The narcissist and financial abuse, why they use the money to abuse, some examples of how a narcissist abuses you through yours or their finances.
Why do narcissists abuse through finances?
Part of the narcissist personality disorder is to exploit others; whatever they do at any given moment is always to meet a need of their own. They lack empathy to care for those they use to get their needs met. They are all for power and dominance. They will use any Manipulative mind game possible to keep control over you. They often believe they are special and that they deserve special treatment and should get special attention. They like to get attention by any means possible, playing the hero, playing the victim. They are often Jealous of others and always wanting what others have, yet when they have it. It’s never enough. They are always looking for more. They are preoccupied with power and success. They will often use whatever means possible and whatever people possible to meet their needs. Not all will show these things as the disorder is on a spectrum, narcissistic or not, abuse is abuse, and you deserve to be treated so much better.
The narcissist is a con artist. They are dishonest from the start, Idealising us and feeding us the False dream of the future together, creating an Illusion of what life could be like together. They often start off with all the lies, not that we recognise these lies at the start, as we believe people are honest, so we trust their word. Often we may not even know how much or how little money the narcissist has, as part of their disorder is a preoccupation with power and success. Some are successful, yet they will still exaggerate all achievements. Some are not successful, and they will often blame those around them and still lie and exaggerate about what they do or do not have.
Narcissists are always looking for a replacement for love. One of their best replacements for love for them is money. They think they have money, even if they don’t have any, they believe they are entitled to have it without having to earn it, as part of their disorder is that entitlement, so they think they’re entitled to spend all the money theirs or not, they may gamble, they may use drugs, they may compulsively shop. As they will manipulatively exploit others to meet a need of their own, and their lack of empathy, they often feel no remorse when they exploit others and take others’ money as they believe they are entitled to it, their money or not.
The narcissist is the master of manipulation, from Gaslighting to Silent Treatment. When it comes to abuse, nothing is exempt, including your money and their money. They exploit anything and everything to gain and keep control.
Financial abuse is one of the most powerful ways to keep control over you and to keep you trapped in a toxic relationship. Mostly it happens in a romantic relationship. However, narcissistic parents, children and bosses can use financial abuse against you. 98% of abusive relationships have financial abuse, especially when children are involved.
The narcissist often impacts our finances in various ways.
First, they lie, and they will lie about anything, everything, and everyone to get their needs met, to con people into giving them what they demand to have, and then they threaten. Narcissistic people often meet their needs from others either through false love or fear. They can leave you without money to take care of your basic needs. They may say things like. “ I need petrol in my car to get to work, so I can not give you money for food this week.
They will put the family in debt, as they believe they are entitled to anything and everything.
You may have the tight ward narcissist that’ll not buy their children or even themselves clothes. These will often not see why they have to pay maintenance for their children. Some people are cheap or careful with their money. If they don’t take all yours while keeping all theirs, if they manage yours how they manage theirs, then it’s just who they are, if they take all yours and keep all theirs, a one-way street of they expect you to give, they’ll happily take and give nothing in return. Often we accept this as normal as we are giving out of love, not expecting anything in return. In contrast, they only give out of greed and always demanding in one manipulative way or another something in return. If they are pathological about anything, then it’s not ok.
Some narcissists can be generous to establish themselves of how important and wealthy they are. If they buy you gifts, they will expect something in return. These will sometimes pay maintenance for children after the breakup. Just so they can boast to others how good they are, or pity plays, you take all their money so they can claim they have none and use this to bleed the new supply dry. There are some great parents out there that separate and support the children because it’s their children, and generous people because it’s who they are, not because they want to boast.
Some narcissists’ will stop you from having access to money, so you’re dependent on them, making it seem harder for you to leave. If you’ve been isolated from friends and family and lacking in funds, the fear of leaving often keeps people trapped.
They’ll not want you to buy cars in your own name, they might buy you a car in their name to show others how amazing they are, or they’ll be wanting you to buy them a car, also in their name, or take loans out for them in your name.
They may take credit cards out in your name and max them out, some without your knowledge. The first you might hear is once you have split up and look for credit or receive that bill.
They may borrow money and then gaslight you when it comes to paying you back. “I never borrowed that.” “You gave it to me; how can you not remember.” And “After all, I do for you.” Which is often very little, but they want to guilt-trip us into walking on eggshells around them and not speak up for ourselves, to feel shame for daring to ask about an agreement already made. So we feel like we’re losing our minds and going crazy.
A narcissist often knows the truth, they just want the attention as you try to prove it, and they will do all they can to watch you go crazy as they deny it.
