Do You Have a Financially Controlling Husband?

Financial control is one very effective method that a controlling husband* can use to maintain power and control over his wife.
It is important to understand the overall pattern of abuse and how financial control plays into that. (Read more here about what the pattern of abuse looks like and be sure to download the checklist of controlling behavior.)
The following list contains some examples of how a husband might exert financial control. Consider these in light of the complete picture of other types of control you may see coming from your husband.


❑Withholds money that you need for necessary purchases like groceries, feminine hygiene products, or baby diapers
❑ Doesn’t pay the bills
❑ Spends the family money on things for himself, but blames you
when there is not enough money for necessary purchases
❑ Withholds a vehicle or other resources from you
❑ Uses money as a pawn to get you to meet his demands (e.g. will not give you grocery money until you give him sex)
❑ Criticizes your spending
❑ Makes you ask for money
❑ Expects you to make necessary purchases with an impossibly small
amount of money. Becomes angry when you ask for more
❑ Does not allow you to earn your own income OR does not work
❑ Constantly reminds you of all he does for you
❑ Does not allow you to keep your own money
❑ Requires any of your income to be given to him to manage
❑ Controls all family finances OR becomes angry when he doesn’t
like how you do it but requires you to do it anyway
❑ Has secret financial accounts that he doesn’t tell you about
❑ Does not tell you how much money he earns
❑ Does not give you other information about the family finances
❑ Steals money from your purse or sells your belongings
❑ Makes big financial decisions without consulting you
❑ Gets you fired from your job or tries to sabotage your work
❑ Opens credit accounts or obtains loans in your name without your
❑ Forces you to sign loans or take on debt in your name
❑ Requires you to account for every penny you spend, including
receipts and change
❑ Does not allow you to have online passwords to the family’s
financial information
❑ Does not allow you to earn any of your own income
❑ If you are not the breadwinner, makes you feel indebted for using all “their” things that they pay for – house, car, computer, phone, etc.
❑ Forced poverty (will not earn a livable wage and/or will not allow you to contribute to a livable wage)

When it comes to finances, a healthy marriage should have the following elements:

1. Transparency
2. Equality

If you recognized financial control from the checklist above, and if your marital finances are not characterized by transparency and equality, something is wrong.

It’s important to understand that financial control is often a means to prevent you from having any recourse in regards to other patterns of controlling behavior your husband may be exhibiting. A controlling husband may keep his wife completely dependent on him financially, knowing it will seem nearly impossible for her to leave him.

Many women are forced to make a difficult choice: stay in a relationship that is killing them from the inside out or face the possibility of poverty or homelessness.

There is hope and help. First, cry out to God. He sees you. He knows your circumstances. He can provide a way out of bondage for you like he did for the children of Israel.

Then, use the wisdom and resources that are available to you.

  • Call your country’s domestic violence hotline (800-799-7233 in the U.S.) and ask them to connect you to resources local to you.’
  • Seek an advocate from your local domestic violence organization who can help guide you
  • Gather any documents that have anything to do with your legal information (birth certificates, social security cards) or financial information (bank accounts, credit card accounts, investment accounts, etc.)
  • Call any companies where there is joint debt (credit cards, etc.) and ask if they can remove your name from the account. This will prevent future debt from being accrued in your name.
  • Begin collecting cash money and/or open a separate banking account.
  • Make sure that your husband does not have access to your personal information (social security number, passwords, password clues) that he could use to access your bank account or open debt accounts in your name.
  • If you do not have a job, begin obtaining some of your own money:  Sell items on Facebook marketplace; Use your debit card and request some cash back each time you purchase groceries; Add a Visa gift card onto your order whenever you shop. (Select cards without fees or expiration dates and save to use as cash later); Do odd jobs like babysitting or Doordash delivery
  • Begin updating or obtaining job skills (ask your local DV agency for referrals to organizations who may be able to help you with this.)


Financial control can feel overwhelming and hopeless. Focus on taking one small step at a time. What is one thing from the list above that you can do?

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Safety Exit