I have been thinking of writing a post on this issue for some time, but was finally spurred into action after reading an article entitled ‘The financial abuse that affects 2 million Australian women‘, by Bianca Hartge-Hazelman. Bianca is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Financy, a finance publication for women. Bianca informs us that:
“Research indicates that financial abuse, at the hands of one partner over another in intimate relationships, is widespread and common in Australia.”
“Financial abuse is a form of domestic violence which each year costs the economy $15.6 billion, according to the National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (NCRVWC).”
So how many men are also subject to financial abuse at the hands of their partners? We don’t know as Bianca says nothing whatsoever about *that* side of the equation. Bianca’s article is not unusual in this regard, given that most articles on financial abuse ignore financial abuse perpetrated by women. Another Australian example is ‘Gloves off as the abused take control‘ (18 August 2015).
I could spend hours hunting for relevant statistics, but what’s the point when feminists are invariably nonplussed when confronted with facts anyway. Instead I thought I would take a different tack and recount to you the experiences of a male friend of mine. Let’s call him ‘Len’, and let’s call his ex-wife ‘The Lamprey‘ (or TL for short).
Len is one of the countless men who have been – and still are being – subjected to financial abuse by women they love, or once loved. His financial exploitation remains ongoing, although the worst is certainly over. He loves his kids, and with a shared custody arrangement in place Len has no choice but to remain in fairly close contact with his ex.
And no, I can assure you that I am not Len, but I do know him well enough to guarantee the accuracy of this account.
Len worked hard and accumulated assets. Although only in his thirties at the time he met his future wife, he was on the way to securing the ability to retire in his 40’s. Anyway they met and fell in love, and moved in together. A little later they married and were subsequently blessed with two youngsters.
The Lamprey had already trained as a teacher and worked in that profession for about six months before latching onto Len. I think she had also done a very limited amount of modeling work. To my knowledge she hasn’t worked another day since the time she moved in with Len.
Whilst living with Len, TL *chose* not to work. AFAIK there was no pressure from Len either way. Len paid for domestic help (i.e. cleaner, nanny, etc), which was just as well given her aversion to grocery shopping and housework. She also sent the kids out to child care at the first opportunity. How lucky that TL had chosen a husband who didn’t mind cooking. So, you might be asking, what did she do with her time?
The Lamprey loved to spend Len’s money. She went out for long lunches with friends at expensive cafes, she went shopping for clothes, and sometimes she took herself to stay at (you guessed it) expensive health spa resorts.
One of TL’s less endearing habits was waiting for Len to come home from work and then – as he began cooking/helping kids with homework/etc, she would say “Oh, I might go and have a shower now“, not to be seen again until dinner was on the table.
All the time Len doted on his wife and kids. He didn’t fool around with other women despite having ample opportunity to do so. They occasionally quarrelled on the few occasions when Len raised the issue of TL’s selfishness and profligate spending, but he certainly was never abusive towards her. Mostly he just let it pass.
Len bought some land in a prestige location and set about building the house of his dreams. It was a long, tiring and costly process. When it was finally finished (after about 2 years) he then, with the now enthusiastic help of TL, set about furnishing it.
By some strange quirk or coincidence, soon after they moved into the new house, TL announced that she no longer loved Len and asked when he could move out. TL had already briefed a lawyer and went straight into ‘attack mode’ to get the most generous settlement achievable. Len was completely blind-sided. He refused to move out so TL rented an apartment – at Len’s expense of course.
As reality set in Len was heartbroken. He tried hard to get TL to attend counselling etc, but she was lukewarm on that idea. Upon realising she had little or no intention of continuing their marriage, and with the added stress of parenting, work and legal proceedings, Len descended into depression and required counselling and medication. His friends and family were worried about both his physical health and state of mind, and incredibly angry about TL’s behaviour.
Allow me to illustrate. On one occasion TL came to collect the children from Len’s house. Len was so ill that he had called an ambulance. TL could not even be bothered to wait with Len to ensure he was OK until the ambulance arrived.
Let’s halt at this point to consider what TL added and subtracted from their 6-7 years of marriage. On the plus side TL contributed two children and companionship for Len.
On the negative side, TL contributed not one dollar to the household budget, did the barest minimum of housework, and when-ever possible farmed the kids out to commercial childcare providers, or to the care of her husband or extended family.
The Lamprey extracted all her very considerable living expenses, 5 star holidays, her divorce-related legal expenses, a large proportion of Len’s assets, and spousal support for 12 months. Len asked TL if he could delay payment of her ‘share’ of the marital home (his dream house) as the real estate market had crashed, and he would have to sell it at a fire-sale price. No, she didn’t care, she wanted ‘her’ money immediately.
I wonder how much of Len’s money, obtained by TL thanks to our outdated and gynocentric legal system, will be preserved for their childrens’ future and how much has already been squandered?
