The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

April 30, 2014

Controlling money can be sign of financial abuse

DEAR ANNIE: I’m a 59-year-old non-working female who has been married for 20 years. I thought my husband was a wonderful man, but 10 years ago, he removed my name from our joint bank accounts. I worked for 30 years. I now find myself with no money and no job. I have to depend on my husband for everything. He doesn’t give me money unless I beg for it.

Is there anything I can do legally to persuade him to give me an allowance? He says he pays all of our bills, so I don’t need any money. Our three children agree with him. For health reasons, I cannot return to work. What can I do? — Confused

DEAR CONFUSED: Because your husband and your children all believe you should not handle money, we have to ask whether there is a reason. Do you gamble? Do you overspend? Even so, you still should be allotted a small amount of money for personal use.

The other possibility is financial abuse. Many people think abuse is predominantly about physical harm, but it comes in many guises, one of which is controlling all the money in a relationship, making one partner completely dependent on the other. If this is what is happening in your marriage, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline (thehotline.org) at 1-800-799-SAFE.

DEAR ANNIE: Our daughter and her husband are extremely poor housekeepers. They are successful in education and at their jobs, but utterly fail when it comes to cleaning.

They never invite people to their house. The mess embarrasses our two young grandchildren, who make unsolicited comments about the condition of their home when they stay with us. We once mentioned the state of their house years ago and were told to butt out.

When my son-in-law was hospitalized, the family performed a cleaning intervention. Unfortunately, it didn’t last, and things are back to the usual. We don’t know how to encourage cleanliness without creating a conflict. Any suggestions? — Concerned Grandparents

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With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

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