relationships

What Does A Healthy
Relationship Look Like?

 

All relationships exist on a spectrum from healthy to abusive with unhealthy somewhere in the middle. A healthy relationship means that both you and your partner are:
 

  • Communicating: You talk openly about problems and listen to one another. You respect each other’s opinions.
     
  • Respectful: You value each other as you are.
     
  • Trusting: You believe what your partner has to say.  You do not feel the need to “prove” each other’s trustworthiness.
     
  • Honest: You are honest with each other, but can still keep some things private.
     
  • Equal: You make decisions together and hold each other to the same standard.
  • Enjoying personal time: You both enjoy spending time apart, alone or with others. You respect each other’s need for time apart.
     
  • Making mutual sexual choices: You talk openly about sexual and reproductive choices together. You both willingly consent to sexual activity and can safely discuss what you are and are not comfortable with.
     
  • Economic/financial partners: You and your partner have equal say with regard to finances. Both partners have access to the resources they need.
     
  • Engaging in supportive parenting: Both partners are able to parent in a way they feel comfortable with. You communicate together about the needs of the child(ren), as well as the needs of both parents.

Source: The National Domestic Violence Hotline

What Does an Unhealthy
Relationship Look Like?

 

You may be in an unhealthy relationship if one or both partners is:
 

  • Not communicating: When problems arise, you fight or you don’t discuss them at all.
     
  • Disrespectful: One or both partners is not considerate of the other.
     
  • Not trusting: One partner doesn’t believe what the other says, or feels entitled to invade their privacy.
     
  • Dishonest: One or both partners tells lies.
     
  • Trying to take control: One partner feels their desires and choices are more important.
     
  • Only spending time with your partner: Your partner’s community is the only one you socialize in.
     
  • Pressured by the other into sexual activity: One partner uses pressure or guilt on the other to have sex or do anything sexual at any point.
     
  • Ignoring a partner’s boundaries: It is assumed only one partner is responsible for making informed decisions.
     
  • Unequal economically: Finances are not discussed, and/or it is assumed only one partner is in charge of finances.
     

Source: The National Domestic Violence Hotline

What Does an Abusive
Relationship Look Like?

Abuse is occurring in a relationship when one partner:

  • ​Communicates in a way that is hurtful, threatening, insulting or demeaning.
     

  • ​Mistreats the other: One partner does not respect the feelings, thoughts, decisions, opinions or physical safety of the other.
     

  • Accuses the other of cheating or having an affair when it’s not true: The partner who accuses may hurt the other in a physical or verbal way as a result.
     

  • Denies that the abusive actions are abuse: An abusive partner may try to blame the other for the harm they’re doing, or makes excuses for abusive actions or minimizes the abusive behavior.
     

  • Controls the other: There is no equality in the relationship. One partner makes all decisions for the couple without the other’s input.
     

  • Isolates the other partner: One partner controls where the other one goes and who they talk to. They may isolate their partner from family and friends.
     

  • Forces sexual activity or pregnancy: One partner forces the other to have sex, or do anything they don’t want to do sexually at any point. In relationships where pregnancy is a physical possibility, one partner may force the other to become pregnant.
     

  • Exerts economic control: One partner controls the money and access to resources. Having an open dialogue about finances is not an option. This may include preventing a partner from earning an income or not allowing a partner access to their own income.
     

  • Engages in manipulative parenting: One partner uses the child(ren) to gain power and control over the other partner, including telling the child(ren) lies or negative things about the other partner.

Source: The National Domestic Violence Hotline