And you know what? Just before her spousal support payments were due to terminate TL had the temerity to ask Len if he could keep the payments going for a while longer. She needed to finish her yoga course before she could earn an income – she said she planned to make a career as an instructor. Thank goodness Len trod on that fabulous idea.
Not long after that, TL moved in with another guy. She married him but wouldn’t give him the kids that he wanted so they divorced not long after. Then she moved in with some retired sugar-daddy type character. So from one sponsor to the next as the fun and/or funds started running out.
Since the divorce TL has failed to meet her responsibilities to provide for 50% child support with respect to both the time she devotes to the children, and to her financial contribution to their support. Len has let her off the hook for the sake of the children, in order to preserve some degree of harmony. He rationalises the situation by saying that if they were still married he would be paying 100% of the kids expenses anyway. Throughout the process Len has been patient and gracious to a fault.
Does TL feel in any way guilty about her behaviour? I haven’t asked her, but I don’t believe so. Hell no. Her attitude, which I suspect is quite common, is that she only took what she had a right to take under the law. So that’s gotta be fair, right? Of course, nil consideration given as to whether the law/family court itself is actually fair. Well, TL et al, it’s not.
Is this not financial abuse? Damn right it is. Am I saying that most divorces are like this? No, but Len’s situation is far from being a rare occurrence in my experience. In fact I don’t think I would know anyone in my network of friends/family/acquaintances who has not seen this pattern play out several times within their own circles. Can it be any wonder that more and more men are reconsidering the wisdom of getting married?
Anyway that’s what can happen when couples divorce (or simply separate in the case of de-facto couples). But the extent of financial abuse of men by women goes well beyond divorce. Consider:
- ‘Sperm-jacking’, where a woman impregnates herself with sperm recovered from a condom, etc, and then demands child support
- Intentional pregnancy in the hope of trapping a man in marriage and/or having a child who is financially supported by another (thanks to mandatory child support till age 18) that occurs after a woman falsely tells a man that she is using contraception
- False claims of pregnancy from women seeking ‘payment’ of claimed abortion expenses and/or alleged child support (where for example they live in another country and are less likely to be trapped in a lie).
- Situations where a man or boy is raped by a woman, again resulting in mandatory child support (one legal precedent).
- Paternity fraud where a man is falsely told he is the father and pays child support. There are many instances where men have become suspicious and arranged DNA testing, found they were not the parent, but the court still subsequently ordered that they continue paying child support nonetheless.
In a growing number of cases we shall also see men subject to the same type of financial abuse traditionally experienced by some women. This is the result of the growing number of couples where the man assumes the role of house-husband. This decision may be voluntary or it may result from his inability to secure employment in a work environment that is increasingly favouring women. In such cases the male partner may have either a much lower income than his wife, or no income at all.
I am not surprised that these issues were not addressed in an article on domestic financial abuse by a feminist, for none of them are even blips on the feminist radar screen. And this despite the fact that they can be life-changing events in a man’s life, and in some cases life-ending events. Let that sink in, and ponder on it the next time you hear a feminist crowing about how men should respect women and do more to support them and their causes.
In May 2017 much media attention was given to a practice labelled as ‘stealthing’, whereby men remove their condom during sex without their partners consent (example). Few articles even made passing reference to the fact that women perpetrate a similar act when they falsely claim to be using contraceptives in order to ‘trap’ a man in a relationship and/or secure an income stream via child support payments.
Bell v Landry: paying your wife an ‘allowance’ is an insult (10 May 2017) One-sided wisdom from misandrist journalist, Jenna Price.
Karl Stefanovic and Cassandra Thorburn complete carving-up of assets six months after announcement (6 May 2017) Gee, it costs a guy a lot to keep in touch with his kids nowadays, huh? Another divorce-rape
Millionaire tycoon loses legal fight to stop wife who cheated on him walking away with half of his £150 million fortune (12 April 2017) with related Reddit discussion thread here
When having separate bank accounts is the opposite of independence, by Polly Dunning (21 March 2017) Australia. And again, because only men financially abuse and humiliate their partners.
The biggest financial risk for women today? Embarking on a relationship (19 March 2017) One can always rely on The Guardian to provide an alternative and suitably distorted view of reality.
Now it’s men who are the victims of lonely hearts fraudsters (8 March 2017) UK
Revealed: the hidden problem of economic abuse in Australia (2 March 2017) This article provides corresponding figures for abuse of men, although the definition employed excludes many of the variations of abuse noted in this post.
‘Getting divorced? Go after his pension’ (25 February 2017)
Men outraged over paying child support for kids who are not theirs (23 February 2017) USA
Conwoman Sanaa Derbas jailed for dating scam targeting lonely men (23 February 2017)
A website dedicated to trapping men with falsified pregnancy documents, sonograms, test results, etc. is ruthlessly investigated … many male victims interviewed (13 February 2017) Reddit discussion thread with linked video.
