Am I Being Abused?

Healthy Relationship Qualities Unhealthy Relationship Qualities
Mutual Respect: Healthy partners respect each other for their abilities, qualities, and/or achievements. They value each other and admire the things that make each other unique and different. They honor each other’s boundaries, are willing to compromise, and show consideration. Disrespect or lack of respect: An unhealthy relationship has a lack of respect. A partner may ignore the other partner’s boundaries. They might act in ways that are dishonorable or inconsiderate. They might use hurtful or offensive word choices when communicating with one partner. They may show a lack of interest or regard for the other’s abilities, qualities, or achievements.
Trust: Healthy partners are able to believe their partner is reliable, good, honest, and safe. They are predictable, reliable, up front with each other, show faith with each other, and keep true to their word. They are secure their partner has their best interest and that they can be open with each other. Untrustworthy: An unhealthy relationship may have a lack of trust. This could be due to one partner acting unpredictable and/or in ways that are not safe. One person or both partners may not be reliable or true to their word. They may keep secrets, withhold important information, or show signs of not having faith in the other.
Honesty: In a healthy relationship a partner knows their partner is being open and truthful with them. Dishonesty: An unhealthy relationship has lies and/or harmful secrets.
Communication: Partners speak openly and honestly. They work to clarify misunderstandings, they tell each other about their thoughts, feelings, needs, wants, or wishes. They can comfortably share things they need to or want to. Both partners feel heard after discussions. Lack of Communication or Poor Communication: Partners might feel unheard after discussions. Partners might be disrespectful or hurtful during discussions. Partners might feel scared to speak up or share their wishes. They might feel uncomfortable talking about problems. They might not be open or honest with each other.
Individuality: Partners keep all their same interests, hobbies, and friends when entering into a relationship. They feel comfortable being who they are, and they are respectful to differences that make their partner unique from them. Partners are supportive of each other and respect all sides of each other. Control or Giving Up Oneself: In unhealthy relationships, one partner tries to control the other by telling them who to be, how to act, who to talk to or not talk to, what to do, and what to wear, eat, or like. A partner may feel like they lose parts of themselves or have to hide parts of themselves. They may feel they are giving up all of themselves.
Anger Control: Healthy partners can get angry at each other, but they don’t hurt each other with it. They know how to talk it out, how to cope, when to walk away or take deep breaths, and how to communicate feelings appropriately. Violence or Verbal Abuse: Unhealthy partners take their angry out on each other. They may use threats, criticism; name calling, verbal put downs, or physically hurt each other. They do not take responsibility for their own feelings.
Disagreements are handled safely and fairly: Partners may argue, but they keep the argument focused on the problem and fixing it. Both partners are heard and share their side of the story. If a partner gets heated, they take a break. Fighting: Arguments in an unhealthy relationship may have insults, hurtful comments, or yelling. They may include a whole list of things “wrong†with the other person instead of the real problem or solutions.
Understanding: A healthy partner takes the time to really get to know and understand their partner. They do not assume or make judgments, but rather listen, express interest, and show empathy. They want to know their partner’s thoughts and views. Judgments and Assumptions: An unhealthy partner doesn’t take the time to see their partner’s side of things. They assume and make judgments without really listening or giving their partner a chance to express themselves. How they see things is all that matters.
Being a Role Model: A healthy partner works to be healthy for their partner. They expect a partner to treat them well, but they also show respect and treat their partner as they want to be treated. They view each other as equals. Superior View: An unhealthy partner sees themselves as being worthy of good treatment, but doesn’t show it towards their partner. They see themselves as deserving more and better. They see themselves as superior to their partner.
Comfortable: A healthy relationship may have the occasional hard time, but more often it feels relaxed and easy. Partners feel able to be themselves and express themselves. They feel free, happy, and safe. Walking on Eggshells: In an unhealthy relationship a partner will feel scared, nervous, and unsafe around their partner. They may worry about saying or doing the wrong thing. They might be completely preoccupied with keeping the other happy.



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