SIGNS OF A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP
Dr. Jill Murray is a best-selling author and practicing psychotherapist. She can speak about these topics in relationship to breaking news and more:
Teen dating abuse: Abusive dating relationships are at an epidemic rate with far-reaching implications for further violence both in personally and in society at large. The culture teens are now living in make these relationships appear to be normal. 1:3 girls and 1:5 boys will be in a physically abusive relationship by the time they graduate from high school.
I have to admit that I talk a lot about abusive/unhealthy relationships on this website. So much so that you now know what a bad relationship looks like, but perhaps you are confused as to what you should be looking for!
Here are the eight signs of a good partnership. As you read this, understand that every one of these are necessary, not just a few. Also, remember that you must GIVE and RECEIVE them all.
- HONESTY AND ACCOUNTABILITY – This means that both partners accept responsibility for their own actions and don’t blame them on others. If there is a need to change, they do so for their own emotional growth and not because their partner is nagging.
- NONTHREATENING BEHAVIOR – This includes talking and acting in a way that makes your partner feel safe to express herself/himself. There is a commitment not to use threats or manipulative actions.
- NEGOTIATION AND FAIRNESS – Do both partners seek mutually satisfying resolutions to conflict? Are they accepting of change? Are they willing to compromise?
- COMMUNICATION – We have all heard the term “open lines of communication.” This implies that both partners talk openly and truthfully. They are able to be honest with themselves and about their own feelings.
- SHARED RESPONSIBILITY – Both partners make decisions together. If a job has to be done, they share it as equally as possible.
- RESPECT- Aretha Franklin had the right idea! Without respect, and our next sign, trust, there is no relationship. When you respect your partner, you listen non-judgmentally. You value each other’s opinions and are emotionally affirming and understanding.
- TRUST AND SUPPORT- This means that you support each other’s goals. You also respect each others’ right to individual feelings, friends, activities, and opinions. You do the hard work of overcoming your own feelings of jealousy, envy or resentment.
- INDEPENDENCE AND AUTONOMY- Both partners are aware of their own dependency needs and don’t foist it on their partner or make them responsible for it. They can be apart and be happy. They can do activities separately with friends of the opposite sex and be fine.
I hope you have been able to find your own relationship in this exercise. If you have a few of these signs—but not all—in your relationship, now would be a good time to print out this list and show it to your partner, asking for a commitment to working on the relationship together to make it even better..