Control Issues in Marriage: Money as a Source of Control

One of the reasons so many women are adamant about earning their own incomes is that they have seen what can happen to women who have no resources of their own. While most men are not trying to control their wives with money, it can and does happen. If the woman has no income or makes significantly less than her husband makes, it seems as if he wields control. If he takes advantage of the situation, it can be very damaging to the marriage.

This may also occur if a wife has or earns more than her husband does. In fact, this reverse scenario happens more frequently than before with continuously changing roles in relationships.

Is one person better than the other is because he or she makes more money? Most of us were raised to believe that material things are not the measure of a person. So, how do some people fall into the trap of placing themselves above their spouses simply because they have more or make more money? Is it because they have big egos, or is it bluster meant to mask insecurity? Lording money over someone in an effort to control or manipulate that person says a lot about an individual’s character as well as his or her self-esteem.

If you feel your spouse uses money to control you, it is important to discuss it with him or her. This is an issue that will create deep resentment. If he gives you an “allowance” and demands that you account for every cent, there is more there than a simple wish to avoid overspending. By keeping a tight grasp on the purse strings or rationing out money when your spouse feels you “deserve” it that person is telling you that he or she does not see you as a partner, as an equal.

He or she sees you as less than worthy of sharing and enjoying items seen as “my stuff.” It should be “our stuff.” You cannot have a partnership when one person wields control over another in this way. A partnership means both parties are to be treated as equally as possible, and that includes when it comes to money. Besides, he or she wouldn’t have the freedom to earn or to enjoy the fruits of those labors, without the contributions you make to the relationship.

This can become very serious if not addressed. Both money and control issues have caused many marriages to end, especially when the two issues are combined. If money appears to equal control in your relationship, it would be wise to address it or perhaps to seek a neutral party such as a counselor or clergyman to help mediate the situation – sooner rather than later.

*You are as worthy of the good things in life as your spouse is, and he or she should want to share them with you.

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