Unabashed Emotions

What Is Pocketing in Relationship? 10 Signs & What to Do About It

By unabashedemotions



Table of Contents

What is pocketing in relationship?

What do you call someone who takes more than they need, especially when it is unnecessary? If you said “thief,” then you are correct. But what if we flip the question and ask, “what does taking more than you need mean in a pocketing relationship?” 

Pocketing can be defined as when someone in a relationship takes more than their fair share of resources or time without their partner’s consent. The term “pocketing” was coined by polyamory advocate Deborah Anapol in 2013 to describe this type of behavior within a committed relationship. 

There are different types of pocketing relationships that depend on the specific dynamics of each couple. 

  • Many monogamous couples engage in a type of pocketing relationship called “relationship embezzlement.” 

In this scenario, one or both partners are taking significantly more time or resources than they contribute in order to benefit themselves at the expense of their partner. This type of pocketing relationship is most common in long-term relationships, where the partner who contributes less to the relationship may feel frustrated and resentful. 

  • Another type of pocketing relationship, “relationship embezzlement”,[2] is less common, and involves one partner stealing resources from their partners to benefit themself but typically to the detriment of the relationship. Partners of “relationship embezzlement” may benefit from their partner’s extra time and attention, but they also must deal with increased tension and stress within the relationship due to their partner’s perceived “stealing” of their resources.

Economic abuse is a form of abuse when one intimate partner has control over the other partner’s access to economic resources, such as their bank account or access to employment. Abusers can use these strategies to control their partner’s financial stability and limit their options for leaving the relationship. 

Financial control can threaten domestic violence survivors because it limits their ability to seek and maintain employment and increases the risk that an abuser will stalk or harass the victim after leaving the relationship. 

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence recommends financial abuse education for domestic violence survivors. Survivors should be educated about common tactics used to establish and maintain financial control and how to protect themselves in these situations.

In 2014, financial abuse against women cost an estimated $25 billion due to lost earnings, medical expenses, and other expenses caused by the abuse. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence estimates that financial abuse costs victims of domestic violence $5,500 annually.

Why do people pocket in a relationship?

It can be hard to resist the temptation to pocket in a relationship. When things are going well, it feels good to take something for ourselves without feeling guilty. This behavior is more common than many people think and most people do it to some extent without even realizing it.

Pocketing is often associated with couples that have been dating for a short duration. However, it is not restricted to new relationships only; it is also common in long-term relationships. 

In other words, you can pocket in any relationship, whether it is short-term or long-term.

Pocketing can be divided into two different categories – small pocketing and big pocketing. Small pocketing is when you keep someone close to you without letting them into every aspect of your life. 

For example, you might allow your girlfriend to call you every day but refuse to let her come over to your house for dinner every night. Small pocketing is common in relationships and is typically regarded as harmless because it keeps the partner at arm’s length so that they don’t completely take over your life.

Big pocketing means that one partner demands complete secrecy about their relationship. This usually happens when one partner has to hide the relationship from the other partner due to social stigma or other personal reasons. 

For example, when a man becomes romantically involved with another man, he may be afraid to reveal that because he is afraid of the social stigma associated with being gay. His partner, on the other hand, may be afraid of being found out

by his family, and so she demands complete secrecy from the man in order to protect herself.

10 signs that your partner is pocketing you

Relationships are always evolving, and as time goes on it can be hard to determine when things have shifted from “normal” to “something fishy.” The following are ten signs that your partner may be pocketing you:

  1. They are secretive about where their money comes from.
  2. They have multiple bank accounts that they do not share with their significant other.
  3. They don’t disclose all of their sources of income.
  4. They won’t give you an itemized breakdown of their monthly expenses.
  5. They pay you a flat amount every month for work that you do around the house or for running errands for them.
  6. They spend more than they earn.
  7. They make large purchases that they can’t explain easily.
  8. They do not share their personal finances with you.
  9. They are constantly buying new and expensive items for themselves.
  10. They always seem to have money on hand when they buy gifts for other people.

What should you do if your partner is pocketing you?

One of the most common complaints in relationships is that one partner consistently takes advantage of the other.

If you feel your partner is pocketing you, you should talk to them about it. Then, if you want to break up with them, you can explain why. If you’re not ready to end the relationship, you should work with them to change their behavior. Here are some suggestions about how you might do that:

  1. Ask your partner to stop pocketing you. Explain to them how their behavior is hurting your relationship.

Some people respond better to pressure than to persuasion. So if your approach is not working, try being more direct. For example, you could say “I feel like you’re taking me for granted.”

You can also try giving them an ultimatum: Stop taking me for granted or I’m breaking up with you. Although ultimatums may seem harsh, sometimes it’s necessary to get them to change. Your partner may be so blinded by their desire to hang onto you that they don’t realize that their actions are destroying your relationship.

  1. If your partner refuses to stop pocketing you, you can try changing your own behavior to get what you want.

You could start by buying gifts for them instead of for them. That way, they have to work for your love and appreciation instead of just taking it for granted. You could also encourage them to share some of the things they’ve been hiding from you. Tell your partner that you’re tired of feeling insecure about their relationship. Tell them that it makes you feel loved when they share their thoughts and feelings with you. And tell them that you want to be more open with your feelings as well.

However you decide to change things, make sure that it’s the right course of action for both of you. Make sure you don’t make decisions just for the sake of getting your way. You’ll end up resenting your partner even more if you do that.

  1. If your partner still refuses to change their behavior, you may want to consider ending the relationship.

If that seems like the only option left to you, then you’ll need to decide whether it’s worth it to you to stay together. Keep in mind that no one can make you stay in a relationship if you don’t want to be in it. Only you and your partner can decide what’s best for you as a couple. No one else knows what’s best for you.

Check out this video to know how to change the dynamic of your partner pocketing you:

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