Healthy relationships are rooted in equality, the ability feel supported and connected, as well as each partner have the ability to maintain independence. Relationships exist on a spectrum from healthy to abusive with unhealthy somewhere in between. While dating or newly married, it is difficult to predict if a relationship always be healthy. In the healthy relationship partners are communicative, compromising, and committed. According to Washington State University, additional signs of a positive relationship include the following:
- Respect – Listen to one another non-judgmentally, be understanding, and emotional supportive.
- Honesty and Accountability – Admit being wrong. Communicate open and truthful event when it is difficult.
- Independence – allow one another to breathe. Be able to be alone as well as together. Do not expect your partner to solve all of your problems.
- Shared Responsibility – share work. Agree on how to divide work. Do not define chores as women’s or men’s work.
- Negotiation and Fairness – seek mutually satisfying resolutions to disagreements.
- Intimacy – respect each other’s limits with intimacy. No means no.
- Non-Threatening Behavior – talking and acting so that you feel safe.
- Trust and Support – support each other’s life goals. Be able to have your own friends, feelings, and activities separate from your partner.
When the elements listed above are missing from a relationship, you may be headed towards a relationship that is rooted in power and control instead of equality. One partner may frequently use emotional abuse, isolate their partner from friends, minimize abuse, blame abusive behavior on their partner, using male or female privilege treating their partner as a servant, being economically abusive, and using coercion and threats. If you are in an abusive relationship, help is available 24/7 by calling the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.