Healthy Relationships vs. Toxic Relationships

AdobeStock_140431758.jpeg

Experiencing different people and learning from the relationships you share together is a part of life. Many times when we become emotionally or physically involved with someone we may be confused as to whether our relationships with them are toxic or healthy. A little over a year ago I was involved in an extremely toxic relationship that threatened my life and my wellbeing. I was unable to see how detrimental this person was for me because my judgment was very clouded and skewed due to the depth of my involvement with this individual. Part of my mission in this life is to help others who may be going through a similar experience gain some clarity so that they can make the right decisions for themselves and live their best life surrounded by people who nourish them. This information I am sharing was one of the resources that I gained through my therapy after I was able to end my relationship. Reflecting on what I could have done better to prevent that situation from happening in the first place as well as implementing the changes needed to prevent it from happening again in the future were an essential part of my recovery. 

Healthy Relationships 

~ Equality & Respect ~

HONESTY AND RESPONSIBILITY 

  • Not making excuses for your partner's or your own actions
  • Admitting when you are wrong
  • Keeping your word
  • Not canceling plans

OPEN COMMUNICATION

  • Being able to express your feelings or opinions
  • Knowing it's okay to disagree
  • Saying what you mean and meaning what you say

INTIMACY 

  • Respecting your partner's boundaries
  • Respecting each other's privacy
  • Not pressuring your partner
  • Being faithful

PHYSICAL AFFECTION

  • Holding hands
  • Hugging
  • Kissing
  • Sitting or standing with your arm on your partner's shoulder
  • Respecting each other's right to say no
  • Asking before acting

FAIRNESS AND NEGOTIATION

  • Accepting change
  • Being willing to compromise
  • Working to find solutions that are agreeable to both people
  • Agreeing to disagree sometimes

SHARED RESPONSIBILITY

  • Making decisions together
  • Splitting or alternating the costs on dates
  • Doing things for each other
  • Going places you both enjoy
  • Giving as much as you receive

RESPECT

  • Paying attention to your partner even when your friends are around
  • Valuing your partner's opinion even if it differs from yours 
  • Listening to what your partner has to say

TRUST AND SUPPORT

  • Being supportive
  • Wanting the best for your partner
  • Knowing your partner likes you
  • Offering encouragement when necessary
  • Being okay with your partner having different friends

Unhealthy Relationships

~ Power & Control ~

MINIMIZATION AND BLAME

  • Not accepting responsibility for your actions
  • Making a joke when you hurt your partner
  • Telling your partner everything is his/her fault
  • Acting like abuse is okay in the relationship

INTIMIDATION

  • Yelling or screaming
  • Using a threatening tone
  • Talking down
  • Threatening to hurt yourself or your partner
  • Making your partner feel afraid
  • Tearing up pictures
  • Smashing gifts
  • Destroying objects

SEXUAL ABUSE

  • Bragging about your sexual relationship
  • Comparing your partner to past partners
  • Flirting to make your partner jealous
  • Using drugs / alcohol to get sex
  • Pressuring your partner
  • Rape

PHYSICAL ABUSE

  • Holding your partner so he / she can't leave
  • Slamming him / her into a wall or locker
  • Hurting your partner where bruises don't show
  • Grabbing
  • Slapping
  • Kicking
  • Punching
  • Shoving
  • Hitting

THREATS

  • Saying you can't live without your partner
  • Telling your partner you will leave him / her somewhere if they don't do what you say
  • Constantly threatening to find someone else
  • Saying you will commit suicide if you break up

DOMINATION

  • Treating your partner like a baby, property, or servant
  • Making all of the decisions
  • Having expectations that no one can meet
  • Controlling who your partner sees or spends time with
  • Setting all of the rules in the relationship

HUMILIATION

  • Putting down your partner
  • Calling your partner names
  • Constant criticism
  • Making your partner feel like he / she is crazy
  • Humiliating your partner in front of people
  • Making your partner feel guilty
  • Embarrassing your partner

POSESSIVENESS 

  • Using jealousy as a sign of love
  • Accusing your partner of cheating on you
  • Not letting your partner have other friends
  • Telling your partner how to think, dress, and act

A healthy relationship is based on equality and respect, not power and control. Think about how you treat - and want to be treated - by someone you care about. 

Preeya MarsdenComment