Healthy vs. unhealthy relationships

No relationship is perfect, but a healthy relationship should bring more happiness than stress into your life. Based on mutual trust, respect, and honesty, a healthy relationship can boost mental and physical health. Conversely, an unhealthy relationship often results in tensions that create other life problems.


These are the characteristics of each:

Healthy Relationship:

  • Loving and taking care of yourself
  • Respecting your partner's right to be himself or herself
  • Feeling secure and comfortable
  • Respecting sexual boundaries
  • Having a life outside the relationship, with your own friends and your own activities
  • Making decisions together; each partner compromising when necessary
  • Resolving conflicts through open and honest communication
  • Having more good times in the relationship than bad
  • Trusting each other and being honest with each other
  • Not worrying about violence in the relationship


Unhealthy Relationship:

  • Focusing all your energy on loving and caring for your partner
  • Attempting to control or manipulate your partner
  • Trying to change your partner to be what you want him or her to be
  • Dropping friends and family or activities you enjoy
  • One partner makes all the decisions
  • No common friends, or lack of respect for the partner’s friends or family
  • One partner yells, hits, is verbally abusive, or throws things at the other during arguments
  • Not making time to spend with one another
  • Worry when you disagree with your partner
  • Having more bad times in the relationship than good
  • Experiencing a lack of fairness or equality


When Should I Seek Professional Help for my Relationship?

If a partner ever harms or tries to harm you physically, is verbally abusive, isolates you from friends and family, or forces you to do something sexual that you don’t want to do, these are clear signs of an unhealthy relationship. You should consider getting help or ending the relationship. Even if you believe the person loves you, it does not make up for violent or controlling behaviors, which tend to get worse over time.

Other circumstances to seek help may include:

  • Feeling unhappy in a relationship, but ambivalent about whether you should just accept your unhappiness, try to improve the relationship, or end the relationship.
  • When you have decided to leave a relationship, but find yourself still in the relationship out of guilt, fear of being alone, or fear that the person may harm himself/herself or you.
  • If you have a history of staying in unhealthy relationships, to your emotional and/or physical detriment.


Your program is here to help you along the journey of life. No situation is too big or too small. When you and your household members need assistance, reach out anytime and we will help get you on the right path to meet your needs.

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