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Healthy v Unhealthy Relationships

Here are 10 possible characteristics of a healthy loving relationship contrasted with an unhealthy or potentially abusive relationship. I have expressed the characteristics in terms of how your partner might act towards you if they are treating you in a healthy way with respect and how they might act if not doing so. Equally you can ask the same questions of yourself as to how you act in relationships.

Healthy Relationship
Unhealthy Relationship
1. Your partner recognises that you are good at some things and not so good at others and allows you to make mistakes Your partner has unrealistic expectations of you - expecting you to be a perfect partner/lover/friend and to meet all their needs
2. Your partner supports and encourages you Your partner frequently puts you down or criticises you
3. Your partner listens to you and acts in ways which show they pay attention to what you say Your partner verbally abuses you or ignores what you say
4. Your partner respects your sexual boundaries and physical space Your partner intimidates you or assaults you physically or sexually
5. Your partner treats you with respect both when you are with others and when you are on your own Your partner has a Jeckyll and Hyde personality, presenting a pleasant face to the outside world but in private with you being aggressive and controlling or exhibiting extreme mood changes from charm or romance one day to violence or aggression the next
6. Your are free to have friendships outside of the relationship and to pursue your own independent own interests Your partner seeks to control many aspects of your behaviour and/or tries to restrict your friendships
7. Your partner exercises reasonable self-care for their own wellbeing and communicates with you in a healthy manner Your partner drinks excessively or misuses drugs and uses this as an excuse to justify inappropriate or abusive behaviour towards you
8. Your partner accepts that you have a right to make your own decisions Your partner puts emotional pressure on you by saying that they could not live without you or you without them
9. You can discuss things with your partner, accept differences of opinion and compromise at an equal level Your partner insists on you doing things a certain way
10. Your partner takes responsibility for their own decisions Your partner blames you for making them behave in a certain way


Resources relating to Abusive Relationships

Iif you feel that you may be in an abusive relationship, you can call the National Domestic Violence Helpline in England (for women) on 0808 2000 247 or the Mens' Advice Line on 0808 801 0327. For further information go to: Domestic Violence - Resources


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