Healthy Relationships

Relationship Attributes

Healthy Relationships Unhealthy Relationships
Equality – You share decisions and responsibilities. You discuss decisions and roles to make sure they're fair and equal. Control – One partner makes the decisions and tells the other person what to do. It is unbalanced and unfair.
Honesty – You share your dreams, fears, and concerns with each other. You tell each other how you feel and share important information without fear of criticism, judgment, or blame. Dishonesty – One partner lies to or keeps information from the other. One partner steals from the other. If confronted about behavior, they will often react with disproportional anger.
Physical safety – You feel physically safe in the relationship and respect each other's space. Physical abuse – One partner uses force to get their way (e.g. hitting, slapping, grabbing, shoving, etc).
Respect – You each get treated the way you want to be treated and accept each other's opinions, friends, and interests. You listen to each other. Disrespect – One partner makes fun of the opinions and interests of the other partner. They are critical and demeaning.
Comfort – You feel safe with each other and respect each other's differences. You realize when you're wrong and are not afraid to say, "I'm sorry." You can be yourself. Intimidation – One partner controls is controlling and may attempt to keep other partner from friends and family, threaten violence, self-harm, or a break-up if they don’t get their way.
Sexual respectfulness – You never force sexual activity or insist on doing something the other isn't comfortable with. Sexual abuse – One partner pressures or forces the other into sexual activity against their will or without consent.
Independence – Neither person is dependent upon the other for an identity. Both maintain friendships outside of the relationship. Either partner has the right to end the relationship. Dependence – One partner feels that they "can't live without" the other. They may threaten to do something drastic if the relationship ends.
Humor – The relationship is enjoyable for both partners. You laugh and have fun with each other. Hostility – One partner may "walk on egg shells" to avoid upsetting the other. Teasing is mean-spirited and discussions often involve aggression. Often involves hurtful comments and criticisms.

Communication Habits

Healthy Unhealthy Abusive
You are safe and strong enough to talk about how you feel. You feel awkward about saying how you feel. You are afraid to say how you feel because you fear being put down or threatened.
You are listened to and respected even if there are differences. You are ignored and disrespected. You are treated with disrespect. Your ideas and feelings are treated with contempt.
You can have disagreements and still talk respectfully to each other. Your disagreements often turn to fights. You are afraid to disagree because you don't want to run the risk of their anger.
You take time to become intimate and both people are honest. You are embarrassed to say how you feel because you think they may not listen or care. Your needs and wants are ignored and you are frightened and degraded.