Love and Sex

You Might Have Separate Finances From Your Partner & That’s A Good Thing

One of the more frequent problems in every relationship is navigating financial issues. Since money is stressful and inextricably related to power (who has it and who does not), it will never be an easy problem to resolve amongst fundamentally opposed groups. Even the most devoted and wholesome couples are sure to have arguments over it.

A financial lifeline can mean the difference between being trapped in a risky, violent, or toxic situation and having the freedom to truly decide what is healthy and good for you and your family, especially for women who have historically been the disenfranchised party in a relationship (generations of not being able to own property/having what’s yours transferred to your spouse).

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“Since it first launched four years ago, she has been yearly auto-depositing 10% of her income. She claims that doing so is totally healthy, particularly for women. She claims that she wants to be protected in the event that I were to suffer an accident or begin abusing her,” the poster stated. “I think she’s been lying the whole time, and I find that to be quite irrational. She has been keeping $25,000 from me. We both decided to combine our funds, so I put my money in our joint account. She is now telling me that I can contribute 10% of my annual income to my personal account.

I’ll say it out loud and clear right now: Being in charge of your own finances is completely healthy and there is nothing wrong with that. Additionally, building your financial situation in such a way that your partner has less financial power to handle expenses without you (or to ultimately leave you, should the need arise) is a textbook example of this abusive behavior. Financial abuse, according to research, occurs in 99 percent of domestic violence cases.

Is it improper to keep your finances and accounts separate from your spouse’s?

Without a doubt. We don’t intend to be in a situation where we have to use the eject button when we commit to a partnership and a shared life with someone. But these scenarios may and do occur. If you don’t have the support of your family or community—a circumstance that many survivors and victims of domestic abuse find themselves in—allocating part of the money you’re bringing in—your own salary—can be a lifeline for you and your loved ones.

According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence’s (NNEDV) financial abuse fact page, “financial abuse is behavior that aims to limit a person’s ability to obtain, use, or keep economic resources, and threatens their self-sufficiency and financial autonomy.” “A 2014 survey found that 78% of Americans did not recognize financial abuse as a type of domestic violence, despite the fact that it occurs in 99% of cases of domestic violence.”

Financial abuse makes it very difficult for survivors to achieve independence, safety, and long-term stability in the short and long terms due to “ruined credit scores, sporadic employment histories, and legal concerns generated by the abuse.”

The NNEDV website states that, while being less well-known, financial abuse is one of the most effective ways to keep a victim imprisoned in an abusive relationship and significantly reduces the victim’s capacity to remain safe after leaving an abusive partner. “Surveys of survivors show that worries about their capacity to support themselves and their children financially was one of the top reasons for continuing to live with or going back to an abusive relationship. Financial abuse affects all socioeconomic, educational, and racial and ethnic groups, as it does with all other types of abuse.

However, in the worst case scenario, it can only make you and your spouse stronger as a team provided you have the means and ability to ensure that you both have enough money to support yourself.

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