As they like to control others through money. They might take your name off bank accounts or try to get you to sign your house over to them.
They may not be in employment, so depending on your money, they might actually say. “I don’t see why I need to get a job.” I’ll take care of the home, and then they’ll do it to their basic standard of not doing anything and expect you to do it, not only draining your finances, draining your energy, so your physical and mental health suffers also, then when you’re exhausted, financially, emotionally and physically your often less able to put up a fight and more easily led by the narcissists manipulative gaslighting.
If you ask for money, they owe you. You’ll get silent treatments, gaslighting, “I never borrowed that.” “You must be mistaken.” Or guilt trips, “Don’t you remember when I.” Which you possibly don’t, as they most likely never did what they follow that sentence with.
Most narcissists want the best of everything, so they will happily spend their money and yours on themselves, getting themselves the best of everything, yet when it comes to you and your wants, they are not interested. Most people like new things, so if they’ve not got any other signs, they will not be narcissists. Although if you’re googling their behaviour, trying to work out what’s happening or happened to you, then there are some major red flags within that relationship, and narcissistic or not, if they are abusive, mentally, physically, or both, you need to find a safe way out.
Narcissists use manipulative threats over money, so if you let them know you are leaving. You may hear. “ You’ll not be able to afford to take care of the children, so I’ll have to take custody.” So we fear leaving and doubt our own abilities to take care of ourselves and our children.
If you call them out on threats, the covert will say a thing such as“ I didn’t say that.” “You miss understood me.” Or they’ll twist it onto something you did, intimidate you in some way, so they can train you to walk on Eggshells around them, never questioning them and constantly questioning yourself.
If they promise you a nice holiday for weeks, then don’t deliver because they’ve spent money elsewhere, you’ll get the “I didn’t promise that.” Or “You must be imagining things.” They might ask you to book and pay with the promise of giving you the money back, which you’ll never receive back if you agreed to 50/50 they’d find a way out of it, even if that’s just making you too scared to ask because of the arguments they caused the last time you dared to speak up for yourself.
Financial abuse chips away at you. You doubt yourself, your stability and your doubt your financial abilities to take care of yourself and your children.
So they gaslight you with money.
They will lie about how much money they make. They will spend too much on the best car they can to look like they have money. Don’t get me wrong. Some people just want a nice car. If they don’t have other traits just because someone wants a nice car, they are not narcissists.
They will sabotage. When you’re trying to regain control of your finance, they might create situations where you can not work. Or if you do work, they may want that money.
Give you no access to bank accounts
They might not allow you to do any sort of formal study, to further or start a career, as they don’t want to do well for yourself. A narcissist will never lift you up, only temporarily to meet a need of their own, then they’ll drag you back down.
You might be unwittingly forced to skip paying bills because they’ll either need the money for something, will have played you at the start to give up your job so they can take care of you, to the barely give you anything, or they’ll expect you to work, while the leech of you and spend all your money.
The narcissist steals from you. It’s never two-way. It’s never give and take if they give. They always expect something in return.
The narcissist doesn’t trust others because they are very manipulative. We often don’t see it while we live it, as we simply don’t think as they do.
What can you do?
If you’re still with the narcissist and looking to leave, or if you’ve left, they might still have control of the finances, or you might be left with debt. So you need to protect your accounts. Make sure you set new accounts up in your name only, so they can not get access.
Get all your documents, from birth certificates to passports, and any spare money you can get, and give to a friend or family member. If you’re isolated, set up a safe account, this can be tricky if they are stalking everything. Create a budget, no matter how hard.
Once safely out. Call any loan company’s or credit card to see if you can make a payment arrangement you can afford. Change passwords and PIN numbers. Don’t feel bad asking for help.
Look for odd jobs, things you can sell, there’s always a way to make money, and you can find it. Start that course. You might get financial help to do so, further your career, and take control back of your life. The best revenge is leaving them in the past, living your life for yourself and being successful in those things you always wanted to do but couldn’t through fear when you were with them, yet now you’re free to live your life for yourself.
Money is only money at the end of the day. If you earned it before, you’d earn it again. If you’re at risk trying to set up accounts etc., call your domestic abuse shelters and get to safety, if possible, taking your essential documents that you can get hold of. If not, don’t worry. It can be sorted later. Your safety comes. First, everything else can be sorted out afterwards.
Others have broken free from the narcissist and succeeded, and so can you.
Believe you deserve better because you do.
Remember, recovery is all about the baby steps, so celebrate each achievement no matter how small.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.
Click here for Elizabeth Shaw’s Recommended reading list for more information on recovery from narcissistic abuse.
A relationship with a narcissist.