Is financial abuse real?

Does your partner use money as a tool to control you? If the answer is yes, be aware that you may be a victim of abuse.

Financial abuse, a subtle yet devastating aspect of domestic abuse, often goes unnoticed. It occurs when one partner uses money as a tool of manipulation and control, significantly impacting the other’s freedom and self-esteem. This form of abuse is not just about money—it’s a means to exert power and maintain dominance, akin to the tyrant archetype found in the eight money archetypes as described by bestselling author, Deborah Price.

Imagine living a life where your spending is constantly monitored, where your access to your own or joint bank accounts is denied. Picture a partner who sabotages your career, perhaps by incessant calls to your workplace or demands that undermine your job security. This is the reality of financial abuse, where the abuser often embodies the tyrant archetype – exercising power in a cruel and oppressive way.

The tyrant archetype in financial abuse manifests through control of resources and financial sabotage. The abuser, like a tyrant, feels empowered by limiting the autonomy of others. They may monopolize access to money or restrict the victim’s ability to earn an income, thereby asserting their dominance and control.

The impact of this control is far-reaching. Victims often face job loss or difficulties at work, eroding their financial independence and making it harder to escape the abuse. This cycle of dependence and fear is where the tyrant’s power is most evident: in the victim’s perceived inability to break free.

However, there is light at the end of this tunnel. The journey to freedom begins with a conversation. Talking to a trusted friend or family member can be a powerful first step. For those who feel isolated, there are numerous organizations dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence. They offer a listening ear, guidance, and resources to start rebuilding your life.

Regaining financial autonomy is also crucial. Opening a private bank account, discreetly saving money, and improving your credit score are practical steps towards independence. For those entangled in legal and financial complexities, especially in marriage, consulting an attorney is advisable. They can offer expert advice on navigating these challenges safely.

It’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Countless individuals have faced financial abuse and emerged stronger and more independent. Understanding the tyrant archetype within the context of financial abuse provides deeper insight into the abuser’s motivations and tactics, highlighting the importance of breaking the cycle of control and manipulation.

In the face of financial abuse, remember: Your worth is immeasurable, and your right to financial autonomy is indisputable. Never hesitate to reach out for help.

Follow Luca Caruana’s weekly column here, and his LinkedIn account or his Instagram for more budgeting hacks. For other money-related columns, check out Luca’s thoughts about the girl math trend and his advice to help change the narrative about women and money.

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