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Financial control - my heads in a mess

(83 Posts)
HardestButtonToButton Mon 29-May-17 13:52:29

I'm hoping that by writing this down, I can sort my head out a bit as I feel like I am going mad.

DH took control of some of our finances several years ago after I had DS. Since then, he has slowly taken control over all of our joint finances and has access to my bank account and credit card (which he took out in my name without my permission) He had always said that he does this as he is better able to manage our money. Although generally things have been ticking along ok, I resent the control he has over our income. I never know what money will be available to me and often have to ask for money. Attempts in the past to talk to him or sort this out have led to huge rows and I am starting to realise that I have been burying my head in the sand and going along with it to avoid confrontation.

This has been going on for several years but what has made me start questioning things is that I recently attended a work event, DH was not happy about me going and threatened to restrict my income so that I wouldn't be able to go. He didn't follow through the threat and I did go to the event but couldn't stop thinking about the threat and this has really made me question things. The more I think about things the worse they seem. I don't know exactly how much he earns and requests to see his bank statements have always been refused or there is some excuse for not showing me them. In the past, he has had debt problems which he wasn't honest about until I found out by accident and he had no choice but to tell me.

I tried to speak to him about this yesterday and he accused me of being ungrateful. He told me that I am not capable of managing my own money and also accused me of creating problems that don't exist. He told me that he pity's me.

My head is such a mess today. I feel panicky and anxious and feel very stupid. I am angry with myself that I have let this happen. I don't know what to think - I don't think things can go on like this, I don't know if I should consider leaving, if I even could leave, or if things aren't as bad as that like he says and maybe I am being ungrateful.

Sorry this is so long! Any advice would be gratefully received.

MisterDog Mon 29-May-17 14:02:58

I definitely don't think it's a case of you being ungrateful. He is controlling and being utterly unreasonable. If you feel able to I would calmly tell him that this is not working for and you will no longer accept the situation, it's financially abusive (not that I'm suggesting it's your fault in anyway, it's just the simplest way I could think of getting your message across) and either it changes or you will leave. You deserve better Op and I hope the situation improves.

supadupapupascupa Mon 29-May-17 14:07:47

i would wait until he was out and start snooping if it was me. he's being evasive so no amount of talking will matter. i would be finding the important documents and making copies too! i would also be changing pin numbers etc on accounts in my name so he no longer has access. do you know what your own credit card balance is????? he has no right to tell you what you can can't do in this way. but i would be preparing for an ultimatum, i would get money behind me first and copies of documents.

Kuriusoranj Mon 29-May-17 14:09:45

He's infantilising you, for a kick off.

You mention a work function - do you have a job outside the home then? And yet no real access to the money you earn?

To me this is absolutely abusive, there's nothing to do with gratitude. He is controlling you by controlling access to the money. You're not going mad. It absolutely is every bit as bad as you think.

So the question is - what do you do next? I would absolutely be making plans to leave, if it were me - having escaped one abusive marriage, the realisation that I was in another would be enough to have me out of there. However, I'm not you. Don't be so hard on yourself though - what has happened is now done. You've made the best decisions you could at the time you made them. But now you've woken up and you recognise the situation you're in. Take charge of your life, in whatever baby steps you can.

Maybe start by opening another account in your name only? Get your salary and/or benefits paid into that for a start. Cancel the credit card that is in your name. Change the statement delivery arrangements for anything in your name - maybe tell them you've lost the access token and need to reset it, or something like that. He's not going to give you access, and nor should he have the right to do so. You're going to need to do it yourself.

What support do you have in real life?

Isetan Mon 29-May-17 14:21:57

He didn't take the financial and emotional power he has over you, you surrendered it. Relationship dynamics are the responsibility of both parties and the role that you've defaulted to is compliance.

The good news is, you're waking from your stuper and it's now time to take back some control. Will your marriage survive the inevitable power struggle that comes with asserting yourself? Who knows but if the price of staying in this marriage is being treated with contempt then personally, I think it's too damn high.

He committed fraud by applying for a credit card for you because he must have forged your signature, does that sound like someone with the moral high ground? Like hell it does, which means that some shady shit is going down. Get a credit report and start seeking independent verification of your finances because at best, he doesn't respect you and at worst, he's engaged in some shady shit that leaves you very vulnerable.

Parker231 Mon 29-May-17 14:24:53

Cancel the credit card he took out in your name and set up a new bank account for your salary to be paid into. Tell him you have done this as you don't trust his money management skills.

SittingAround1 Mon 29-May-17 14:25:26

This is definitely financial abuse and not normal.
I would change current account details so he can't have access or open a new account for your salary to go into.
Personally I would leave him if he doesn't accept you having your own money. After household bills and expenses are paid from both your salaries you should both be free to spend the rest how you like.If he has history of debt you need to find out what his current situation is. I'd be worried about him running up credit card debts in my name.

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Mon 29-May-17 14:32:22

Check your credit history and see what you're linked to. I use Noddle, as it's free.

LauraMoon Mon 29-May-17 14:32:35

This is definitely financial abuse.

Call the bank and credit card company and cancel the cards. Do you have access to the online banking? Change all the passwords. If you don't have access, call the bank and say you've forgotten all your log in details and get them to reset them.

Take back the control.

