Financial Abuse In Marriage: 9 Way To Be Free

In marriage, transparency  and trust are the main pillars that keep it going. However, below the surface of any relationship lies a silent killer called financial abuse.

This tricky form of manipulation show up in many ways. It may manifest as controlling access to money or sabotaging financial independence.

In this post, I will show you all you need to know about financial abuse in marriage. I will shed more light on the slick yet devastating effects of financial abuse in marriage, families and individuals

As i unveil the dynamics of financial control and coercion, my aim is to empower you on how to quickly recognize the sign and find a way to deal with it on time.

Moreover, we strive to ignite a dialogue that fosters awareness and understanding. Ultimately we want to create healthier relationships built on equality and respect. Join us on this journey as we navigate the complexities of financial abuse and pave the way towards healing and liberation.

Additionally, I will also start a conversation in this post to help you understand each other better, so at least you can get your marriage back. If this is what you want to know, then come along as we discuss the topic of financial abuse in marriage. Firstly, let’s know what financial abuse is.

What Is Financial Abuse In A Marriage?

Financial Abuse in marriage, as the name implies, refers to exploitation or control of  one spouse’s financial resources by the other spouse: probably to gain power and maintain control in the marriage.

This can include forcing your partner to hand over all earning, restricting access to financial information or sabotaging their ability to earn money

The National Network End Domestic Violence after research said that “financial abuse is the cause of 99% of domestic violence cases. It is a kind of coercive control that compromises the victims independence  and liberty, making almost impossible for them to leave the abusive relationship.

The worst of it all is that financial abuse in marriage can have long-lasting impact on the victims well-being and financial security. As well, it will perpetuate a cycle of control and independence in a relationship.

Signs Of Financial Abuse In Marriage:

I implore that you pay close attention to these signs I will show you here. It is important to know these and take the necessary steps to address them. If you are the victim of financial abuse in marriage, then it maybe wise to seek support from friends and family, or professionals.

That can be the first step towards safety, independence and regaining your financial safety. Below are the signs to watch in your marriage.

– Using Money As Punishment:

One of the signs of financial abuse is that your abusive partner will use as a means of punishment to you. He or she will be withholding resources or funds in order to punish the other for a perceived wrong

This can result in a cycle of fear, and independence where one of the spouses feels trappedand isd not able to leave the relationship. Financial abuse can show up in many ways, like preventing one from working, controlling access to the bank, or forcing the partner to account for every dime spent.

All these affect the spouse’s autonomy and bolster the power dynamics in a relationship that perpetuate the cycle of abuse within a relationship.

– Total Control Of Finance:

Another sign of financial control you should be watchful for is the financial control game. This is when a partner dominates all the monetary aspects of your relationship. That includes savings, income, and all spendingdecisions,s and leave the partner with limited or zero knowledge.

This can also extend to not giving the spouse access to any financial information, credit card, or bank account. As simple as this looks, it can have potential consequences like isolation, financial dependency, and vulnerability for the victim.

– Accumulating Debts in the Partner’s Name:

The worst sign of financial abuse in marriage is when one spouse is clandestinely accruing debts under the partner’s name and without the permission or awareness of the other.

The spouse is using those tactics to undermine the victim’s financial stability and to also subject them to indefensible liability for unauthorized expenses. The consequences extend beyond monetary abuse; they also affect the victims emotionally. They see it as manipulation or betrayal.

Actions like these sustains the cycle of dependency and control, further destroy the victims autonomy and worsen the power imbalance in marriage. It is a very destructive form of exploitation that needs awareness and support for its effects.

– Economic Manipulation:

This is a situation where a spouse is using financial power to control the spouse. This can come in form of restricted access resources, sabotage of employment, withholding money, etc.

The abusive partner uses this to manipulate the partner’s behavior and decision-making. This tactics will show up in different ways, including preventing the other from working or controlling how they spend.

Ultimately, this will subvert the victims self image and make them feel powerless and trapped. This is not only harmful, but also a violation of respect and trust within a relationship.

Using Money To Control Partners Behavior:

If your partner is using money as means of controlling you, that’s a clear sign on financial abuse to watch out for. When he or she threatens to withhold resources, access to money or support unless you do certain things, that is also a sign of financial abuse

They are using such tactics to destroy your self worth or create a power imbalance in your relationship. This form of intimidation leads to feeling of dependence and fear and perpetuates the cycle of abuse. The worst is that it destroys mutual respect, trust and, finally, damages the foundation of your relationship.

– Forcing Of Financial Dependence:

Another sign you should watch is the sign of dominance, where your partner will want to impose financial dependency on you. This tactics is used to restrict your access to financial resources and compel you to rely solely on them for sustenance.

By manipulating your access to money, the abuser have succeeded in maintaining power and control over you, creating a sense of entrapment and helplessness. This dynamics will not only hinder your ability to seek independence or seek assistance from outside. 

Such behavior highlights the subtle nature of financial abuse and perpetuates the cycle of manipulation and control.

– Sabotaging Education Or Employment:

Your abusive spouse might employ the tactics of undermining your employment or education to punish you and make you forever subjective. They may start by spreading false rumors, damaging your school or work materials, preventing your access to transportation, etc.

All these are aimed at exerting power and control over you, isolating you and pperpetuatingdependency in your marriage, just to hinder your financial stability and autonomy.

These actions are aimed at exerting control and power over the victim, isolating them, and perpetuating dependency within the relationship, ultimately hindering their autonomy and financial stability.

