Domestic violence is more noticeable to others outside of the marriage, especially when one partner is sporting a black eye.
Financial and emotional abuse can be more hidden to family and friends, but no less devastating. These two seem to go hand in hand with or without physical abuse.
The crux of financial abuse is control.
One spouse is attempting to control actions by hampering the other’s financial independence. He removes the other partner’s name from a bank account who then is unable to access money and turns to spouse or others for it.
The abusive spouse may demand to see all receipts and monitor every pound that is spent. Often all decisions regarding household expenditures are made by the abuser. The victim may be prevented from spending any money on the children. This is a way to trap a person and keep her in the marriage. Relying on handouts is a way to control the relationship through money.
After Anne had their baby baptized, Edward decided that he wanted to bring her up in his religion.
Anne would not have married Edward if she knew that he would change his mind on this deal breaker issue. Edward then withheld money from Anne as punishment. She had to cut short her maternity leave and return to work in order to pay bills. Not surprisingly this marriage ended in divorce. Financial abuse can also be vindictive for a certain behaviour.
Emotional abuse is a power ploy to keep the other spouse in line by such tactics as manipulation and berating them.
The spouse may be told that she is unattractive and incapable of making decisions.
Emotional abuse breaks down a person’s self-esteem and self-worth by causing them to have doubts about themselves. The children may pick up on this message and view that parent as weak or be afraid to anger the abusive one. The abuser uses the kids to challenge the other parent’s authority. The children may also be abused in various ways too.
Emotional abuse’s aim is to punish and humiliate the partner. Perhaps this spouse is having success on the job and the abuser wants to put him in his place. Lying, threats and blame are components of this type of abuse.
Psychological abuse is especially carried out by Narcissists who are insidious adversaries. These people are charming at first and then their mask comes off revealing someone who cannot share the spotlight.
How to break free from emotional abuse and financial abuse?
Platform 51 and the National Domestic Violence Helpline (0808 2000 247) are great resources as a starting point.
- Other measures you can take are to have access to your own money by opening up an individual bank account in your name only. Selling some jewellery could fund this.
- Have a friend or parent keep a small amount of “mad money” for you at their place in case you make a hurried get-away.
- Lock up your valuables to sell at a later point.
- Get counselling.
- Get a divorce solicitor as I did in a hurry.
I did not realize the extent of the financial and emotional abuse I was enduring until the day I met with my new solicitor.
My sons were ecstatic when I told them I was delivering a list of collaborative solicitors to their father (through the mail slot). Post-divorce I felt rich when I was in total control of my own money.
Wendi Schuller is a nurse, hypnotherapist and is certied in Neuro-linguistic Programing (NLP).
Her most recent book is The Global Guide to Divorce and she has over 100 published articles.
Her other book is The Woman’s Holistic Guide to Divorce. Web site is globalguidetodivorce.com.