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Oh! That’s what control looks like.

hotline-logo4.pngAs I get older something I have started to notice is a lot of my friends are entering into long term relationships. Something else I’ve noticed is that not all these relationships are necessarily healthy. A lot of people are in relationships that are not good for them and are downright unhealthy. But what exactly is an unhealthy relationship? Is it arguing all of the time or being clingy or changing the other person? What defines an unhealthy relationship and who is defining it?

Many psychologists have gone round and round about what makes couples healthy versus unhealthy and there are many answers to the above questions. First lets look at healthy relationships. The National Domestic Violence Hotline says there are two main components to a healthy relationship, communication and boundaries. They state that in order to have good communication both partners must respect each other, express their feelings, compromise and not criticize their partner. These are some of the core things that help make relationships work. Couples also must set boundaries such as allowing each other to spend time with friends, not feeling the need to check in on their partner and not accusing your partner of cheating. All of these boundaries set up trust within the relationship to help strengthen the couples bond.

Unhealthy relationships on the other hand are basically the opposite.Many people do not realize they are in an abusive relationship at the time and that is usually the problem. Some of the things to look for are isolating you from friends and family, people in unhealthy relationships often end up not seeing their friends and family because their significant other does not like them. Intimidation is also another form of control that leads to unhealthy relationships. A persons significant other will be angry or make the other person fearful as a way to control them. People who are in abusive relationships often end up getting blamed a lot as well. Their significant other will break them down and make them feels as though they can do nothing right. The person being abused often tries to do everything they can to please their partner. This is another form of control and abuse by a significant other.

There are many warning signs that will help people recognize domestic violence and if they are in an unhealthy relationship. People just need to know what to look for.

If you or someone you know is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship please contact The National Domestic Abuse Hotline at http://www.thehotline.org/ or at  1-800-799-7233.

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