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Tag: abuse

5 Elements Of A Healthy Relationship

As a therapist for survivors of domestic violence, I think this issue deserves “awareness” for more than one month. Nevertheless, I wanted to share some information in today’s post about what HEALTHY relationships look like.

When I’m working with a survivor it’s not always appropriate to rehash the unhealthy relationship traits they have seen. In order to move towards prevention we have to talk about what we DO WANT, not just what ISN’T tolerated.

Awareness requires action, in my opinion. Click To Tweet

What’s the sense of being “woke” or aware if we won’t demand changes in our relationships?


Let’s review 5 aspects of healthy relationships (Adapted from CORA-Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse

Communicating Openly– Respecting each other’s opinions. Being able to accept responsibility when one partner disagrees with you. In relationships, many experts say it’s not about “being right.” Disagreements will happen but they should be fair, without insults and without making threats. Threatening to leave, to withhold money or the car or to take the kids is manipulative behavior.

Respect – Valuing each other as you are. Listening to their feelings and honoring their physical safety. Don’t make everything about “you.” Their needs, values and busy schedules are honored and considered in the relationship. It’s healthy to have talks about personal goals as well as goals you can share as partners.

Enjoying Personal Time – Each partner respects when the other needs time apart. Your partner isn’t jealous or possessive when you spend time without them. This could include time with family. Spending all your time together is not healthy. Neither is isolation. Jealousy isn’t love. It’s control.

Mutual Sexual Choices– Partners can openly talk about sexual choices and respect each other’s decisions. Force, manipulation and guilt are NOT part of this discussion. Each partner also respects birth control methods of the other partner.

Partnering About Responsibilities & Finances – Money decisions are made together. Financial arrangements are beneficial to both partners. It is NOT healthy for one partner to be controlling with “allowances”, access to the bank or to manipulate their partner’s role at work. Decisions about budgeting are made together.



These lessons are not exclusive to adults. Teaching children and teens about healthy relationships at an early age is recommended. Remember, kids take their cues from adults. Abuse is learned behavior.

**If you or someone you know needs assistance because of domestic violence, please contact 211 to find an agency near you or contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. Seek information from a safe location and a safe internet source.**


Have You Seen These Red Flags In Your Relationships?

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This topic hits close to home for me since I provide therapy for domestic violence survivors.

Learning about red flags is just as important after a survivor has left an abusive relationship. Many times, survivors missed the red flags and could view future friendships and/or relationships as “safer” than previous relationships.

Empowering and educating survivors makes a world of difference in their healing. Click To Tweet

Have you seen these red flags in your relationships?

  • Blaming you for his/her actions. “You made me do this…”
  • Minimizing hurtful behaviors towards you or others.
  • Refusing to admit emotional and/or personal problems
  • History of aggressive behavior while using alcohol or drugs
  • Giving large gifts early in the relationship.
  • They don’t accept your friends or family. They frequently talk bad about them and try to make you question their loyalty.
  • Frequent attempts to isolate you. They want you all to themselves.
  • Constant calls or texts about your whereabouts.
  • Encourages you to drop hobbies or interests.
  • Publicly embarassing you.
  • Accusing you of cheating and flirting.
  • Makes negative statements about your clothes/appearance/weight.
  • Plays mind games and makes you feel like you’re going crazy.
  • The relationship seems intense and deep very quickly.
  • Pressure to move in, get engaged or marry early.
  • Secretive about history of legal troubles and/or arrests.
  • Shows signs of hurt/anger if you ask to slow down the relationship.
  • Refers to women and/or female family members with sexist comments.
  • Was abused as a child or grew up in an abusive home.
  • Uses intimidating body language, punches walls or breaks objects when upset.

Please keep in mind that one of these red flags doesn’t constitute a batterer. A person who grew up in an abusive household isn’t automatically considered an abuser. Trust your gut and your instincts if you recognize a few of these red flags.

In addition, a person who threatens, hits, punches, or kicks you doesn’t need to have two or three of these behaviors. They are definitely being abusive.

The most dangerous time for a woman in an abusive relationship is when she leaves. Contact your local domestic violence agency to speak with their counselors and advocates to help you transition safely. You can also call 211 if you’re in the United States to find your closest domestic violence agency. 

The National Domestic Violence Emergency Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or

TTY 1-800-787-3224

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