Now that you are acquainted with the signs of financial Abuse, let’s look at how you can deal with it.

How To Deal With Financial Abuse In Marriage:

1. Recognizing The Signs:

Undoubtedly, your number one sign in dealing with financial abuse in marriage is to understand the signs, such as controlling access to money, etc. Recognizing these signs will help you know how to protect yourself from other potentially harmful situations.

It often involves those behaviors that are aimed at manipulating or controlling your finances to gain and maintain control in your relationship. The abuser may resolve to criticize your spending habits or demand you account for every penny spent just to create sense of fear and dependency.

By being aware of all these, you can take the steps to protect yourself or seek help if need be.

2. Set Boundaries For Yourself:

Now that you have know what the signs are, you need to take the necessary steps to protect yourself. One of the steps to protect yourself against this is to establish clear boundaries with the abuser regarding control and financial decisions.

For example, confront your spouse and demand equal access to your joint accounts and other financial information.

It is important to assertively communicate and demand equal access to financial information. By setting boundaries, you will reclaim control over your financial well-being and reduce the abuser’s strength to exploit or manipulate you.

This action can help you be prepared if you want to continue with the marriage or seek legal intervention if the abuse persists.

3. Educate yourself more:

You may need to educate yourself about financial management and what your rights are regarding finances in marriage.

Attend workshops and play some useful financial empowerment materials to gain more knowledge. These will equip you with the necessary tools to recognize and resolve financial abuse in your marriage.

Understanding your rights on this topic will not only make you independent but will also promote healthy decision making and communication in your relationship.

Taking the necessary steps to educate yourself will also increase your confidence and empower you to break free from harmful financial dynamics, even establish financial boundaries.

4. Access And Make Use Of Necessary Resources Available:

There are so many resources out there that you can use to deal with financial abuse in marriage, like hotlines, support groups for survivors of domestic abuse and shelters.

You will get guidance by using these resources. By actively engaging in these resources, you will be empowered to break free from cycle of abuse, and chart a good path towards healing and resilience.

5. The Will Forbids You To Work:

If you are in a relationship characterized by abuse, your controlling spouse can extend their behaviors to forbidding you from being employed. They want to be the one to dictate your career choices or forbid you from working entirely.

Their restriction not only downsize your financial independence, but also undermine your ability to pursue professional and personal growth. By suffocating your opportunities to advance in your career, the abuser maintains position of control and power to further trap you in a cycle of dependency.

This strategy bolsters the imbalance of power in marriage, and makes it uneasy for you, the victim, to break free from the abusive relationship

6. Be Financially Independent:

Work to be financially independent if you want to deal with financial abuse in marriage diligently. Achieving independence, like being a freelancer or an entrepreneur, will help you be free from the clutches of the abuser.

This strategic move will allow you to generate your personal income and be free from your spouse, who manages the family’s finances.

When you diversify your income streams, you can gain good control over your financial future, therefore reducing dependence when you have only one source of income.

7. Be Sure To Document Everything:

It will be good if you keep track of everything that is happening, as that is a good step in dealing with financial abuse in marriage. Documenting everything will be a crucial tool for you in a situation where you need evidence of your spouse’s abuse.

For instance, Jennifer started keeping records of her husband’s threatening manipulation and remarks about their finances in her personal journey. This not only helped her with clear timeline of all the events, but also served a clear evidence of the horrible situation he endured.

Furthermore, keeping good records of the situation extends beyond the financial transaction and includes the interactions that may be necessary for building a case of abuse. By keeping every single detail, you have empowered yourself to protect your rights and seek justice when necessary.

8. Seek For Support:

If your partner is abusing you, whether financially or verbally, seeking support from trusted friends can be a valuable perspective and assistance for you. Your family, friends, or therapist can offer you guidance, practical advice, and comfort as you navigate this sordid situation.

Sharing your concerns with anyone you can rely on can alleviate your feelings of isolation and also help you brainstorm for solutions. So, whether you are telling them about your dilemma, struggles, or emotional hurdles, reaching out for support is a good step towards getting a solution.

Remember, you are not alone in this, there are thousands of people who are genuinely ready to help you through tough situations like this.

9. Do Not Hesitate To Leave If Need Be:

If the situation becomes untenable, then make haste to prioritize your safety and well-being by leaving the abusive relationship courageously. It is essential to prioritize your health and happiness above all else. Taking the steps to remove yourself from a harmful environment requires strength and courage.

As you acknowledge the forms of financial abuse in your marriage and choose to depart from such toxic situations, you can pave the way for a successful and fulfilling future.


Recognizing and dealing with financial abuse in marriage is important for your safety and well being. By understanding the signs I have mentioned in this post, you can regain control over your lives.

Financial independence, documentation and courage to exit the relationship when necessary are also essential for breaking free from the cycle. Keep in mind that you are not alone and prioritizing your happiness and health is paramount. Together, by creating awareness and empathizing

Remember, you are not alone, and prioritizing your health and happiness is paramount. You have seen all there is to fight financial abuse in your relationship, please, do not hesitate to take action now. You will be happy to free yourself from this dynamics and create a lasting relationship.

I am still your in-house counselor, Murphyaik. See you at the top.

Aik: AIK UCHEGBU is a writer and an authority in anything that matters about marriage and how to build it successfully. His followers have been greatly enhanced by his findings. You will not be disappointed by coming to this site.