6 red flags that show you are in a financially abusive relationship

Akshata Kamath
Akshata KamathAug 02, 2022 | 17:43

6 red flags that show you are in a financially abusive relationship

Ever seen couples bickering bout how they overshot the budget while returning from their grocery trip? Photo: Getty Images

When couples use money as a tool to control their partner's behaviour or keep over-monitoring or criticising their financial needs, it's a heads-up that the relationship is heading towards becoming a financially toxic one. Here are 6 unmissable traits that reflect a poor financial relationship.

1. Unwillingness to talk about money needs: Unwillingness or hesitation to talk about your money needs, expectations and goals with your partner will ensure that your money desires are almost always never met. Even if you are worried or nervous about being judged for your money needs, partners have to consistently create a space where their money questions and concerns are answered. If there is no willingness or patience to have these conversations, partners will always be left confused about how they could support each other through other major money decisions. There is also a risk of facing worrisome consequences that keep dragging on if the blame game begins. 


2. Being the obsessive monitor: When one spouse over-monitors their partner's spending and makes them feel guilty about spending on their needs, it's a red flag. Monitoring also includes situations when one partner has to ask the permission of another to purchase something, instead of making these decisions together as a team. Casual bickering can easily turn into nasty fights when a partner feels that their needs aren't being taken care of.  

3. Shaming someone out of work: If a partner controls how much the other partner works or shames them into quitting work, it's an outright red flag and quite toxic behaviour. Making someone feel guilty about working is completely opposite of encouraging them to be financially free.

4. Lack of transparency: Irrespective of how much money each partner brings to the table, they both should be equally responsible and aware when they make big-money decisions. A lack of transparency towards long-term financial decisions like quantum of savings and investments, spending occasions (like weddings, leasing homes, or getting a car) has to be done when you are both on the same page.

When partners hide these major money matters or lie about them, they are just getting starting this cycle of resentment and criticism. Even if one partner pays the lion's share of the bills, the other has to be absolutely aware of what they are spending as a couple, how much are they paying and who is being paid. Partners must have easy access to accounts to see what's going on.


5. Mismatch in financial values and goals: Couples need to have financial compatibility in terms of constantly understanding each other's financial goals and values. They need to navigate and find ways to handle money behaviours with both parties being in a win-win situation, especially when they are poles apart.

6. Being indifferent: Many abusive partners use their money to control a partner's behaviour and behave as if the other's needs are unimportant. This often comes in the form of cutting off access to things the other partner loves, refusing to pay for certain things just because the richer partner feels that it is ''unnecessary'' or ''annoying'' and a ''waste of money''. This indifference often equates to disrespect towards the other partner's needs and is quite a red flag.  

What do you think are the other financially toxic traits that couples should check for in their relationships?

Last updated: August 02, 2022 | 21:26
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