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Is your Relationship Healthy?

UnknownAre you in a healthy relationship? What does it mean to be in a healthy relationship? What about being in a violent relationship? What are the signs of an unhealthy relationship? Hopefully this post will help answer these questions and help to identify a healthy and unhealthy relationship.

According to a brochure that I had at work called How Healthy is YOUR Relationship? from NYC Mayor’s Office Combat Domestic Violence, “a healthy relationship is based on respect and equality, in which neither partner tries to control the other. Key components of a healthy relationship include: Trust & Support, Loyalty & Commitment, Communication & Honesty, Negotiation & Compromise, Affection & Comfort, Feeling Safe & Having Fun.” Your partner respects you, treats you as an equal, asks for your opinion, apologizes when he or she is wrong, accepts your apology, encourages you, does not feel threatened or jealous by your friends or opposite sex. It is not easy to be in a healthy relationship because they take dedication and hard work to make sure that both of you are being treated equally and respect each other. But not all relationships are healthy. Not all relationships have the key components listed above. Some relationships end in violence or abuse or some people are in an abusive relationship and may not even know it or may even deny it. Below is a list of the signs of being in an abusive relationship and will explain what an abusive relationship is.

Being in an Unhealthy Relationship

Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone. Noticing the signs of abuse is the first step in ending the relationship. Domestic abuse is when the other person in an intimate relationship tries to control you. If the abuse is physical, it is domestic violence. The purpose of abuse or violence is to have total control over you. Usually the abuser will make you feel guilty, threaten you, hurt you, use fear, or intimidate you in order to have you under their thumb and control you. Even though physical abuse may be the most obvious, psychological abuse is also severe and can lower your self-esteem, self worth, you may feel worthless, helpless, hopeless and may lead to anxiety and depression.The first sign is to identify that you are in an unhealthy relationship. Below is a list to help you identify the signs of an unhealthy relationship.

The Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship 

When your partner:

  • insults you in front of others
  • is jealous and does not want you to spend time with others
  • criticizes your clothes and friends
  • puts you down
  • ignores or puts down your accomplishments
  • threatens to hurt you if you break-up
  • blames you for their abusive behavior
  • controls where you go and what you do
  • sees you as property rather than a person
  • limits your access to money or phone

Abusers will use several tactics to force their power over you such as:

  • Humiliation
  • Keep you isolated
  • Threaten you
  • Intimidate you
  • Blaming you for their behavior or blaming their bad childhood
  • Denying that the abuse happened

Abusive relationships usually falls into a cycle:

The first of the cycle is Abuse to show you “who the boss is.” The next on the cycle is Guilt where your partner feels guilty, not for what they have done but for the possibility of getting caught and facing the consequences. The abuser will then use Excuses for their behavior or blame you. The abuser will not take responsibility for their actions. The abuser will then act in a “Normal Behavior” or Honeymoon Phase where the abuser will put on the charm and act as if nothing happened. The victim often hopes that the abuser has changed due to his “normal” behavior and charm. The abuser then begins to Fantasize about abusing you again and makes a plan for turing the fantasy into reality. The last on the cycle is Set-Up where the abuser sets you up and puts his plan into action and creates a situation to justify abusing you.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, SPEAK UP!!!!! and get the appropriate help. There are hotlines you can call where people are willing to help you. The New York City Domestic Violence Hotline which provides information about shelter, counseling and other emergency services is 1-800-621-HOPE and The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

 Image taken from
Is your Relationship Healthy?

Helen Nieves

Helen Nieves is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Attention Deficit Consultant Specialist. She teaches ADHD on line and is on the Advisory Board at The American Institute of Health Care Professionals. She also received advanced training in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy and in Grief Counseling.

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APA Reference
Nieves, H. (2015). Is your Relationship Healthy?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 2, 2020, from


Last updated: 16 Apr 2015
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