Healthy vs. Unhealthy

Unhealthy Relationships

Control - One partner makes all the decisions and tells the other what to do, or tells the other partner what to wear or who to spend time with.

Dishonesty - One partner lies to or keeps information from the other. One partner steals from the other.

Physical abuse - One partner uses force to get his/her way (for example, hitting, slapping, grabbing, and shoving).

Disrespect - One partner makes fun of the opinions and interests of the other partner. He or she may destroy something that belongs to the other.

Intimidation - One partner tries to control every aspect of the other's life. One partner may attempt to keep his/her partner from friends and family or threaten violence or a break-up.

Sexual abuse - One partner pressures or forces the other into sexual activity against his/her will or without his/her consent.

Dependence - One partner feels that he/she "can't live without" the other. He/she may threaten to do something drastic if the relationship ends.

Hostility - One partner may "walk on eggshells" to avoid upsetting the other. Teasing is mean-spirited.

Healthy Relationships

Equality - Partners share decisions and responsibilities. They discuss roles to make sure they're fair and equal.

Honesty - Partners share their dreams, fears, and concerns with each other. They tell each other how they feel and share important information.

Physical safety - Partners feel physically safe in the relationship and respect each other's space.

Respect - Partners treat each other like they want to be treated and accept each other's opinions, friends, and interests. They listen to each other.

Comfort - Partners feel safe with each other's differences. They realize when they're wrong and are not afraid to say "I'm sorry." Partners can be themselves with each other.

Sexual respectfulness - Partners never force sexual activity or insist on doing something the other isn't comfortable with.

Independence - Neither partner is dependent upon the other for an identity. Partners maintain friendships outside the relationship. Either partner has the right to end the relationship.

Humor - The relationship is enjoyable for both partners. Partners laugh and have fun.