Relationships are not static but are organic, constantly changing and adapting with new experiences, external influences and internal conflict.
All relationships exist on a spectrum from healthy to abusive with unhealthy somewhere in between. It is important to recognise that abuse comes in many forms and guises and doesn’t always involve physical violence, but can include sexual, emotional, verbal or mental control and abuse.
So what defines a healthy relationship?
A healthy relationship is based on the following commitments from each partner;
- Communication – you talk openly and honestly about problems, and listen to one another. You respect each other’s opinion, even if you don’t agree with it.
- Respect – You value each other’s opinions, feelings and needs, and give each other the freedom to be yourself and be love for who you are, with all your quirks, wobbly bits and faults.
- Trust – You believe each other, what you have to say and don’t feel the need to question or ‘prove’ each other’s trustworthiness.
- Honesty – You are both honest with each other but can still keep some things private.
- Equality – You make decisions together, and hold each other to the same standards. You and your partner have equal say with regard to major decisions within the relationship. All partners have access to the resources they need.
- Boundaries – You enjoy spending time apart, alone or with others. You respect each other’s need for time and space apart. You are honest and open with each other about what you are and aren’t comfortable with.