Respectful relationships involve an equal balance of power and control between partners. When one partner has more control and/or power over the other there is the chance for violence and abuse, particularly intimate partner violence.
Having a respectful relationship doesn’t mean you have to agree on everything all the time. Having an argument is part of a normal relationship, but it’s never OK for one partner to hurt or threaten the other person to get their way. Arguments shouldn’t leave you feeling scared or afraid for your safety.
There are lots of behaviours that can warn you that your relationship may be heading down a dangerous path. Some possible warning signs include:
- Your partner gets really jealous when you hang out with other people
- Your partner tries to control what you do
- Your partner becomes super serious about the relationship, real quick
- Your partner is very moody and goes from happy to mad in no time at all
- Your partner wants to hang out with you all the time without your family or friends around
- Your partner believes in rigid gender roles – men make the money and women care for the home and children
- Your partner blames others for his/her problems or feelings
- You see your partner being cruel to animals and/or children
- During arguments, your partner yells and calls you names
- You find out that your partner has abused former partners
- You partner threatens violence during an argument
- Your partner pushes you out of the way during an argument (using force)
- Your partner is really sensitive about criticism from other people
- Your partner always checks in (phone/ text/ facebook) to see what you are up to, what you are doing and who you are with.
- Your partner insults or puts down people that you care about, behind their backs
- Your partner blames all of the problems of previous relationships on his/her previous partners
- Your partner blames you when he/she treats you badly, telling you that you provoked him/her and you deserve it
- Your partner refuses to let you end the relationship
Now, we aren’t saying that if your partner does one of these things you need to break up with them immediately. We are saying that if you are noticing some of these things creeping in, it is an opportunity for you to have a private and respectful talk with them about what is happening, how it is making you feel and what you would like to happen next time something comes up.
DO YOU THINK YOU CAN RECOGNISE ALL THE WARNING SIGNS OF AN UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIP?
Head to the Fun & Games page to take a quiz on relationship warning signs and test your knowledge.