4 Ways To Solve Your Money Issues When Financial Abuse Is Wrecking Your Relationship

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Fixing Financial Abuse in Marriage: 4 Ways to Help Money Problems

It's more common than you'd think.

I’d never heard of the term “financial abuse” until recently. Sure, there are other types of abuse in relationships often discussed, but abuse as related to money isn’t often talked about.

For example, picture a marriage where a stay-at-home mom does a great job at saving money by getting the best discount coupons for food and drinks at coupon websites like Couponobox, while her husband spends money willy-nilly.

Such a situation can be resolved by using the following 4 tactics:

1. Shift thinking to "marital assets".

If a woman, for example, makes $125,000 per year and her husband makes $50,000 per year, it doesn't help the union if the wife adopts a superior attitude due to her larger salary.

As long as both parties are contributing to the marriage — not just monetarily but in time, talents, resources, child-rearing, etc. — it helps instead to view not two individual salaries, but as a big pot of $175,000 in household income.

Decisions about bill paying and discretionary income spending can then be made on that basis, not from the viewpoint that one person is better and more powerful than the other because of their income.

2. Forgive "marital debts".

Viewing both marital assets and marital debts as shared responsibilities and blessings — in the same manner a court would in case of a divorce — can help to shift the viewpoint from “mine” to "ours".

A husband and wife might both have lovely Amazon shopping habits and that fact should be worked into a working budget that allows for both parties to buy the fun things they like, even as they decide the specific debts to pay off first, as dictated by the household budget.

RELATED: The Deeper Reason It's So Hard To Talk About Money Problems With Your Spouse

3. Allow shared access to funds.

As long as a husband or wife doesn't have an issue that makes access to money dangerous — such as a drug problem or gambling habit that could bankrupt the family — equal access to the household income is a must.

Even if a husband and wife decide not to pool their incomes together in one bank account, both parties should know how to access the account of the other person — especially in case of emergencies. Eschew all setups that force one individual to beg the other one for money like a child, which could be a form of financial abuse.

4. Let the money flow.

One of the biggest deterrents to financial abuse is recognizing that tables can turn. A six-figure earning husband who lords his income over his wife who is a full-time mom without considering her value should understand the benefits she brings to the table and his true source of revenue.

With her not working outside the home, the couple is likely saving the money they would have to pay for daycare, a maid, etc.

Most importantly, the moneymaking party should understand that their income is a blessing from above, and that just as easily as a wealthy husband could have his heaven-sent pay removed due to a bad attitude or abusive actions, the wife could experience a windfall through a lottery win or entrepreneurial efforts that turn her into the breadwinner.

Such a shift in favor would find the one-time breadwinner wanting a union based on mutual respect when it comes to money issues.

RELATED: No One Likes Talking About Money, But It Sure Beats Getting Divorced

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Paula Mooney is the author of several books (most written under pseudonyms to protect the guilty). Her essays and articles have been featured in national print magazines such as Writer's Digest, and in major online publications like Yahoo, Examiner, and more.

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