Know The Signs of Financial Abuse
It is imperative you know the signs of the financial abuse of the narcissist. If not, you may not discover the extent of the damage until after the discard. I was unaware of them and learned this lesson the hard way.
The FIRST thing my husband did when he woke up each morning was fire up his laptop and checked the bank balances. I thought absolutely nothing about this. I thought he was just one who liked to stay on top of things. Never in all those years did I think he was incrementally siphoning off $500 here, $2000 there, making it look like he was transferring money to the bill pay account. That’s because he’d been secretly taking my name off joint accounts, having our standard cards reissued to only his name, cashing in his 401 K (How? I have no idea … I would have had to sign), and so much more.
I set up thousands of dollars a month to go directly into savings, and I never looked at our accounts because I was too busy. My bank cards sufficed for everyday things like gas, coffee, food, etc., so I was an easy mark.
I was happy and content to let Dear Darling pay the bills while I worked way too many hours. As a result, he left with a LOT more than his clothes when he left.
Knw The Red Flags of Financial Abuse
Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC, wrote a wonderful article that was reviewed by The Scientific Advisory Board, staring that there are at least six types of financially abusive narcissists. They are:
- The Asset Narcissist
- The Banking Narcissist
- The Credit Narcissist
- The Taxes Narcissist
- The Budgeting Narcissist
- The Work Related Narcissist
Meet The Asset Narcissist
According to Hammond, the asset narcissist may come to the relationship with money that they will have no problem flaunting in front of you and others who are less fortunate. Don’t be surprised when you find yourself dependent on them for the necessities of life. They may also brazenly ‘appropriate as theirs’ financial resources you or your family members may have.
And here’s the kicker–they will expect everyone to not think a thing about it.
While we’re talking about family financial resources, they’ll expect inheritances and other things you are gifted during the relationship to be placed in their name. They will pressure you to give them full signing and managing authority for your assets but you can bet your last dollar that you will never be given access to anything of theirs.
These financial sharks will have and maintain plenty of other assets listed only in their name. Furthermore, they won’t express a twinge of guilt over destroying things of financial or emotional significance that you had prior to your relationship with them.
As if all that isn’t enough, they will have no problem callously canceling various types of your very necessary insurance–without your knowledge or consent. They’ll do this intentionally, to leave you in a vulnerable position. You can expect them to couch this and under the guise that those expenses were costly and you didn’t need.
The Banking Narcissist
Hammond further goes on to state that a banking narcissist will expect you to deposit your earnings into an account listed in their name; coincidentally, one to which you have no access.
Isn’t that convenient?!
In the event that you do have a joint account with them, expect for them to set it up or change it to where they are the only person able to access the records and online statements. They will make devaluing statement like you’re not good at taking care of financial matters so you need to leave everything up to them.
Last but not least on this list here for the banking narcissist is that you can expect them to have squirreled away money and have investments you know nothing about. Heaven help you if you ever question them or intimate that you suspect them of hiding funds.
Should you do this, expect a catastrophic response and explosion of rage.
The Taxes Narcissist
In the cases of divorce, even if you have been named the custodial parent for tax purposes, it’s not uncommon for a taxes narcissist to claim additional (fraudulent) tax credits.
They will boldly file taxes first and use your child’s social security number without get your permission or even attempting to discuss it with you.
If you’re still together and filing jointly, they will have no trouble padding deductions and expecting you to turn a blind eye. And, as happened to me, it not uncommon for them to liquidate tax-sheltered funds like IRA’s without your knowledge or consent.
The bottom line here is that they’re so grandiose and arrogant that they assume it’s your duty to ‘just trust’ them.
The Budgeting Narcissist
This kind of narcissist loves to wield power over you by creating circumstances that place you in a position where you have to to beg for the funds to meet your basic daily needs.
They will castigate you as they pontificate about their superior financial prowess and ability to budget well.
They then turn around and spend inordinate sums of money on expensive items for themselves, and then bash you for not being able to do so. In their way of seeing things, you don’t need the same kind of liberty. You can also expect to be punished with verbal, physical, sexual, or emotional abuse should you find a way to garner a meager stash of your own money outside their clutches and control.
Finally, there’s the work-related narcissist that strive to keep you from advancing your career and independence. If they think they can get away with it, they will use the bully pulpit of religion (or outright coercion) to ‘forbid’ you from furthering your education or working outside the home.
Their goal is guarantee your total financial dependence on them.
If you happen to already have a job or career, one of their many sabotage tactics is to orchestrate a fight right before time for you to leave for work–hoping to get you in hot water for being late. Some narcissists have been known to hide your keys and lay on the guilt trip that ‘staying and working out your differences is more important than being on time.’
Seeing you as an indentured servant, they may expect you to work gratis for theirs or a family member’s business. If you happen to be in a relationship with a jealous or overly-controlling work-related narcissist, they will want to have access to your work-related communications. They will insert themselves into the details about your daily job. In severe cases, in addition to harassing you with calls and texts during the work day, they will manufacture dramas that will eventually get you terminated by your employer.
Of course, everyone else will be blamed for your firing in order to cover up the real instigator: your narcissist partner.
This has been a high-level summary some of the points Hammond made in her article. I am not a therapist or professional–only one who has been through this horrendous journey of healing. For further information on this and many other topics, I suggest you check out her excellent book: Abuse Exposed.
- Familiarize yourself with the red flags of financial abuse by a narcissist. Establish and maintain financial independence.
- Always have your own accounts and do not blindly hand your earnings over to anyone else.
- Also educate yourself on personal finances, so you don’t live in what Hammond calls ‘a dictatorship’.
- And finally, be aware that you may have unwittingly gotten into a relationship with a financially abusive narcissists.
And to them, it’s all about one thing …
Credits: title header image credit: canva.com | video credit: “For The Love Of Money” YouTube, uploaded by OldschoolMusicJunkie, March 10, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d78_9iP0VRY