You Can’t Buy Anything Without His Approval

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Today, I’m going to go into detail about a very bad, physically abusive episode that was caused from financial abuse. This is a topic I think most people aren’t aware happens with domestic violence, because finances are something that even non-abusive couples fight about. When an abuser is trying to control his victim, financial abuse is a very easy way for them to make you feel vulnerable and trapped, and assert control over you. Even when I experienced it myself, I didn’t think, “hey, he’s financially abusing me”. It was a slow, ongoing process that I didn’t truly recognize until I started becoming educated on domestic violence after I left the relationship.

When we moved away from my homestate to Big City, I left a decent job (especially for only being 18) as a Small Business Loan Processor at a bank. I made decent money, worked full-time and had the freedom to pay my own bills and to buy what I wanted. When we moved across the country I had a hard time finding a similar type of job. The job market in Illinois was not good. The first job that I was able to get was a Sales Associate at Aeropostale. It was not ideal, only paid minimum wage, and I just hate working retail. DVP found a job doing armed security for various companies, but it wasn’t much money and the cost of living was much higher than where I was from.

Because I was basically making nothing, we had to get a joint bank account. DVP had saved around $6,000 from his military deployment, which is easy to do since it’s tax free and you get hazard pay and whatnot. Since we lived with his mom rent free, we only had two car payments, insurance and two credit cards to pay on. We could have been okay if DVP hadn’t spent all of the $6000 in ONE MONTH. Here’s another way to notice warning signs: it’s all about extremes with an abuser. If you feel a behavior of any category is extreme, be on your guard.

So here’s how the $6000 got spent: We would go out and do fun, but stupid, things Downtown. Some of the really nice hotels in this big city can be expensive per night. He/we, on two different occasions, gathered his friends and stayed at The Drake and The Palomar. These are not cheap hotels! We spent a lot of money on a Penthouse Suite at the Palomar. The Drake has hosted U.S. Presidents and other VIP’s. The silverware is real silver. It’s just a really nice, classy place to stay. Not only did he spend lots of money on the rooms for all of his friends, but he’d supply the alcohol and yes, weed for all his friends. They’d get drunk and high and wander around the city.

He’d also go to the casino a lot and blow hundreds of dollars. Constantly blew money on weed. He bought a lot of things like electronics we really didn’t need. I am guilty of having spent money too, on clothes, so I’m not saying all the fault is on him. It’s easy to fall into the spending habit when you’re with a spender. But, where the fault comes is how he treated me after the money was gone. I never dreamed that once the money was gone, that was it, and from then on any financial security was to be my responsibility alone.

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His financial double standards and domineering started up right away. At Aeropostale,  obviously I was required to wear their clothing while at work. So every month, through the company we’d get two outfits for really cheap to help employees out with this. I’d buy the outfits and DVP would be furious. He’d tell me I wasn’t allowed to spend more money or threaten to take my debit card away from me. He’d make me feel extremely guilty for buying anything for myself if it didn’t mutually benefit him. His mom actually took my side on this, and after that, he threw up his hands and said that from that point on, I’d be in charge of the finances.

He wasn’t kidding. That was during the first few months of living together-within the first year of our relationship- and I did the ALL of the finances for the rest of the 6 years we were together. Here’s where things went really bad. He refused to put anything in his name but his own car. I had to take care of the electricity, the cable, the cell phones, our rent (when we eventually had our own place), the groceries, natural gas bill… everything. If we needed to call about something, like a missed payment or if the cable wouldn’t work, he would insist that I take care of it. If I would ever ask him to make a call or pay a bill, he would flatly refuse. There were times that we needed to call about the few things that were in his name and the company would refuse to talk to me because I was not on the account, but he still wouldn’t do it. He wouldn’t take responsibility for any of it. We were constantly paying hundreds of dollars on late fees for stupid things like parking tickets that he had gotten and ignored. He didn’t want to spend the money on parking permits (or was too lazy to go through the process of getting one) so he would just keep getting tickets and not pay them until we had collections after us all the time.

