What is the difference between healthy, unhealthy and abusive relationships? 

Healthy is...

  • Talking about feelings, speaking to personal experiences and empathizing with a partner’s experience.
  • When people in a relationship are respected and listened to, despite any differences.
  • When people talk respectfully to each other when there are disagreements.
  • When people are purposeful about intimacy and communicate honestly and openly about physical affection and sex.
  • When partners trust and support each other to spend time with others they care about.

Unhealthy is…

  • When a person’s feelings or needs are ignored and disrespected.
  • When disagreements often turn into fights.
  • Not having the opportunity or comfort to explore or communicate feelings within the relationship.
  • When people feel embarrassed or unwilling to express how they feel because their partner may not listen or care.
  • When there is a lot of jealousy in the relationship when one partner talks to or spends time with other people they care about.

Abusive is…

  • The need to control others’ thoughts and feelings.
  • When a partner is actively disrespected, ignored, demeaned and their ideas and feelings are treated with contempt.
  • When someone is afraid to disagree because they don’t want to run the risk of their partner’s anger, abuse and/or violence. If there is disagreement, the typical response is belittling and/or abusive.
  • When someone’s wants and needs are ignored and they are pushed into situations that frighten and/or degrade them.
  • When one partner is constantly accused of flirting when they interact with other people or ordered not to see or talk to other people they care about.

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