SexandDrugsandaNiceCuppa Mon 29-May-17 14:45:53

Show him this - financial abuse is now a criminal offence, along with other controlling behaviours.

HardestButtonToButton Mon 29-May-17 14:46:31

Thank you so much everyone for taking the time to reply. I'm reading through the replies and taking the advice on board .

The words financial abuse have been ringing around my head but it's still hard to read and think of - I know I really do need to face up to it though.

I do currently work out of the home part time and earn about £1000 a month.

I agree that I need to open a new bank account and sort the credit card out. I am still pondering challenging him again first but don't know that I will get anywhere. I also don't know what his reaction will be if I wee to close my accounts. I don't think he would be violent or anything like that but I can't see him taking it lightly or suddenly agreeing with me.

I am close to family but haven't spoken to them about this, but I do think they would be supportive. I would have to overcome the embarrassment of telling them I think. Thanks again

HardestButtonToButton Mon 29-May-17 14:54:01

Thanks Vivienne, that sounds a sensible step. It is worrying me that he might be hiding something.

Thanks for the link SexandDrugs.

pleaseadvise Mon 29-May-17 15:09:00

I would be very worried if someone took out a credit card in my name and I had no access to it. This is extremely silly.

Ultimatum time I think. Full financial disclosure start by putting a block on your credit card and try to find out the balance. Do paper statements come, do you know the bank the card is with


Parker231 Mon 29-May-17 15:15:33

OP - he doesn't need to agree with you taking back some financial control - you're in an equal partnership and it's not an issue for discussion in my world. Do you have a pension in your name, joint savings and property?

ChocChocPorridge Mon 29-May-17 15:25:54

Get a credit report - then you'll find out what the credit card balance is, and anything else he's taken out in your name.

HardestButtonToButton Mon 29-May-17 15:54:12

Ok, I've signed up to noddle. There is about £2000 owing on the credit card but no other credit cards or loans.

I am looking into transferring the card over but will obviously need to intercept any post coming into the house with the card and details.

I'm due to be paid next week so too late to change my current account over for this months wages but have time to do this for next month.

I'm still worried about what his reaction will be when I do all of this. I know he will demand to know the details or have access to the cards.

I do have a pension in my own name. Stupidly no savings though. We live in rented accommodation.

Thanks again for all the advice. My head is swimming but I know I need to sort this out. Hoping to refer back to this thread if or when I start doubting myself again.

3luckystars Mon 29-May-17 15:56:57

Good luck!

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 29-May-17 16:02:07

You have been financially abused for several years. As you have seen financial abuse is insidious in its onset and he has tried to control you in other ways as well.

I would contact Womens Aid on 0808 2000 247 re your situation and plan your exit from this relationship. Men like this do not give up their power and control at all easily, if ever. He has enjoyed keeping you this dependent on him.

QuiteLikely5 Mon 29-May-17 16:07:44

2k! Where has he spent that? Not on you by the sounds of it!

expatinscotland Mon 29-May-17 16:15:32

I wouldn't bother challenging him. Just do it. Set it up for next month's wages to go in.

'I'm still worried about what his reaction will be when I do all of this. I know he will demand to know the details or have access to the cards.

I do have a pension in my own name. Stupidly no savings though. We live in rented accommodation. '

You practice telling him, 'No. What you are suggesting is financial abuse. It's a crime. You don't get to control that anymore.'

I'd look at getting a FT job, too.

HardestButtonToButton Mon 29-May-17 16:31:12

Thanks yes I need to remain strong when he demand the card details, which I know he will. Part of that is getting my head around the fact that it's not unreasonable for me not to give him the details so that's really helpful.

I currently work part time around DS. My employer is pretty flexible and I don't think it would be an issue to increase my hours to full time but it would leave issues with childcare. I may be able to look into working some overtime though which may be an idea to build up some more funds.

Wormulonian Mon 29-May-17 16:43:21

You can usually arrange to have credit and debit cards sent to a bank branch and pick them up there (need ID). Do you want to stay with him? - if so give him an ultimatum about financial transparency and how you want things arranged - but be prepared to act on your ultimatum if no joy from him (leave/keep your finances seperate etc)

GeorgeTheHamster Mon 29-May-17 17:10:28

I agree with the others, don't talk to him first, take action first. He isn't going to agree with you if you ask him, but he won't be able to do anything about your new bank account once you have it.

And why the hell shouldn't you have your own wages, are you actually hopeless with money, have you run up debt before and failed to pay it off? If not - he's way out of line.

expatinscotland Mon 29-May-17 17:19:04

Yep! Have your cards sent to another address or to be picked up at the bank. And remember, his demanding details is ABUSE.

Aquamarine1029 Mon 29-May-17 17:29:59

The main thing you have to do is REFUSE to be put off or gaslighted by his rantings anymore. You MUST completely ignore his excuses, his raging, and his bullshit that you are not capable of handling finances. He blows his top and you back down - that's just his plan! He intimidates you into silence. Well fuck that and fuck his lies. You have got to know what's going on with your money! Go to the banks where you have joint accounts and get statements and login permissions. Cancel your credit card or have them issue a new card with a new number to your account. Do whatever it takes to learn the truth and DO NOT back down. You're not a child. Stop letting your husband treat you like one.

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