People are becoming more open to talking about religion, politics, and sex, but for some reason, money is still considered taboo. According to financial expert Daniel Crosby, "it is such a loaded question and there is so much subtext and hidden meaning wrapped up in money." And sa totoo lang, tama siya. Money can be extremely powerful—lalo na in relationships. I'm sure naranasan niyo nang magaway dahil sa pera. Sometimes, in a relationship where one person earns significantly more than the other, financial decisions can sometimes become abusive. 'Pag iniwasan nating pagusapan ang pera, financial abuse may go unnoticed. Pero paano mo malalaman kung financially abusive ang partner mo?
1. Does he make you feel guilty every time gumastos ka?
We acknowledge that it’s healthy for couples to keep each other in check when it comes to spending money, pero totoo lang 'to kung you do it as a team. That said, if your partner constantly tries to control what you buy or makes you feel na kailangan mo pang magpaalam bago ka gumastos, 'yon ay abuse of power.
2. Nagco-complain ba siya about your work?
Does this sound familiar? "'Di na ako nagtratrabaho kasi sabi ng asawa ko sa bahay na lang daw ako." There is a difference between wanting to take care of the home and being forced to drop your career just to fit someone’s preference. Choice mo 'yon. Someone who wants to control how much you work or sabotage you professionally and shames you into quitting is taking away your financial freedom.
3. Tinatago ba niya yung bills o other important documents from you?
Yes, there are times when it just makes more sense for these documents to be under one name (even if it isn’t yours). This can be toxic though, kung hindi ka updated sa status ng finances niyo at kung nagde-decide siya para sa inyong dalawa without consulting you. For big life decisions like buying a house, your name should ALWAYS be in the paperwork. Avoid situations where your partner can literally take everything away from you overnight.
4. If your partner tries to regulate your behavior
Abusive partners tend to do things like cut off credit or debit cards or refuse to pay for things to get what they want or to keep you in check. If you’ve ever been in line at the grocery and your card suddenly didn’t go through because your partner didn’t tell you that he had it cut—that's not okay. Another example of this is if nag-agree siyang magbayad for something tapos babawiin niya if things don't go his way.
5. "Hindi mo ba ako mahal?"
This one's sort of the other way around—when you're the one who's earning more in the relationship and your partner tries to manipulate you to spend. For example, when you refuse to pay for something, and he responds with, "Akala ko ba mahal mo ako?" Keep an eye out for this type of behavior!