There are always relationships that are unequal, but the person with the most power within them does not always appear to have any. They might be the person who has the least assets when the couple makes a commitment, but their emotional hold on their partner can be very strong. For those who have a powerful partner who manipulates them this way, it is often difficult to escape the relationship. There is little evidence they are being abused, so they feel unjustified in leaving.
Escape from the relationship in this case is about personal salvation, so the partner who wants to leave should never consider what friends and family will think of them. If the relationship does not work, it should be abandoned as soon as possible. It is unfortunate that many people believe they will lose the love and respect of their family and friends, and their feelings give their unreasonable partner even more control over them.
Leaving an unreasonable partner who acts normal in public might begin to seem impossible, but it can be done if the will is there. The manipulator will not be around every second of the day, so making plans when they are not around is the best way to begin the process. Financial considerations are now an important issue, but they should not be a reason to remain. Even those who leave with nothing will find they have gained everything once they are free of their controlling partner. Physical distance is all they need, and they can sort out the financial issues at a later time.
The concern about family and friends is an issue that should be resolved as quickly as possible, but it should not be a reason to remain. This type of relationship is deeply abusive over the long run, and family members who truly care will eventually come to see that escape was the best option.