Financial Abuse is Abuse
When you live with a domestic violence your life is not celebrated. Your birthday is not special. To do so would take away from the abusers ego. For me this is a far cry from how our relationship started. However, it is almost textbook when it comes to the actions of a domestic abuser.
What Does an Abuser Look Like
Often domestic violence is subtle and can happen slowly in a relationship. All of us are at risk of being abused and leaving is complex. First abusers gain and hold power and control in several ways. Domestic violence includes emotional, financial, physical, and sexual abuse. Each of these components is then comprised of complex issues.
My hopes for finding my last love was found in a mild-mannered, retired, widower. At age 68 he was far from what most think of as a domestic abuser. This snowy haired retiree was friendly, sensitive, and seemed the perfect fit for me. We both had homes. His was paid and mine still had a mortgage. We had two cars each. He owned a Porsche and a 4 runner. I owned a Saturn Sky and a Celica. Over the next couple of years we were engaged, lived together, and planned to marry. I sold my home as we combined our assets.
How Abuse Begins
It was shortly after I sold my home he told me he didn’t own his home. He had taken a reverse mortgage to pay for his wife’s medical expenses. I was in shock as he repeated the words. He was nonplussed. In fact, he said it was no big deal. When the the market went up we would sell our home as we originally planned. I was bewildered. He said, don’t worry. It was years later when I would equate this to a physical punch. He knowingly allowed me to sell my home, my only asset to gain control over me. The financial reverberation will follow me the rest of my life.
Financial abuse is abuse. In fact the Allstate Foundation has started Purple Purse an initiative to combat financial abuse. Allstate describes financial abuse is an Invisible Weapon that traps victims in abusive relationships.