If you are in a new relationship, you may be wondering whether your new partner is the
right person for you. Or you may have been in a relationship for a while, but you’re starting
to notice some concerning behavior or red flags. If you are wondering whether your
relationship is healthy, here are a few questions to help you decide. Answer “yes” or “no”
to each question.
- Is your partner supportive of things you do?
- Does your partner want you to spend time with other people (friends, family, etc.)?
- Does your partner listen to your concerns?
- Does your partner understand and respect that you have your own life?
- Do your friends and family like your partner?
- Does your partner respect your time and space – and not obsessively call, text, or
check up on you?
- Does your partner take responsibility for his actions?
- Does your partner respect you (not insult you, put you down, or make you feel badly
- Does your partner make you feel safe?
- Does your partner encourage you to do what makes you happy?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, these may be warning signs of concerning,
and possibly, abusive behavior.
A healthy partner will want you to have a full life outside of your relationship. He will
encourage you to have a relationship with your friends and family – and not just the people
he approves of. He will listen and genuinely care about your concerns. He will take
responsibility for his mistakes and actions, and work with you to improve the relationship,
rather than blaming you for any issues that arise. And he will make you feel safe –
physically and emotionally. He will never physically harm you, or threaten to, and he will
never coerce you into doing something you don’t want to do. He will respect you for who
you are. If he does not do these things, you may be with an unhealthy – or abusive –
Abuse is not always physical. It often starts off as controlling, disrespectful, and
manipulative behavior. If your partner is controlling or abusing you, it is not your fault.
You did nothing to cause his behavior – and there is nothing you can do to stop it. It’s
important that you focus on yourself and on your own well-being. And you do not have to
face this situation alone. Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) to contact an advocate in your area
who can help you take the next step – whatever you decide. Remember, you deserve to be
safe, respected, and loved – all the time.