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Let’s fast forward to last year. We’d been married for three years. When I became full-time in the military and started making good money, he decided to stop trying to get a good job. He decided he’d just let me be his “sugar momma”, and spent most of his time home playing video games (and not helping around the house or cooking or doing ANYTHING productive to help out) while I worked full time and did all the grocery shopping, cooking cleaning, laundry, and finances. He would spend money even when we had nothing to spend. When we moved back to my home state he didn’t have a job for two months. We were in the negative at least $800/month because I couldn’t pay all of our bills. When we would have a small amount in our bank account, like $20 to last a whole week, he’d continue to spend money on chewing tobacco, which is $5 per can several times a week, buying marajuana, eating out because he wouldn’t cook for himself, etc. If there was nothing in the account he would put fast food and tobacco on a credit card. I would be so stressed about finances and beg him not to spend money, but he would anyway.

I eventually had to ask my parents for some groceries from their pantry, and use resources in the military to get free food and a small grant from the VA just to pay my bills. It was so embarrassing to go to my bosses about my financial situation, especially when my husband didn’t care at all.

Two of the most recent, bad fights I can remember (there’s a lot that happened to me that I just can’t remember anymore because it happened so often they’ve blended together) that resulted in physical abuse because of finances. One of these was actually what finally caused me to call the police for the abuse. Last February, a year ago now, I was begging him to look for a job. He immediately told me to leave it alone, but I couldn’t. I just couldn’t let him keep spending money and lose our cars and apartment because I couldn’t afford everything on one income, especially with his spending habits.

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The argument escalated quickly. While I describe all of this, keep in mind that I was 12 weeks pregnant, and he knew I was. I was sitting on the couch, calmly trying to explain my frustration, and he snapped. He rushed towards me, grabbed me by my hair, and started dragging me up the stairs. I started screaming-it really hurt and I knew something bad was coming. He put his hand on my mouth and warned me that I had better stop screaming so the neighbors wouldn’t hear or he’d MAKE me stop. When we got to our bedroom, he trapped me into a corner and yelled and yelled. I pulled out my phone to text my mom for help and he took it away. I wanted to run out of the room, but he blocked the door and threw me on the bed, where he proceeded to slap me across the face, pull my hair, punch me on the arm, and pinned me down while he choked me to the point where I was seeing black spots. I was bawling at this point and he held his hand up to harm me again if I didn’t “shut the f*** up”. He saw me looking at the door and stood between the door and bed and threw my phone farther away from me. After he forced me to apologize for telling him to get a job, he went downstairs and played video games. I started packing a bag but I knew he was not going to let me leave so I went to bed. I couldn’t stand lying next to him all night long after what he had done. After work the next day, I went to my mom’s and we called the police . I wish I could say that I left him then, but I wouldn’t leave him for another 8 months.

A few weeks later, he finally got a job because I had filled out tons of job applications for him whether he wanted me to or not. If I hadn’t, he would never have had a job. His new employer gave him the choice of direct deposit or a debit card they would put his income on. He chose the debit card (of course he did, because he knew I would not have access to it without his allowing it!) and he promised he would take the money off the card to put in our joint account account. I told him that if he was going to do that, we might as well do direct deposit because I just knew I’d be the one who’d constantly have to take the money off the card (and that’s exactly what happened).

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So while we are arguing over this we were in the car and I was driving. When I expressed my opinion about the direct deposit he got extremely angry. He repeatedly hit my dashboard and pulled on the emergency brake while I drove. I pulled to the nearest parking lot, which happened to be the mall, out of fear for my life. I parked the car and he took everything out of my glove box and threw it out the window. When I got out to pick it up, he climbed to the other seat and drove off. When he came back, I begged for my car. We were making a huge scene and it was so embarrassing. It would have continued until a bystander threatened to call the police. (Oh how I wish he had, in retrospect!) My ex threatened for me to get in the car or he’d divorce me, so I got in and we sped off before the cops could come. When I got in the car he slapped me across the face and we went home. 

The point of all this, is that our arguments about finances would always start out small. But it would always end up so bad that he physically attacked me. He would often choke me so bad he could have killed me and/or my unborn child.

Financial tactics abusers use: not allowing you to have an income, controlling what you spend, ruining your credit by putting everything in your name, not getting a job, spending everything you have, giving you an “allowance”, etc. Don’t take this lightly. As you can see, even financial abuse can lead to harmful and even fatal physical abuse.

Amanda

 

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24 thoughts on “You Can’t Buy Anything Without His Approval

  1. Amanda,

    I don’t know you very well, we went to Jr high and high school together and I was more Kim’s friend. I want to say I am very proud of you for getting out something that could have ultimately killed you. As an outsider, it seems obvious to get out of that situation, but I know that it isn’t. I am also proud of you for sharing you story in detail. If I am ever in a situation I want to think that your story will help me to get out. Thank you for your knowledge and I am sorry you had to go through that. I am happy you are safe.
    I wish you the best.

