfishness that may never go away.
Can we fix this?

ElspethFlashman Sat 11-Jun-16 11:22:29


What's this "we" business? He doesn't want to fix jack shit.

You can't force someone to change when being as they are is working very well for them.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 11-Jun-16 11:30:24

What do you get out of this relationship now?. What needs of yours is he meeting here?

His actions are far far more than just underlying selfishness and I would think he is abusive towards you in other ways as well.
Financial abuse is insidious in its onset and is yet another facet of domestic abuse. It may even look like love initially as abusers have the capacity to appear very charming and are masterful at manipulation.

His actions are all about power and control; he does not see you as an equal in your marriage and will not do so either. He is not therefore as kind and caring as you think. Far from it and his actions affect his children as well. He does not care that you are unhappy

You cannot work through this because he is abusive at heart and will remain un-cooperative throughout. He thinks he has and is doing nothing wrong here., he feels actively entitled to act like this. You are not responsible for your DH and it is not your sole problem to sort out. He has to want to co-operate and chances are he will not do so.

Words are cheap OP, look at his actions towards you with regards to the finances.

What do you think your children are learning about relationships from the two of you? This is not a role model you at all want to be teaching them because they could very well go onto have such relationships themselves as adults.

I would seek legal advice as soon as possible with a view to separating from this individual.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 11-Jun-16 11:33:03

Please call Womens Aid on 0808 2000 247 when you are able to do so to talk this through with them.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sat 11-Jun-16 11:43:17

What would be fair is that you both contribute an equal percentage towards family expenses according what you both earn. I suspect suggesting this will get you a very frosty response.

How dare he have discretionary spends when you don't have anything?

"He is otherwise kind and caring."

This is the carrot so he can continue to use that big stick on you. If he was out-and-out abusive you'd dump him. He's just nice enough about other things to keep you dangling and unsure of his motives. Let me clear it up for you: he's a selfish and abusive arsehole and you need to get away from him.

You know what: if you separated and he coughed up the minimum in child support, with your part-time wages and possibly benefits to top it up, you'd likely be better off financially. And autonomous which is worth money in the bank.


popperdoodles Sat 11-Jun-16 12:32:48

I am reading these replies with tears in my eyes because what you say makes sense. I am scared. I feel like a failure. I don't know where to start or what to do. I don't want to put my children through a brake up.

Froginapan Sat 11-Jun-16 12:35:22

Would you like to tell us a bit more about your relationship?

Can you call women's aid and talk to them? I found them very helpful

popperdoodles Sat 11-Jun-16 12:40:40

I have been with him for 20 yrs. He is the only proper adult relationship I have had.

ElspethFlashman Sat 11-Jun-16 12:40:41

First thing you can do love, is go online and open a current account in your own name.

popperdoodles Sat 11-Jun-16 12:43:58

Thank you. I can do that.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sat 11-Jun-16 12:52:31

When you have your own bank account you can simply announce to him that you are only paying 50% of the bills from now on. Then you transfer half the money into the bills account and leave him to do the same.

What I'm saying is, stop asking for his kind permission to stop paying 100%, which he will never give. Instead start paying only 50%. If he doesn't want the mortgage to bounce or Sky and electricity to be cut off then he'll have to pay.

If he reacts well and steps up then I think your relationship could survive. If he reacts badly then your relationship can't survive but at least you know for sure.

ElspethFlashman Sat 11-Jun-16 13:02:40

Tbh the first thing I would do is not tell him anything.

I would go to Payroll in work and give them the new account number for your salary.

The same time, set up a standing order of whatever % is FAIR into whatever account you have been using up to now for household expenditure.

So your salary starts to go into your current account and a certain amount comes out - but a hefty percentage remains.

Then tell him that you've changed things.

Prior to this you were begging and pleading with him to change things - like he was your Dad and you were asking for pocket money. No. YOU change things. And he can decide what he wants to do.

His response will tell you a lot. But at least from your perspective you will have sorted your finances in a fait d'accompli. And you won't change them back.

ImperialBlether Sat 11-Jun-16 13:08:00

I would go to the Entitled To website here and work out what you'd get if you split up. I'd also look at the child maintenance calculator and look at how much he would have to pay you - this will not affect benefits.

