Whilst discussing finances with family can sometimes take the pressure off there is the odd occasion where family can be the cause of our financial anxiety.
An extreme form of financial family conflict is sometimes called “financial incest,” in which one or several family members control the others by taking full control of the purse strings and abusing that control. It’s easy to see how this plays out in marriages where only one partner controls the budget and bill paying. Financial incest can also involve “teams” of family members using money issues, such as inheritances, to control other groups.
Another family financial power play involves simply lying about what’s going on with money. One or both partners can hide income or expenses from each other; in extreme cases, one might even take out a loan and not disclose it, or put the family at risk through fraud.
Telling ‘little white lies’ about one’s spending or finances to one’s partner, like making purchases outside an agreed-upon budget or lying about the cost of a big-ticket item
On the other side of the spectrum, family members can spend too much on each other. Parents can pay adult children’s expenses long after doing so is healthy for either party, as an example. Doing so can put the parents’ retirement at risk, but it can also stunt a child’s move into adulthood and enable bad behaviour
Do any of these ring true for you? If so then get in touch and I’d love to help you work through things.