    Alice

    Liked by 2 people

      1. sure i will. relationship, love and abuse is pretty much where my life is revolving right now.. although it’s since november last year.. i feel its inhibiting everything i do really..

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      2. No not really.. I don’t think proper counselling is available for the type of relationship I was in.. I don’t even know where to start looking for one anyway in this country.

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      3. I understand. There’s a book you should look into, there’s a link on my resources page. It’s called “Why Does He Do it? Inside the Minds on Angry and Controlling Men” by Lundy Bancroft. It applies to any type of relationship. It changed my life.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Thank you Amanda. I’ll find that book. It’s time we love ourselves. Done enough harm i feel residual now.. but I am out of it and I’m glad it’s over.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I used to be in a relationship with a guy abusing me in so many of the ways you write about and I got out, but have never been brave like you to publicly speak about it and therefore I salute you. But with time came healing and today I have the one who respects and loves me for who I am.

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  2. So sorry to hear what you have been through and hopeful you are in a better place now as it seems. Your ex sounds a bit like my first husband but strange for me to say this now but my ex was not as bad. However, the not working, playing games, betting, using the money for silly things, trying to control everything, etc was very much like your ex. Thankfully I did not stay long with him and left 3 years into the relationship and one year after we had got married. He actually had changed and become like that after we married and not before. Kudos to you for making your blog a place for people to relate and find advice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry that he was like that too! Changing after marriage or a period of time being in the relationship is a common tactic abusers use. If they can get you “hooked” it will be harder for you to leave, especially after marriage and kids. I’m glad you recognized the signs before any more abuse could continue. You are strong for doing so, I can imagine it would be hard to get a divorce after being married for only a year. Thank you so much for the support!

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      1. Sadly, it is a common trend for women who are abused to fall into another abusive relationship. But, don’t feel bad or beat yourself up about it! Many of the victims I’ve talked to have stated that they tend to fall for those with what seem like minor issues in hopes that they can become their “savior” and help them out of their difficult times. We also tend to fall for traits we are familiar with. The good thing though is that you have, twice, recognized the fact that they both were abusers. That is a really good thing! I hope that you can now pick up on the warning signs before you get too far into a new relationship, and I hope my blog will help you to do that. Thank you again for sharing your experiences.

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  3. It’s a crime crime, regardless of where it happens or who it happens to. And the long road to recovery, restoration, and ultimately justice, begins with perhaps the hardest, but definitely the boldest decision and action of the victim to come out and make known the truth. Now, here’s a story that can be a source of inspiration to the countless many who have suffered, or are still suffering the same fate. Good job. Keep the fight going. You’re not alone.

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  4. Hey Amanda I can really relate to your financial abuse. I was a abused for 10 years the same way. He never put his hands on me thank God. But he we lived 12 different places and he could never hold down a job and I would be working 2-3 jobs to support us. He use to take my bank card and use it without my permission and wrote several bad checks from my account without my permission. It was a vicious cycle. I have so many stories we went without electricity water and heat at one point. I started hiding money so I could escape and I finally did. Thank you so much for sharing ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Annie, I’m so sorry you had to experience that. It’s so sad the he was so selfish and made it impossible to pay your bills. I’m so happy to hear that you were able to escape before it got worse! You are strong! Thank you for reading and for the support!

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  5. The reason why I joined the Air Force was so that I could support myself and son and escape my very toxic marriage. I’ve never used the word abuse to describe the issues I experiences with my ex, although there were a few episodes of mild violence, one or two I instigated, after reading your last two post I believe there may have been some emotional abuse. We never had enough money for our bills because he couldn’t keep a job and he would spend what money we did have on cigarettes and energy drinks. I remember donating plasma just so we could have food for a couple of days, and shoplifting. There was so much cheating I can’t distinguish between my suspicions and what really happened. And of course when ever I confronted him about it I was a “crazy bitch” and I was the one who would end up apologizing. When our son was born it was not the joyous occasion it should have been because he was already in a relationship with another woman and he had no interest in being in the hospital with us or bonding with our baby. I’m so happy that you finally escaped the cycle and your daughter will not have to grow up seeing those things. Being a single mother is not for the faint of heart so stay strong, and I think it only gets harder as they get older. You can always reach out to me if you’re struggling. I hope that you have repaired your relationship with your parents or at least have someone near by that you can lean on.

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