I wouldn't live with someone who was so utterly selfish and uncaring. You say he is kind? There is no kindness in a man who treats his wife like this.

popperdoodles Sat 11-Jun-16 13:22:25

Feeling a bit overwhelmed tbh. Everyone is back home now so I need to hold it together. He is going out tomorrow night to watch a band so I can make a few enquiries then. I is all just making me so sad. I have put this big happy front on for probably years. I know it's not ok just too frightened to admit it. Can I make enquiries about how things might be if I was on my own and then make a final decision in a month or two? I just want to get it right for my children too.

Footle Sat 11-Jun-16 13:36:16

Hang on popperdoodles, you almost sound as if you're asking permission from previous posters to choose your own timetable ! This is your decision. You do it in your own time. You're in charge now.

rememberthetime Sat 11-Jun-16 16:46:51

I recently made some major changes to my finances by Irving my own bank account and agreed a 50/50 split with my h. Before that I felt very little right to spend my own money. It was presented to him as a decision I had made and he could like it or lump it. He soon realised it made happier and we are managing it very well. In normal non abusive relationships a shared bank account is great. But not everyone has that and so you have to split the money to yours and mine to keep any chance of your own autonomy. Only then can you see what choices you really have. Set up a new bank account today. It is a great first step.

popperdoodles Sat 11-Jun-16 16:54:05

Thank you for all the advice. I have some big thinking to do. Ultimately I want him to change. I don't want to break up but I can see that my self worth has been eroded to the point where I am accepting this abuse. I feel such a failure.

popperdoodles Sat 11-Jun-16 16:55:39

Bank account will be sorted. Genuinely thank you for all the advice today even though it was not really what I wanted to hear.

SoThatHappened Sat 11-Jun-16 16:58:21

50% of the bills? Fuck that it is his turn now.

I would open a bank account pay my wages into it and he can pay 100% of the bills from.the old account.

Direct debits presumably still in situ.

QuiteLikely5 Sat 11-Jun-16 17:04:10

Can you be more specific?

What percentage of the bills does he pay? Does he pay towards the food bill or clothes for the DC?

What recent financial struggles did you have? And how did they arise??

popperdoodles Sat 11-Jun-16 17:32:46

I don't even know exactly how much he earns. I only know how much he puts into the joint account. That's terrible isn't it. My wages go directly into joint account as does child benefit. Basically I have nothing of my own. If dc need anything it comes from joint account as does all bills, mortgage, food and fuel.
Car has cost us a fortune over the last couple of months with one thing after another going wrong. Our reserves are wiped out and what he is putting in plus my money doesn't cover everything sufficiently due to various things going up over the years yet him refusing to up his contribution. I sounds utterly shit written down like that.

SandyY2K Sat 11-Jun-16 17:58:24

There seem to be so many tight fisted mean men out there. Then they wonder why the wife decides to file for divorce.

It's horrible. Simply horrible and depressing.

popperdoodles Sat 11-Jun-16 18:17:45

What if I did just stop and let things go unpaid. Surely that makes things bad for me too? I mean if I let us default on things both of our positions will be bad nor just him. I just couldn't do that. I need to keep everything going until other arrangements are made, whatever they might be.

Zaurak Sat 11-Jun-16 18:35:42

No. If you do that he still controls it.

Own bank account. Get wages and child benefit paid in.

Then sit him down, explain what you e done and tell him the both of you need to review the amount in the current account so that all bills and direct debits are paid.

Joysmum Sat 11-Jun-16 18:43:41

What would be fair is that you both contribute an equal percentage towards family expenses according what you both earn

No it wouldn't.

Doing it that way means one partner could have substantially more disposable income than the other.

What's fair is when both value each other equally in the partnership, this has no bearing on what an employer values you both at.

Whe DH and I first got together he earned £55pw and I earned £300pw. If we'd both contributed 50% of wages to the bills, I'd have had £150 disposable income a week and he'd have had £122.50p less a week.

That's not valuing each other equally and is unfair. I could never have valued him so poorly confused

Income is household income, minus necessary expenditure and saving and the left overs are divided equally for personal spending/saving.

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