Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships

Most relationships have some characteristics that are healthy and some characteristics that are unhealthy. This is to help you decide what kind of things you can appreciate in your relationship and what kind of things that are unhealthy and need to change. If the bad outweighs the good, you should consider counseling or a perminent change in that relationship. In a good relationship, you and your partner should be able to read this together and decide what things are healthy in your relationship and what things are unhealthy and what you both can do to improve it. If one partner is threatened by these lists of characteristics, then it probably is not a very healthy relationship.

Healthy Relationships

Treat each other with respect

Always feel safe with each other

Enjoy spending time separately, with your own friends, as well as with each other’s friends

Have fun together

Trust each other

Are faithful to each other if you have made that commitment

Support each other’s individual goals in life

Respect each other’s opinions, even when they are different

Solve conflicts without put downs, cursing or threats

Both accept responsibility for your actions

Both apologize when you are wrong

Both have equal decision-making power about what you do in your relationship

Each has money and can spend their money

Have some privacy – letters, diary, personal phone calls are respected as your own

Have close friends and family that like the other person and are happy about your relationship

Never feel like you are pressured for sex

Communicate about sex, if your relationship is sexual

Allow each other space when you need it

Have similar values and beliefs

Unhealthy Relationships

Depends completely on the other to meet social or emotional needs

Ignores or withholds affection as a way of punishing the other

Uses alcohol or drugs as an excuse for hurtful behavior

Acts controlling or possessive – like you own your partner

Goes back on promises

Tries to make the other feel crazy or plays mind games

Makes all the decisions about what the two of you do

Tries to keep the other from having a job or furthering their education

Smashes, throws or destroys things

Embarrasses or humiliates the other

Blames you for their own behavior

Has grabbed, pushed, hit, or physically hurt the other

Tells the other how to dress

Cheats or threatens to cheat

Has threatened to hurt the other or commit suicide if they leave

Pressures the other to have sex, or makes sex hurt or feel humiliating

Frequently criticizes the other’s friends or family

Does not listen when the other talks

Does not take the other person seriously, or the things that are important to him/her

Yells at or treats the other like a child

Puts the other down by name calling, cursing or guilt tripping

Gets extremely jealous and often accuses the other of cheating