TODAY

TODAY   |  November 20, 2013

Don’t let a loved one be a financial bully

TODAY financial editor Jean Chatzky and relationship therapist Argie Allen present some advice on what to do when you feel like your significant other is pressuring you financially.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> well, almost all couples fight over money but when your partner questions all of your purchases or makes you feel guilty, then it might be what we are calling being bullied financially.

>> here with advice to help you take control of your money, jean ch chatzy. what is financial bullying?

>> when one partner assumes all the financial power in the relati relationship and takes actions to make their partner feel lousy about it and it happens more frequently than we thought. this came to us by a survey through the folks at credit karma. happening at one out of 10 couples, particularly younger couples.

>> this is a power and control thing? the person who makes more money trying to assert power and control?

>> it's all about power and control and also about trust but it doesn't always have to be the partner that makes more money. sometimes it can be the partner that's controlling the money and if you're not in agreement and it feels like a dictatorship then you have a problem and you're bordering on bullying.

>> if your spouse makes you feel guilty about your shopping habits.

>> now see my spouse does that. is that bullying?

>> well, does the guilt come from you or does the guilt come from your spouse.

>> i think i feel guilty about it.

>> i feel guilty about it.

>> that pair or shoes or that dress costs more than you wanted to spend. you have to sit down with your partner and look at what's reasonable in the course of a relationship. there's people that say you spent that much on shoes for the kids and they have no idea how much shoes for the kids should actually cost. so a reality check first and then you focus on the behavior.

>> what should you do about it if you do feel guilty constantly.

>> you to deal with your own guilt. process it out with someone. even with your spouse. but if your guilt is exacerbated when you're always having the money talk and you feel like your spouse is being emotionally or verbally abuses about the finances that's the problem. and you have to deal with what's going on here. it's not about your guilt at that point. they're protecting it on to you.

>> where is the line, then? if the person who is making the money in the family, does he or she have some right to say let's control what we spend every month?

>> i think each person in a relationship needs financial autonomy. otherwise you get into this dangerous situation where one person is the parent and we know a lot of these couples are headed for divorce which is risky. if you feel inside that you're being bullied, you're being bullied and you got to get some help.

>> all right. well, good starter conversation. thank you so much.