Healthy Relationships

Written by Health Educator Brianne Parrish and Behavioral Health Clinician Kallie Howell

With it being Valentine’s Day, we thought it would be the perfect time to discuss relationships. It is important to know yourself and how to have a healthy relationship. When a relationship is healthy, it should amplify the good feelings about oneself, improve emotional health and fulfill needs for connection. Keep in mind though, relationships do not necessarily have to be romantic in order for them to be healthy or unhealthy.

A healthy relationship? Good relationships are based on respect and equality. Both parties are treated with dignity and are not asked to compromise their personal boundaries for the sake of the other. For example, both individuals:

  • Are willing and able to make decisions about their activities, future and family
  • Speak their mind without fear of the other feeling threatened or angry
  • Expect to be treated with respect even when there is an argument
  • Take turns giving and taking from each other
  • Know that any violence is unacceptable
  • Actively compromise and realize doing so has nothing to do with gaining or losing power
  • Accept equal responsibility to keep the relationship healthy

An unhealthy relationship is when one or both partners are battling for power and control. This Power and Control Wheel identifies a series of behaviors typically presented by batterers or abusive people. Please remember, abuse does not always mean physical violence. Abuse can be verbal, emotional, economic and physical.

If you would like to learn more, or suspect you or a loved one might be experiencing an abusive relationship, please contact NHBP Behavioral Health team at 269.729.4422 or NHBP’s Domestic Violence Victim Advocate Patti McClure at 269.704.8396. We will be happy to assist you and answer any questions you may have.


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