How do you leave an unhappy marriage or bad relationship when you have no money? These tips and resources may give you something new to think about, and even get the financial help you need to leave your husband. One of the most important things to remember is that you are not the only woman who feels trapped, afraid, and unhappy in her marriage. If you can find women in similar situations – even if you don’t personally meet them – you might gain the strength and courage you need.
“I want to leave my husband but I have no money,” says Christine on Emotional Disconnection – When You Feel Alone in Your Marriage “I have two kids, I’m pregnant with my third, and I just don’t know where to go. I have no family who can help, they live in a different state. I have nowhere to go. I lost my job, and I am trying to finish school. I don’t have money to leave. I don’t know what to do. I am so hurt, scared, sad, angry and just alone now. I have three beautiful kids with him and I hate to think how much this will hurt them. I can’t believe I was a fool and let him do this to me time after time. Can you tell me how to leave your husband when you have no money to support yourself?”
I wish I had the perfect solution and the right things to say to you. You may feel lonely, lost, and trapped in your marriage – and you have no idea how to leave your husband when you have no money. But I don’t have magic tips or easy answers.
Read through my tips, and scroll through the readers’ comments. Some women are brainstorming tips on how to find your dream job, while others are sharing money-saving secrets for women who have little or no income. As you can see from their comments below, there are no easy answers!
Even so, one of the first things you need to do when you who have no money to leave your husband is to start finding little ways to take control of your life. Maybe this means finding ways to earn a little bit of spending money, even by babysitting, cleaning houses, or becoming a virtual assistant. You need to inventory your skills and abilities, and find ways to optimize them. You’ll never have enough money to leave your husband unless you start taking action. You’ll feel scared and anxious – we all do when we’re making big life moves – but now is the time for you to learn as much as you can about money and your financial future.
One of the most important things to deal with right away is how you feel. If you feel powerless and helpless, you won’t have energy or confidence to work towards getting money to leave your husband. Start doing things that help you feel powerful, strong, and confident.
Leaving Him When You Have No Money
These tips are all about taking action. If you really want to change your life and leave a guy who doesn’t love or honor you, you need to start moving forward. You can’t get financial support unless you start reaching out for it. Once you start reaching out with a positive mindset, you’ll be shocked at how easily money will come to you.
Here’s what one reader said she’s doing to earn money to leave her marriage:
- Collecting cans and turning them in for cash
- Asking my neighbors if they have any odd paying jobs I can do, such as washing windows, weeding gardens, etc.
- Taking online surveys to make a few extra bucks a day (about $3, not a huge amount but it helps build my stash)
- Every few times I go to the grocery store or Walmart etc, I buy a $5 gift card. Even if can only do $.50 etc do it!
- Selling household items on ebay. May only profit $.75 but again, all small steps leads to bigger rewards. kids your kids outgrown clothes etc. You would be amazed at what sells!
- Using coupons to get free and store the TP, toothpaste etc in a box or at a friends. Again, little things add up. I have a box of Shampoo, toothpaste, soap, TP, etc ready to go. This will help me when I am starting out and not having to buy and spend what little money I have
Every journey starts with a few small steps – and sometimes the best step is visualizing what you’ll say when you finally do have money to leave your husband. Start dreaming about your life, planning your future, and thinking about all the possibilities.
1. Remember that help is out there – but it has to be sought
Many financially dependent wives say they have no help, nobody to support them, nobody to go stay with. They may feel that way, but it’s not the truth. How do I know? Because if my neighbor came over and said she has no money to leave her husband and asked me for help, I’d do something. I may not give her money, but I’d help her and her kids in some way.
If you have nowhere to go, read What to Expect at a Women’s Shelter or Safe House.
I also know that wives who feel alone aren’t really alone because my mom was a single parent. She was also schizophrenic, and we moved to new city every six months or so. She had no friends, no money, and a severe mental illness…and yet she managed to find money help! How did she find it? She went to Social Services, to churches, and to my grandma for help. Don’t think of yourself as “trapped” – though I know that if you’re looking for ways to get money to leave your husband, that’s exactly how you feel. Focus on the fact that you WILL get money to leave your husband. It’s just a matter of time and planning. And taking action.
2. Create a plan to leave your marriage – it’ll make asking for financial help easier
Sit down, give the “poor me I have no money to leave my husband” a rest, and put your brains to work. How much money does it cost to feed and educate your kids? Forget about the frills – kids don’t need iPhones, laptops, or video games. Can you stay with family while you save money for your own place? How will you support yourself?
If you have specific plans to leave, you may find it easier to ask for financial help. If you’re asking family for money help, read about loans between family members.
3. Learn what types of financial support you’re eligible for
Talk to Social Services about financial resources for single parents. Start by calling the office closest to you. If they can’t offer money or other help, ask them for three other numbers to call. Call your church, and talk to your pastor. Don’t just ask for financial and spiritual support; ask for practical resources that can help you leave. Ask to be connected with other women who were financially dependent, who rebuilt their lives.
Every three months, canvassers from the Single Parents Food Bank come to our door, asking for donations. My husband gives money every single time because he knows single parents need money help because raising kids is expensive. But it’s not impossible, my friend.