‘Reliable honest’ husband who handed his wife, 51, all of his ready cash in a divorce 15 years ago is told he must up her maintenance after she blows the lot on ‘unwise property investments’ (7 February 2017) UK
Chilling confession of ‘Sextortion Queen’ in Philippines (24 January 2017)
Very much focused on the abuse of women, but at least this article notes that 40% of victims (in the cited study) were male.
When care becomes control – financial abuse cuts across cultures (17 January 2017) Why bother surveying men when financial abuse only happens to women, right?
Nearly half of men who take paternity test are not the real father (3 January 2017) UK
The boss and the secretary: Five reasons powerful men get beautiful girls (20 December 2016) Australia. And another article promoting the notion that only men exploit women.
Woman Claims She’s Paying College Bills With Positive Pregnancy Tests (19 December 2016) USA
This year the most attractive men in the world will lose hundreds of millions to their divorcing wives: Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt and now George Clooney too: his wife is ready to get at least $ 300 million dollars from him (11 December 2016) Reddit men’s rights discussion thread
Mum charged with faking DNA tests to con ex into thinking he was baby’s dad (8 December 2016) UK
Domestic violence also has an economic penalty – we need to tackle it (29 November 2016) and Financial abuse: The hidden form of domestic violence affecting millions (25 November 2016) Two more articles re: financial abuse that doesn’t even hint that men can also be victimised in this manner
Banks enhance support for family and domestic violence victims (22 November 2016) Australia. The guidelines seem to be reasonably gender-neutral, although I wonder to what extent they will be as applied in real-life. There is also no mention made of the reality of false accusations being made as a form of abuse.
Jets, vacation homes, Botox all factors in cancer center founder’s divorce (21 October 2016) USA
Males Out of Work – NYT Does Not Get It (18 October 2016) It’s worth considering that whilst there exists this backdrop of financial abuse, the financial well-being of many men is declining considerably rendering them less able to rebound after losses are incurred.
Marital wallet rape is bad, m’kay? (6 October 2016)
Fake pregnancy: MGTOW (2 October 2016) Video
Blame the Patriarchy! (29 September 2016)
James tells Mariah: ‘Stop spending all my money!’ (26 September 2016)
Man wins fight against paying support for another man’s child (23 September 2016)
ShowerThought about paternity fraud (11 September 2016) Reddit discussion thread
‘I’m not paying for that’: Financial abuse is awfully common (6 September 2016)
Well at least this article acknowledges that some financial abuse of men does occur … only to minimise it by saying “While men are also affected by financial abuse, the majority of cases are women”. Hmm, sounds like so many domestic violence article doesn’t it?
“I pleaded with him to lend me the money and knew it would give me a new lease of life” … “I didn’t really have any desire to pay him back. If I had to choose between the boobs and him, it was an easy choice.”
[Parental rights] This is what we’re up against (BURIED in a legal advice sub) (30 August 2016) Reddit discussion thread
Berlin to Require Mums to Come Clean on ‘Milkmen’s Kids’ (29 August 2016) Then read how an Australian feminist thinks this is all about slut-shaming (no mention of the notion of fraud or men being due some modicum of respect.
Sydney mum defrauded lonely men of $2 million (23 August 2016)
American Slavery: Man Paying Child Support for Another Man’s Kid (1 August 2016) USA
US man forced to pay support for a child that’s not his (30 July 2016)
And in a cruel twist, it ‘Turns Out That the Husband’s Job Is Probably the Best Predictor of Divorce‘ (28 July 2016) So those men get hammered twice
In Defense Of Gold Diggers: It’s Not Always What It Seems (17 January 2015) with related Reddit discussion thread here.
Relationship problems and money: Women talk about financial abuse by Prue Cameron (2014) Australia
“Financial abuse in a family violence context involves behaviours that ‘control a woman’s ability to acquire, use and maintain economic resources, threatening her economic security and potential for self-sufficiency’” (p13)
Financial abuse of men not even recognised in the definition used for this research project, which subsequently surveyed only women and made recommendations that only applied to women. This despite the fact that most or even all of the specific forms of abuse discussed, such as being dragged into and out of family court, also clearly are also experiences that also apply to men.
How to snag a rich man: Confessions of a gold digger (31 July 2013)
Rape victim in the USA (a boy) is sued for child support (2004) with related Reddit discussion thread here
Should paternity tests at birth be mandatory (12 February 2013) Video
Should we be doing more to expose paternity fraud? (4 September 2015) and related reddit discussion thread
Other posts in this blog of relevance to this issue include:
The ‘Marriage Strike’ and MGTOW
On Spousal Maintenance / Alimony
We’ve all heard of the gender ‘income gap’, but what about the ‘expense gap’?
Who pays on dates?
On recognising and supporting male victims of domestic violence