Do you want to know if you have a healthy relationship with your partner?
Sometimes in love, you may have a hard time recognizing red flags and toxic traits in the relationship. Relationships can either go from healthy to downright abusive depending on the quality of communication and respect between couples.
While having arguments and disagreements are a constant thing in every relationship, the way partners find their way through any conflict or not is detrimental to the quality of the relationship that they share with each other.
Thankfully, there are observable indicators that can generally prescribe if the relationship with your partner is healthy, unhealthy, or abusive.
Generally speaking, relationships can be categorized as healthy or not based on a specific set of standards.
These specific standards can be summed up into factors such as showing love, trust, and respect to your partner.
What are the signs of a healthy relationship?
Here are some indicators that you have a healthy relationship with your partner.
- You communicate your problems openly.
Do you and your partner share conversations about personal problems and take the time to listen to each other? Having open and honest communication with your partner is one way of showing respect for the person you’re in a relationship with.
- You listen to what the other person has to say.
Whether your partner is sharing some insights about her day, or telling her opinion on a specific matter, letting your partner know that he or she is being listened to and that you value his or her opinion is a sure sign of a healthy relationship. Listening is vital to a healthy relationship in any relationship context.
- You give each other your full trust.
A healthy relationship is built in trust. Couples who are in a healthy relationship do not feel the need to question the other person’s trustworthiness. You do not need to constantly prove your loyalty and would always seek to give each other more credit.
- You never lie to each other.
While there are certain things that we need to keep private, partners who are in a healthy relationship practice being open and honest with each other. By being honest, you and your partner can further build a good foundation of trust in the relationship.
- You mutually decide/ have an equal say on every matter.
A healthy relationship allows for arriving at mutual decisions as well as having equal rights and responsibilities in the relationship. The two of you are both aware that decisions must be based on you and your partner’s opinion about a matter.
Related: Needs vs wants in a relationship
- You respect each other’s space.
When you are in a healthy relationship, you feel a balance when it comes to spending time with your partner, spending time with your friends and family, and most especially, spending time alone. Moreover, both of you are aware of the things that the other person may or may not be okay with.
- You always ask for consent.
When it comes to sexual activities, couples who are in a healthy relationship always practice asking for consent, especially in matters such as sexual and reproductive health. You and your partner never force each other to do anything the other person may not be comfortable with.
- You practice supportive parenting.
If children are involved in the relationship, another sure sign that it is a healthy one is that the needs of your children along with you and your partner’s needs are properly communicated and addressed.
Parenting supportively would give you a sense of assurance that you are parenting in a manner that the two of you are most comfortable with.
Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship
Meanwhile, here are the signs that can tell if the two of you are sharing an unhealthy relationship.
- You always avoid confrontations.
As much as possible, you or your partner avoids getting into confrontations by either walking out of the conversation or jumping on to a different topic. It could also be in the form of gaslighting the other person into turning the argument towards him or her.
Related: The silent treatment
- You don’t try to show your respect to each other.
You don’t take the time to listen to each other. Moreover, the two of you do not give any care at all as to how his or her behavior may affect the other person.
- You always doubt each other.
There are often moments where you doubt each other, typically in matters concerning the other partner’s fidelity. These negative thoughts and emotions eventually lead to one partner getting obsessed with invading the other person’s privacy, which then suffocates the other person.
- You always lie to each other.
Couples in unhealthy relationships blatantly lie to each other or would only tell half of the truth for their own benefit. Having the habit of not telling the whole truth prohibits both persons to build their trust with each other.
Related: What is love bombing
- The other person always gets to decide.
When it comes to decision-making, one partner always has more say on what the other person has to do. It stems from the negative belief that their wants and needs are far more relevant than their partner’s. Being selfish in the relationship is sure to lead to undesirable outcomes.
- The other person is constantly being socially isolated.
Socially isolating your partner means limiting or entirely prohibiting their real-life or online communication with other people, even with friends and families.
- The other person coerces you into sexual acts/choices.
In an unhealthy relationship, your partner would often guilt trip you into doing sexual activities for him or her despite knowing that you may not be comfortable with it in the first place.
- You do not respect each other’s boundaries.
There is no longer room for practicing having each other’s personal space. One partner always takes charge of what the other partner does and gives little to no room at all for the other person to be himself/herself.
Related: Why am I so mean to my boyfriend
- The other person has more access to resources.
When it comes to financial matters, the other person has more access to finances compared to you. They refuse to share financial matters with you and would often make financial decisions on their own.
Signs of an Abusive Relationship
- You often have hurtful, offending, and threatening communication.
Abusive relationships communicate using hurtful, offending, and threatening words that usually scars both parties emotionally and psychologically.
- You do not show respect to each other.
Your partner does not think twice about mistreating and disrespecting you. They don’t show respect or care for your feelings and opinions at all.
Related: My boyfriend is rude to me
- The other person always makes false accusations.
Aside from the lack of trust in the relationship, your partner would often make false accusations of either cheating in the relationship or trying to invade the other person’s privacy.
- Your partner always tells you what to do.
Your partner never asks for your opinion on any matter and would not feel bad at all whenever they would solely decide what is best to be done in the relationship. They would even go as far as trying to take over your personal decisions in life without even asking for your thoughts about what you really want for your life.
- There is always physical and emotional isolation in the relationship.
Aside from socially isolating the other person, an abusive partner would also physically as well as emotionally isolate you in the relationship. Your every move is constantly and strictly being monitored, such as who you get to speak with and what places you can travel to.
- Sexual activities and choices are not mutually decided upon.
In an abusive relationship, sexual activities and reproductive choices are always forced, either through blackmailing, or guilt-tripping the other person into doing sexual acts. Reproductive choices such as sabotaging birth control or imposing the other person’s wants to have or not have children are not mutually decided.
- The other person has total control over financial matters.
When it comes to finances, the other person has full control over making financial decisions, and most of the time gate-keeps the other person from accessing it entirely.
- Children are manipulated for the other person’s favor.
In abusive relationships where children are involved, instances where the other person manipulates the children for their own benefit usually happen. This includes using the children as blackmail to control the other person or turning the children against you through verbal coercion.
Finding out indicators of a healthy, unhealthy, and abusive relationship can guide couples on whether or not the quality of the relationship you share with your partner requires maintenance, restart, or termination.
Further, understanding these specific sets of standards that can tell what quality of relationship you share with your partner can help couples prevent future conflicts that may arise in certain aspects of the relationship.
One of the ways to ensure long-term and happy relationships is if partners are more aware of what a healthy relationship ought to be. If constantly reminded of what a healthy relationship is, it may be easier for couples to work together towards preventing the relationship from turning unhealthy or abusive.
Nicole Graham is a relationship expert at Womenio.com. She is helping women grow into their best selves so they can be confident and bring more love, passion, and purpose to their lives. Nicole enjoys studying the psychology of love and is passionate about writing on them. She offers helpful tips and advice to help overcome any relationship issue, whether you’re single or already in a relationship.