How to behave in a relationship
Is your relationship healthy?
What is a healthy relationship?
Every relationship is unique. So, comparing one relationship to another can be like comparing two snowflakes. The eskimos don’t have a million words for snowflake for nothing y’know... That being said, there are some things that every healthy relationship has and has not.
- Firstly, in healthy relationships, people truly feel they can be themselves. They do not feel like they have to put on an act. This is very important, as what is the point of being in a relationship where you can’t relax for fear of the other person finding out who you really are?
- Healthy relationships tend to involve good communication. It is important to feel you can tell your partner anything. It is also important to be able to share your hopes and dreams for the future, as well as less deep stuff about your daily life, fave sports team etc. In short, you need to be willing audiences for one another. Even if it bores the teeth out of you, sometimes it is good to let your other half ramble on about rugby, the latest and greatest art exhibit, the best place to buy shoes etc. Communication is also important when you start to fight or have issues, as if you can’t talk about it, how will you get it fixed?
- Some say that people in healthy relationships need to have one or two common interests. Others say it doesn’t matter as long as you are willing to be flexible enough to take an interest in the other person’s stuff. This is very much an individual preference; only you know if you need your partner to be as into antique collecting as your good self!
- People in happy relationships judge the relationship for themselves and not on what other people think. This is not to create some sort of Romeo and Juliet us-against-the-world thing (we all know how that ended), but the most important thing is how you feel in the relationship, not what others think. If you are happy, secure and cherished, does it matter what others think?
- People in happy relationships tend to actually like/enjoy spending time with one another. Once the initial lust stage has died down, the relationship won’t go very far if he/she bores the pants out of you, or you find her small-minded and conservative. You need to actually feel happy with your partner, laugh and enjoy the world together. Otherwise, it just won’t last.
What is an abusive relationship?
Abusive relationships are very common and occur across all age groups and all parts of society, from the poor to the very rich. Also, emotional and mental abuse occurs more often than physical violence. Abuse is about dominance and control. An abuser uses threats, anger, intimidation, yelling, screaming and manipulation to get you down and keep you under his/her control. Both women and men can be victims of abuse, and NOBODY deserves to be victimised like this.
How do you know you are a victim?
If you are a victim of abuse, you may feel afraid around your partner. You may feel that you cannot relax and must be watchful and walk on eggshells around them. The relationship seems to revolve around not upsetting them, not making them angry or disrupting their life and less about what YOU need/want or deserve. Abusers may: constantly criticise their partner, embarrass them in front of their family and friends, blame their partner for anything/everything that goes wrong, be jealous and possessive of their partner and control access to money, phones and even contact with family and friends.
Do all relationships get abusive sometimes?
All relationships involve an argument or two at some time. But this is very different to an abusive relationship. If you think you are in an abusive relationship, there is help out there. Contact Safe Ireland or AMEN for confidential support and information.