STOP Walking on Eggshells! The No. 3 Eggshell you have been walking on very gingerly is the Work Eggshell. If your husband is a controlling abuser, he will flat out not discuss you working outside the home. It won’t make any difference if he is not able to earn enough to effectively support you and your children. In fact, a controlling abuser WANTS TO MAKE SURE there is not enough money for you to leave…not enough money to divide…not enough money to get an attorney and file for divorce. He knows his behavior is out of control. He knows if you had the financial wherewithal to leave him, you would. This is why he will not let you go to work.
If you are with an abuser who earns good money, he will make certain you don’t have access to it. You will be given spending money or an allowance but he will “take care of” the finances.
If you are with a man who doesn’t earn enough money to properly support his family, he will blame you and your children for not having enough (even if he’s lazy and not trying to earn money) while forbidding you to go to work to help pay the bills. If you insist, he will say you need to be at home to take care of the house and kids (who else will do that?—he’s not going to.) He will say you won’t make enough to make working worthwhile. He will say you can’t use the car or there isn’t enough money for you to have a second car so you can go to work (of course if you worked, you could buy a car…you could also leave him if he continued to act crazy—a fact he is well aware of.)
In answer to the excuses as to why you cannot return to work, you must continue to insist that you sit down and open the books. (See previous post entitled “Crush the No. 1 Eggshell” regarding financial abuse.)
Tell your husband, “If it doesn’t make sense for me to go to work, I’d like to sit down and see what our income is every month, what the expenses are, and what is left. I’d like to see our budget on paper in black and white: 1) without me going to work, and 2) with the addition of my potential income. Then we can make a valid decision about my returning to work.”
If he will not let you see what is going on, you are in an abusive situation that includes financial abuse and your safety plan for leaving will have to include planning that addresses your lack of access to ANY money. I can help you with that.