If you are new to my blog, you may not know about me and my life before 6 years ago. I’ve shared a little, you may know I’m a domestic violence advocate. There are many different ways domestic abuse can occur. In my blog today I am going to talk about financial abuse.
First, I feel so strongly about learning to be financially literate. I also believe in 100 % financial transparency. If you begin your relationship with open conversation on this subject, I believe you will be able to have a healthy financial relationship.
1. I believe a pre or postnuptial agreement could be the way to go. Yes, this may be insulting but if you have a contract drawn up with both of you in mind and can agree upon what is fair, I believe it can take the pressure off. Also these agreements can be changed as your financial situation changes. First have a conversation about the financial anxiety that makes you think a prenup or postnup is the best solution. If this is a second marriage for both partners, for example, they may have financial assets that they want to pass on to their respective children.
2. Always have the ability to look and ask questions about credit card statements. Sounds simple, well if your spouse is not able to answer a question you ask about charges, this is definitely a red flag. Don’t allow this situation to be dismissed. Also the same goes with withdrawals from any accounts you may have. Make sure you are checking on your investments, if they are doing well or if they need to be adjusted.
3. Being put on a budget. This is a way for a spouse to control you. This was very much part of my marriage. A budget isn’t a bad thing at all but if you aren’t aware of your complete financial picture, this can be a red flag. A budget is a two way street. By the time I realized what was happening, I was loosing my home. This situation could have been avoided had I stood up sooner, from the beginning of my marriage and setting the tone with boundaries. I read this statistic in investmentnews.com “Among the women surveyed in the United States, 54% said their spouse takes the lead in handling the family’s finances beyond paying bills. The women did not participate in long-term financial planning, investing or health-care decisions. It was startling to find out that most of the women that we talked to had little or no involvement with those decisions. This does not surprise me at all. Being out of the loop on family finances doesn’t break down along education lines, either. Women with advanced degrees also tend to be left out. I trusted my husband and realized, in my situation, this was a terrible mistake, not only for me but my children. This closing article I read in investopedia.com really sums it up.
Good (and sometimes painfully honest) communication before and after tying the knot can dull the blow of bad financial news and lead to honest exchanges about each partner’s money anxieties, habits, skeletons in the closet, and expectations. If you’re thinking about entering into what you hope is a lifelong relationship, you and your partner owe each other such a discussion.
Lack of communication is the source of many marital issues. This space is where the hard work of marriage often lives. Like common health problems, financial anxieties—if not addressed—can become far bigger problems with much more difficult solutions. The best way to be sure you and your spouse are on the same page with your joint finances is to talk about them regularly, honestly, and without judgment. Don’t do it when you’re mad, tired, or back from an evening of wine or margaritas.
Couples may find it helpful to schedule a time once a month, once a quarter, or once a year to check in on short- and long-term goals. Having regular check-ins can defuse the tension of talking about money and keep you on track.
If you are experiencing any form of domestic violence please reach out for help.
I hope if you needed help in this area this blog post was useful.