4. Talk to a lawyer – and learn about alimony
Here’s a solid piece of advice for leaving your husband when you have no money:
“The demise of a marriage is never a happy event, but sacrificing your sanity to a narcissist is not a healthy option,” writes Hara Estroff Marano in Letting Go of a Narcissist (Psychology Today magazine, July/Aug 2016). ” Your husband isn’t looking out for you or your relationship, and such active disregard can go a long way to making you vulnerable to depression and despair. It is especially important now to pay attention to your own needs and take action on your own behalf.”
Dr Marano advises women who don’t have money to leave their husbands to prepare and plan in advance. Don’t move out of the house without consulting a lawyer first – unless you are in physical danger. Talking to a lawyer or family mediator doesn’t necessarily mean hiring a divorce attorney long-term, just seeing one for advice. This will save you money in the long run.
“Alternatively,” she adds, “it may be possible for you to get help through the civil or family law clinic of a nearby law school. You may very well be entitled to alimony, at least until you are financially self-supporting. Also, make note of your husband’s private accounts; all assets acquired during the marriage must usually be divided equally. And do make a record of all instances of abuse.
You won’t lose everything when you leave your husband, though it may feel that way. Remind yourself what you are walking away with: your life, your health, your future. You may not have money, but you’re getting from a bad marriage and a steady stream of fear and disappointment.
If you have to, you will find a way to take care of yourself. Find other women who can support and encourage you — and who you can help and support, too! If you’re staying in an unhappy or unhealthy marriage because you don’t think you deserve better, read How Women’s Circles Help You Stop Feeling Bad About Yourself.
5. Learn how to think strategically, not emotionally
In A Woman’s Guide To Financial Security After Divorce: The Basics: Creating A Solid Foundation (Think Financially, Not Emotionally®), Jeffrey Landers describes the critical first steps you need to take after your divorce to establish long-term financial stability. It’s extremely important for you to learn how to support your goals and vision with a sustainable spending plan that ensures your long-term financial security.
When you’re searching for tips on how to leave your husband when you have no money, you need to know the pros and cons of keeping your marital home and how to determine if selling makes better financial sense. You can’t rely on your emotions when you’re planning your future; you need to learn about reverse mortgages and why this unique tool might be a wise choice for you.
Yes, you need money right now. But you also need to start thinking about smart ways to use your retirement and investment accounts – and other sources of income – to add to your cash-flow and extend your financial longevity. You have to learn which assets are most favorable and what strategies are best for managing (and ultimately paying off) liabilities. This is part of taking action, and it will help you feel more in control of your life.
6. Open your own savings or checking account
Many financially dependent women don’t have their own checking or savings accounts. No problem! Even if you only have $10 to your name, you need to get to the bank and start your journey to financial dependence…and perhaps even wealth! And yes, single income families often live close to the poverty line. I grew up poorer than dirt – we even slept outside a few times. But I grew up to be a strong, vibrant, smart, educated, motivated, happy, Christian woman. I learned resilience and strength from my single parent childhood – and I respect my mom, who had no money and nowhere to go, but she left her husband.
Do you have a checking or savings account? Go to your nearest bank – or do some online research about financial institutions – and find out what you need to open your own account.
7. Take it one small step at a time
It’s easy to get overwhelmed, anxious, scared, and depressed about the journey you’re about to go on. Don’t let negativity or fear stop you from leaving your husband! Stay focused on what you will achieve in your life, and how much better it will be for your kids and yourself. Write down your goals for a year from now: how much money do you want to be making? What friends do you want to spend time with? How do you want to spend your days? Remember that it takes time to save enough money to leave your husband.
Start a journal, and write down all your hopes, dreams, and plans. Don’t let your current situation stop you from dreaming. Your thoughts really do determine your future – and it is now time to starting Blossoming into the woman you were created to be.
8. Get strength from women who felt financially trapped, but left their husbands
“I was in that situation for 23 years,” says Sheila in response to How to Know if Divorce is the Best Option.
“I finally opened up my own checking account, started saving a bit at a time, and made plans. When I finally made up my mind to leave, it took less than a month to finalize the plans. I gave myself a deadline and stuck to it. When you stay in a marriage like that, you enable every negative behavior your husband possesses. You become the martyr.”
It wasn’t until she made up her mind that her plans started taking shape. She stopped wondering how to leave her husband without money, and started actually making plans to end her marriage.
One final tip for women who need help leaving their husbands when they have no money…
Ask yourself, “Am I better off with or without him?” I suspect you know deep down that you’d be better off without your husband, but you can’t leave him because you feel stuck and helpless. My heart goes out to you, and I wish I could sprinkle magic dust on your problems and make them all go away!
But I can’t. All I can do is encourage you to stay hopeful and courageous, and to find strength in blogs like this and in-person support groups. Surround yourself with women who want to help you grow and move forward in your life…and don’t give up on your dreams.
How will you leave your husband when you have no money? Start thinking about the story you will tell your daughter after you’ve rebuilt your life! I welcome your comments below, but I can’t give advice. But, you may find that sharing your experience brings clarity and insight.
Is your relationship in trouble? Get 7 Steps to Fixing Your Marriage from relationship coach Mort Fertel. It's free and helpful, no strings attached.
Need encouragement? Sign up for my weekly "Echoes of Joy" email - it's free, short, and energizing. Like me!