Financial abuse is a type of domestic abuse that is often overlooked and goes unnoticed. It is a form of power and control where one partner restricts the other's access to money, making them financially dependent and vulnerable. This type of abuse can be particularly prevalent in families where one partner works fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) jobs, leaving their spouse at home with the children and reliant on their income.
Many couples in FIFO relationships find themselves in situations where one partner has given up their career to stay at home with the children. In such cases, the partner who works FIFO holds the key to the family's financial stability. They are the primary breadwinner and the only source of income. It can be difficult for the partner who stays at home to feel like they have any financial control or power. They may feel stuck and unsure of how to make their own money, and they may feel guilty about asking their partner for money.
If you are in a FIFO relationship and feel like you may be experiencing financial abuse, it is important to identify the signs. Some common indicators of financial abuse include:
Your partner controls all the finances and does not allow you access to bank accounts or credit cards.
Your partner restricts your spending or insists on approving all purchases.
Your partner withholds money or uses it to manipulate or control you.
Your partner uses money to punish or reward you.
Your partner does not allow you to work or pursue a career outside the home.
If you are experiencing any of these signs of financial abuse, it is essential to seek help. One option is to speak to a counselor or domestic violence support service. They can offer guidance and support and help you make a plan to address the situation. You may also need to seek legal advice to protect your rights and secure your financial future.
It is also crucial to communicate with your partner about the situation. It can be challenging to broach the subject of financial abuse, but it is essential to have an honest and open conversation about your concerns. Try to approach the conversation in a calm and non-confrontational manner. If you feel unsafe, it may be best to seek the help of a mediator or counselor to facilitate the conversation.
If your partner is willing to address the situation, there are several things you can do to manage financial abuse in your relationship. These include:
Creating a budget together that includes money for your own spending.
Opening a separate bank account in your name.
Negotiating an allowance or spending limit.
Developing a plan for you to re-enter the workforce or pursue further education or training.
Ultimately, managing financial abuse in a FIFO relationship requires a lot of communication, patience, and a willingness to work together to find a solution. Remember, you have the right to financial independence and control over your own money, and there is support available if you need it.