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- Narcissists tend to focus on money and rewards because personal growth and fulfillment are meaningless to them.
- Money and material wealth are highly important to narcissists, so they often become a focal point of their relationships, resulting in financial abuse.
- Some forms of financial abuse, like lying about pay, can be covert or hard to detect while others like controlling a partner’s spending, are obvious.
It could be said that money is what makes the world go round. For narcissists, not only is their prosperity a non-negotiable, but it’s another means of control and superiority in a relationship.
Financial abuse is manifested in different ways, such as neglecting shared expenses or hindering professional growth. This leads to one partner shouldering all the financial responsibilities alone. Some individuals may also maintain secret bank accounts while criticizing their partner’s spending habits.
In some cases, the individual may discourage their partner from pursuing career advancements or academic pursuits to maintain control. Moreover, material wealth often holds significant importance for these individuals. They may flaunt their assets and income to assert dominance, yet fail to contribute financially when required.
Their financial behavior can extend to legal situations where they manipulate bank statements for personal gain. These individuals often view relationships primarily as a means of acquiring resources, using financial power as a tool for control and dominance.
This could involve hiding money, falsifying income details, or refusing financial assistance to others. The underlying motive is always about maintaining power and control over others in the relationship.
Forms of Financial Abuse
Financial abuse can take many forms. It can affect property, assets, personal belongings, bank accounts, investments, job sites, and even schooling and housing needs. The most basic form of financial abuse is that of controlling paychecks.
Narcissists also have no regret over destroying another person’s property. In fact, ruining personal items makes the narcissist feel powerful. They have no qualms about throwing out someone’s childhood mementos, photos, and albums that are irreplaceable, or causing hundreds of dollars in repairs of a laptop smashed in a fit of jealousy. A narcissist will never offer to pay for or replace what they destroyed and instead attempt to shame you for forcing them to act like they did.
Another way of exercising financial abuse is refusing to contribute to shared expenses, repairs, or utilities. The burden of paying the mortgage or rent, coming up with the money to replace a hole in the kitchen floor, or even funding a family vacation will fall to just one partner in a relationship: the non-narcissist. This same narcissist will also most likely have a secret bank account and shame the other partner for their spending habits.
A more covert way of being financially abused is not being allowed to flourish professionally or academically. Talking a partner out of a promotion or a degree program is a selfish and controlling move and ensures that the narcissist stays in control.
Narcissists are overly preoccupied with material possessions and wealth. It becomes about the show and not about the substance. Narcissists will feel the need to brag about their possessions and apparent wealth and use these things to win people over.
Narcissists are also known to lie or cover up their bank statements in legal situations to get more money in alimony or child support. People become pawns, even the lawyers and judges and child support becomes more about financially ruining the ex-partner than caring for the children of the relationship.
Other people, even those they profess to love, may become simply dollar signs. Many narcissists are unable to have true relationships with other people. Friends, lovers, children, even parents are just a means to an end. What the narcissist can get from someone else is the paramount purpose of the relationship. When money is involved, it creates another method of control and hierarchy. Hiding money, lying about paychecks, stealing from others, and refusing to help someone in financial distress make the narcissist powerful and in charge. All relationships are a game devoid of love and true meaning beyond fulfilling the narcissist.