The Harris Interactive and Credit Karma conducted a survey among 1,036 adults in America regarding financial bully. As per the report, 1 in 10 adults, who are in a committed relationship, have financially bully partner.
The report also revealed that financial bully is more prevalent in young couples aged 18-34.
Unfortunately, financial bully exists in many relationships. Couple fight over money or a spouse yells at another spouse for overspending. Sometimes, a spouse takes away credit cards or demands the whole paycheck for enjoying life.
Financial bully is dangerous and can destroy a relationship. But, not only your spouse, the financial bully can be your friend, coworker, your mom, and own offspring.
In general, bullying is when a person threatens another to do what he/she wants.
Mostly it happens in a relationship; it can be a marriage, a live-in relation, or any other personal relationship.
Sometimes, a person becomes a financial bully to get out of financial trouble. Sometimes, a bad financial past can make a person a financial bully. Anxiety or the fear of financial insecurity also can make a person financial bully.
Brad Klontz, a financial psychologist and author of "Mind Over Money", has said "If somebody is just using the money for control, it's a huge red flag".
In a committed relationship, the financial bully can destroy peace; it can lead to divorce as well.
Thus, you have to identify whether or not you are going through the financial bullies in your relationship. It will help you to safeguard your relationship.
Some money behaviors can be the signs of the financial bully.
Here you go:
This is one of the common signs of the financial bully. If you find that your spouse or partner goes overboard on the monthly budget or your spouse blames you for overspending, then he/she can be a financial bully in your life.
If you find that your credit cards are in control of your partner, then your partner may be a financial bully. By taking away the credit cards, your partner wants you to make purchases that only he/she wants.
"I earned, I rule" mentality can be the cause of financial bully. The partner who earns money can think himself/herself as the ruler. Sometimes, the earner distributes money unfairly that aggravates money issues in a relationship.
Some spouses try to discourage their significant others from earning more. They fear about losing the control over money as they think "Earning more gives power".
Due to lack of trust, some couples ask their significant others to show the receipts of purchases. This act signifies the utter financial bullying.
In most cases, ,most people don't believe that their partners are financial bullies. Thus, their financial relationships weaken over time. Sometimes, it leads to divorce. Thus, it is important to recognize the problem and take actions.
If you feel your partner is becoming a financial bully, then sit with him/her and discuss it. Try to make your partner believe that everything is okay with your money. Few money mistakes or few splurges can't create a financial problem. It is better if you try to re-evaluate how you can manage money as a couple.
Try to make agreements together on some financial tasks. Agree to review your finances together once a month or quarter. Keep breathing spaces while creating the budget. Have a regular discussion to prevent your partner from getting too serious.
If your partner feels insecure about falling into debt, losing a job, or crossing the budget, then you have to build a savings account that can act as a savior.
Try to make your partner believe that in any financial trouble, you can take help of that fund. By doing so, you can help your partner to stay calm in intense financial situation.
If you partner starts behaving unnaturally about money, then you have to seek help from a therapist. Because, in extreme cases, there can be the chances of physical abuses, too.
In most cases, a financial bully belongs to a poor family and is afraid of not having enough money for living. May be your partner has never enjoyed life before and now wants to spend money to get a luxurious life. If so, then you should play the role of an honest friend to understand his/her feelings. Instead of judging your partner, tell him/her that maintaining a balance can only bring happiness in life.
If your partner is more skeptical about money subject, then try to take an expert's help to manage the situation. For example, you can take professional help to know how to create a budget that is suitable for you, how much savings is enough as per your age or income, and when to start saving for retirement.
Strong partners usually bully their weak partners, because a weak person often agrees on a debating subject. Thus the stronger partner starts nagging to the significant other in every financial matter.
To overcome this kind of situation, you have to say "No" to your partner. If your partner tries to force you to make changes in your financial decision, then say "No" firmly mentioning the reason why your decision is right.
Once you start doing it, your partner may change his/her view of you. Your partner starts believing that you also possess financial insights. If you stay firm in a decision, your partner will surely feel secured. Gradually, your partner will start believing in your decision as well.
The mantra of a successful financial relationship in a marriage is setting goals together. If both of you set financial goals separately, then both of you can become a competitor of each other. It can spoil your relationship.
Thus, you should sit with your spouse and set the financial goal for both of your financial well beings. It helps both of you to work together to achieve the goals. Also, once you successfully achieve the goals, both of you will be happy and feel secure.
Lastly, don't hide the problems; seek help to save your marriage or your live-in relationship. If you drag the problem, it can aggravate more issues and can lead to divorce. Thus, it is advisable to seek help, as soon as possible to live a peaceful financial life with your partner.