Using money to control people (with apologies for the lengthy vent!)
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|Tue, 07-05-2011 - 7:56am|
As some of you know, I went away for the long weekend with DD and X-DH. I had a $1,000 budget and I managed to bring in the weekend UNDER budget, which makes me very happy.
During our trip, DD and I noticed some very strange behaviour by X-DH, which got me thinking about the use of money to gain control over people and situations.
In the past, X-DH has tried to control relationships by using money. At the end of our marriage, when I started to indicate that I would leave if things didn’t change, he began to sabotage our finances so that I would be financially trapped in the relationship (it didn’t work – I left anyways, penniless and saddled with cc debt). Years later, when he finally found a job and could afford to pay me the $225 per month child support that was part of our separation agreement, he would hold onto the money each month and make me ask repeatedly before handing it over. When DD went to college, he was supposed to continue with child support and we both agreed that he could pass the money directly to DD to help with her expenses. And again, he would make her ask numerous times, give her a hard time or insist that he would only give her the money if she performed tasks, such as keeping a list of how she spent every single cent or clean his bathroom when she visited home. It became so bad for her that I had to intercede and started collecting the money for her so that she didn’t have to deal with the games.
His behaviour became less abusive as he got older, but his control issues continued in more subtle ways. He always paid for everyone when he went out with friends or would buy rounds at the local pub so that he could look like the big man – much to his financial detriment. But now he has lost his job and simply doesn’t have the money to engage in this type of behaviour anymore.
DD and I asked him to join us for our annual Canada Day celebration and I indicated that I would pay for everything the entire weekend. DD and I knew he has been incredibly stressed and we thought the weekend away would help him. But we never considered the impact it might have on him when he would not be able to control the situation, especially considering he is currently feeling insecure and scared
At first, we were confounded by his odd behaviour. When we arrived at the hotel in Peterborough, we were carrying the luggage into the lobby and, when I turned around, he was gone. He had disappeared with the car without saying a word. He would have no idea what room we were in and wouldn’t have a key. DD and I checked in and got settled in the hotel room. After about an hour, we got tired of waiting for him. We went to the front desk, gave them his name and indicated they should give him a key if he showed up. We later encountered him in downtown Peterborough after we had trekked to the main strip of the city. He provided no explanation for his behaviour.
When we went out for dinner, he refused to make a decision from the menu and insisted that it was my job to order for him. I refused and, when the waiter came to take our order, I was embarrassed when X-DH insisted he was not in a position to choose from the menu. The waiter suggested their signature dish – jambalaya – and I finally indicated that would be fine. He petulantly ate his meal and, when I told him that he should feel free to order whatever he wanted in the future, he ignored me.
Later that evening, when DD and I went for a swim at the hotel pool, we came back to the room to find ourselves locked-out because the door bolts were on. We banged on the doors (it was a suite with 2 entry doors, but both were bolted) and after about 10 minutes