Assessing If You’re In A Healthy Relationship
Let’s forget Autumn or Halloween for a minute, and let’s turn our attention to Domestic Violence Awareness Month!
You would think that at this point, people would be sufficiently aware of domestic abuse, but a lot of individuals might be in relationships that are very toxic and slowly developing into domestic violence. Everyone has conflict in relationships, in fact, it’s part of it. However, how your partner listens to you, communicates with you and deals with that conflict is crucial to figuring out if your relationship with your partner is a healthy one.
Here are some things to consider!
We all know how important communication is in a relationship, and how you and your partner communicate will reveal a lot about your relationship. Do you and your partner listen to one another? Are you able to work towards a resolution, or when there is conflict, does it immediately turn to arguing/ shouting or even verbal abuse? There is often verbal abuse in relationships, to which people might make an excuse for their partner that “they were just upset” or “they didn’t mean it,” when actually it’s really toxic in the relationship and could just be the beginning of something worse.
How comfortable are you?
When I ask this, I mean in every way. Not only do you feel at ease with them, but you also feel confident enough to speak up when something doesn’t feel right or when you want to bring up a topic. When you’ve done things in the past that indicated you were at ease, how did they make you feel? Have they shut you down, made you feel embarrassed for simple things, or again, things turned into arguments or judgements when you’ve felt comfortable enough to bring something up? Or, instead, have they listened and validated your feelings? Most importantly, have they appreciated and liked how comfortable you’ve felt because a partner that likes when you are comfortable is a great sign of how they feel about you!
Boundaries and Trust!
When there is mutual trust, both partners give room for boundaries. Respecting one another’s limits indicates that you have developed a better understanding of each other’s values and why that boundary is significant to them. But since we’re all different, there are situations when you might not understand even after your partner explains something to you several times. This is the point at which you will have to rely totally on trust. Here, you have faith that your spouse is asking you to respect their boundaries and show them enough respect to believe that it is what they need, even though you may not understand why it matters to them.
But of course, trust alone is essential and goes into so many other areas in your relationship, and how you trust one another in different ways will also be a significant indicator to how healthy your relationship might be.
In some cases, relationships may lack some of these elements, but the problem may simply be unhealthy patterns that you have both picked up over time. Couples therapy can help you both learn healthier coping mechanisms and improved ways to understand one another. But perhaps your relationship is already dysfunctional and is only about to get worse, and it may be showing warning signs of that. Leading to an abusive relationship and displaying numerous other indications that point to the possibility of a domestic abuse relationship, in which case it may be time to consider leaving. Either way, our counsellors at My Solution Wellbeing can help you figure things out, understand what’s going on a bit more, and clear your head.
By Eva Domingos, a counsellor at My Solution Well-being.
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