How Women Financially Abuse Men

How Women Financially Abuse Men

“Every night, I’d walk in and be so tired and she wouldn’t say hi. She’d smile and say, ‘Checks, please.’”

-- Man who was financially abused by his wife

When people focus on financial ways men abuse women, they often talk about men who exert control by limiting their partner’s ability to work or access to family money. While those same abuses may occur when the genders are flipped, there also are financial abuses that are available for women to use against men that take advantage of traditional gender roles.

A woman might be in a position to control finances because she has a much larger income than her partner. Another woman may take advantage of a man’s role as “provider” by demanding he provide an unreasonable amount or in unreasonable ways. If he doesn’t live up to her demands, there is a price to pay. The same woman, or other women, may capitalize on female gender roles to help her avoid financial responsibility.

Financially abused men may feel overly taxed by their partners' unreasonable demands or "requests" but struggle to see the situation for what it is since they are conditioned to carry the financial responsibilities for the partnership and family. 

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Financial Abuse Examples

The female-on-male financial abuse ways and means of manipulative or abusive women are diverse:

  • getting him to buy her things
  • controlling the finances
  • restricting access to financial information
  • demanding he make more money
  • misuse of funds
  • stealing from him or the family
  • ruining his credit
  • keeping the family financially burdened
  • refusing to contribute financially to the family
  • limiting his ability to work
  • destroying his property

For further explanation of each of the ways abusive women financially abuse their male partners and the personal stories of abused men check out my book:



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Abuse OF Men BY Women: It Happens, It Hurts, and It's Time to Get Real About It

or for a quick reference 

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A quick look at Abuse OF Men BY Women


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  • Ann Silvers
Comments 6
  • Ann Silvers
    Ann Silvers

    Well said BD.

    I don’t understand why the archaic traditions of men paying for everything haven’t given way as women have become economic equals and partners. (Even if there is an argument for women being only near-equals financially, then why aren’t we expected to be near-equals in carrying the costs in relationships.) I don’t think that men should still be expected to foot the bill for dinner, engagement rings . . .

    And I agree that noting abuses against men does not discount that abuses against women exist. It’s not “either-or”. It’s “and”. Both can be addressed.

  • BD

    Economic abuse of men is absolutely the norm in American society, it’s getting worse and rarely talked about. I’m a liberal, feminist male Ivy league educated supporter of the #metoo movement. As the father of a young girl, I find gender discrimination deplorable and sexual violence abhorrent. But at some point there has to be a reckoning of the facts on this subject.

    Consider that in a ‘traditional’ marriage, people got married in their early 20’s or earlier, then had a large number of children. The women worked hard to care for the kids and keep the home going, while the man worked outside the home to provide economically. Both sides worked at their part for a lifetime. However, starting roughly after WWII, in the average American household, the number of children dropped to ~2, kids almost universally went to school at age 5 and started leaving home for college or to work around 18.

    So, women had a HARD job caring for babies and pre-schoolers for about 7 years. And a tough, but increasingly easier job for another 13 years…for a total of 20ish years. Add in modern conveniences, e.g. washing machines and microwaves, and the labor for a domestic housewife showed continuous improvement. Families come in many shapes/sizes and personal circumstances vary widely, but millions of women did effectively retire in their mid-forties. Men continued to work until 65 and die younger than women from stress related illnesses. This reality is not part of the popular culture or talked about.

    Now we move into the 19060/70’s and the Women’s Movement starts in earnest. It’s no longer OK to assume that women do all the housework and child rearing in Liberal circles, and those circles widen over time. And, women entered the workforce in greater numbers. The narrative becomes “women are both making money and doing all the housework.” Again true for many, but moving to today I see a LOT of couples where men share substantially in housework/childcare, still do the “manly” things of mowing the lawn/maintaining the car…and produce the majority/all of the income.

    Increasingly, in my social and work circles, I see economically powerful women (lawyers/tech execs) choosing to stop working to be stay at home parents, often against the wishes of their male partners. Sometimes this creates economic hardship for these families. And the men are still expected to pitch in meaningfully on housework, etc.

    It’s gotten economically worse and worse for men in these very common scenarios. However, the popular narrative remains: women have it bad, men have it good. Consider the gender pay gap number VERY often cited at 78 cents to women for every dollar to men. That is NOT for the same work, as is often misstated, it’s for all women vs. all men. When you compare men:women in same job/experience/education, the gap mostly shrinks to a few cents…which is still wrong, as are the reasons girls are still conditioned to pursue lower paying careers. However, again popular narratives both exaggerate the economic differences and ignore what’s really going on in a huge segment of families where men are being taken advantage of.

    So, thanks for this article, just as #metoo is shining a light on what’s been happening to women for, well forever, hopefully the economic abuse of men will also become more visible and start to get addressed.

  • Ched

    Me to

  • B

    My ex-wife (yep, EX-wife) financially abused me and our children for well over a decade. She controlled all the finances, barely worked and when she did she’d barely contribute to the household, ran up credit card debt to over $10K year after year after year and I could never figure out what it was she’s was spending it all on. One year, she had accumulated over $25K in cc debt and it took me working OT 50 – 60 hours per week for 3 years to maintain the monthly expenses and get us out of that debt. The following year, $10K more in cc debt, again. The nail in the coffin is when she snuck out of the house early one Saturday morning when I was sleeping, went to a car dealership, traded in her leased vehicle that still had 2 years left on it and bought a new $40K car without consulting me.

    That’s when I knew the cycle of financial abuse was never going to stop. It was never going to end.

    The divorce decree was signed 4 months ago. In that short period of time I’ve been able to save $10K so I can get my finances (and life) back on track. You know that expression “It’s cheaper to keep her”…? Not always

    Good luck, brothers.

  • Ann Silvers
    Ann Silvers

    Hi Chris. Unfortunately, the shortage of people talking about this topic doesn’t correlate with the number of men financial abuse is happening to. I think it’s very common and the culture is blinded to it — as it is blind to the many ways men get abused and taken advantage of in relationships with women. (I’m NOT saying that all women abuse and/or take advantage of men. I’m saying that it is happening far too often.)

  • Chris

    Don’t see alot about this on a Google search. I must be one of the few men that gets abused in this way

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