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What to do if you are financially bullied by your spouse

Are you a victim of this?
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Are you a victim of this?

Emotional abuse by a partner can take many forms, one of them being financial manipulation. If you are clearly being financially bullied, you need to take these remedial steps immediately.

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Talk money before marriage
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Talk money before marriage

To avoid financial pitfalls stemming from a spouse's bullying behaviour, it is essential to have the money talk before marriage. As crucial as knowing your partner's salary is understanding his financial habits and insecurities about money. Don't get married if you feel the partner is dominating or financially incompatible.

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Don't wait. Act immediately
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Don't wait. Act immediately

Most couples let issues drag in the hope that if they ignore them long enough, they will go away. However, as with other bullies, the best way to deal with a financial bully is to stand up to him and say 'no' in the first instance. Don't wait because the bully gets bolder with time and it can lead to a complete breakdown of relationship.

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​Ensure equal participation
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​Ensure equal participation

Make sure you split financial responsibilities right from the start. If both spouses are earning, contribution to household expenses should be in the proportion that they earn. Have a joint account for the household and individual accounts for personal buys. If one member is earning, budgeting and investing can be split between the two.

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Secure all information
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Secure all information

If your partner wants to wrest complete control of finances and withhold information, you will have to register your protest and stop the domineering. Make sure that you are completely in the know about income, investments, loans, accounts and all details to access these. This will ensure your financial security in the future.

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Seek the help of a counseller
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Seek the help of a counseller

If you encounter bullying, start by talking to the partner about the negative behaviour. If talking doesn't help, take the advice of a financial expert to know the ramifications of such behaviour. If it stems from financial problems in childhood, suggest behavioural therapy. If nothing helps, you should separate.

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