What Are the Top 8 Signs of Financial Gaslighting?

What Are the Signs of Financial Gaslighting?

When most people hear the term financial abuse, it conjures images of withholding money as a form of control. While this is a common theme in abusive situations, sometimes it presents in more subtle ways to prevent you from acquiring, using, or maintaining financial resources. Although there are many forms of it, they are all powerful methods that keep the victim trapped in the relationship. If you have witnessed or experienced any of these behaviors, these 8 signs of financial gaslighting may indicate a pattern of financial abuse.

What Is Financial Gaslighting?

According to clinical psychotherapist Ann Morin, gaslighting is when the manipulator has you doubting your own sense of reality. It often includes denying things you know are true, questioning your memories, and weaponizing your emotions against you. With financial gaslighting, they will often try to convince you that they have more/less money than they really do.

Abusers use these tactics to warp their victim’s perception of the truth and reinforce the lie they are creating. In many cases, they often have the victim believing that they are the one who is “going crazy.” Since they have no control over their lives, they suffer more than people realize because nobody knows the truth.

What Are the Top 8 Signs of Financial Gaslighting?

If you have experienced or witnessed any of these behaviors, they may be clear signs of financial gaslighting in the relationship.

1. They deny things you know are true.

When it comes to gaslighting, lying is the name of the game. When people employ this manipulation tactic, they lie about everything, big and small. This could mean hiding or distorting the truth about their purchases, spending habits, job search, income, debt, the state of their finances, etc.

When discrepancies are found between their words and actions, they will then turn the problem back on you. They may insist that you aren’t remembering it correctly or flat-out deny it ever happened. Some will even show concern over your forgetfulness or lead you to believe that you are having lapses in your memory. When this is a repeating pattern in your relationship, it is one of the first signs of financial gaslighting.

2. An abusive partner may use finances to isolate you from those who care about you.

Counselors and mental health professionals all agree that isolating you from your support networks is one of the first steps abusers take to establish dominance. Not only does this cut you off from potential help, but it also means there is less chance someone will recognize their behavior for what it is.

When it comes to financial gaslighting, they will use it to keep you completely dependent on them. This could include lying about the ability to afford the gas or costs to see them or withholding funds for other made-up reasons. Or, they may create imaginary problems and lie to your loved ones about your circumstances to keep people away. In any case, the goal is to keep you isolated from those who care about you and could help you get away from their control.

3. They will try to convince you that they are better at managing money.

Another common way partners gaslight each other is by insisting they are better at making financial decisions. In many relationships, there is one partner who has more responsibility for the family’s financial management because “they are better with numbers” or “know more about finances.” However, if one person takes full control of all the shared assets and finances, it could be a major red flag.

While this dynamic may not always signal abuse, it can quickly cross into that territory. It’s a bad sign if the person in control wants the other to turn over all their money, limits access to joint accounts, or makes important decisions without the other’s knowledge and consent. Another indication is when one partner evades direct questions or insists that they are taking care of things. A healthy relationship requires you to trust your partner. But anyone who demonstrates these behaviors clearly has no respect for the other person’s autonomy and may be hiding something that affects their financial security.

4. Your partner makes you feel guilty.

If your partner makes you feel guilty about spending money, it deserves a deeper look. Do you have a spending problem? Or, is it a control issue? While we should all appreciate what we have, no one should ever feel guilty about buying things they need or treating themselves now and again.

Although we may all need to tighten the budget at times, it becomes abusive when the other person makes you feel guilty for asking or if they force you to go without the things you need. Sometimes, the abuse goes even further when the victim is then degraded for not being able to afford these things on their own. These behaviors are not okay and no one deserves to be treated this way.

5. They try to convince you that you are irresponsible with money.

On a similar train of thought, financial gaslighting sometimes occurs because of other people’s unhealthy attitudes toward money. If someone is extremely frugal, they may try to convince you that you are spending too much money and have irresponsible spending habits.

This attitude can negatively impact relationships because they constantly criticize their partner and scrutinize every penny they spend. In some cases, this means obsessively monitoring accounts or requiring receipts from shopping trips. While this may indicate other mental health issues, it may also be a result of shifting the blame because of their own spending habits.

6. They always claim to be broke.

Another clear sign of financial gaslighting is when someone always claims to be broke, even if they earn a decent salary. You may witness this if they constantly ask to borrow money or expect other people to pay for things. Or, they may pretend to be in poverty even though they have plenty of assets and money in their bank accounts.

The worst cases of this abuse occur behind closed doors. Abusers often force their families to go without the basics. They may refuse to let them buy necessities, even if they can afford a comfortable lifestyle. Many victims often believe they are so deep in debt that they have next to nothing to live on because this is exactly what their abuser wants them to think.

7. When you use joint credit cards, they are consistently declined.

On the other side of the coin, an abuser can also fool you into thinking everything is fine by hiding debt. This happens when someone is hiding or taking money for other purposes.

In many of the personal accounts of these situations, the abuser is finally caught when their cards are declined or they discover their credit limit has been maxed out. Some even went as far as opening accounts in their partner’s or children’s name, ruining their credit and setting them back financially. It can take years to recover from this type of financial abuse.

8. Your partner uses money as a retaliation tool.

The last sign on this list is probably the first one people think of because it is the most malicious. Using money as a retaliation tool is not only abusive, but it can also destroy someone’s life.

Some ways abusers retaliate is by withholding money so the other person can’t go anywhere or do anything without permission. Yet, the person in control will have no qualms about doing these things for themselves. Other times it includes draining accounts without their knowledge or denying access to funds. Some abusers simply rack up the charges, then leave them to pay the bills after they break. None of these behaviors constitute a healthy relationship dynamic and qualify as extreme forms of financial abuse.

Getting Help

Many victims feel hopeless when someone is using money as a weapon to control them. Some may not even understand how they ended up in the situation. Unfortunately, it starts as small things that slowly increases over time, making you doubt your perception of reality. However, it’s important to recognize these red flags before the situation spirals and you find yourself in too deep.

If you have seen the signs of financial gaslighting or any other form of abuse, there is help available. You can call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP. Or, you can contact them through their Crisis Text Line by sending HOME to 741741. They have people standing by to support you as you make a plan to get out.

Read More

Come back to what you love! Dollardig.com is the most reliable cash-back site on the web.  Just sign up, click, shop, and get full cashback!

Source link