Relations are an inseparable part of a human life – they enrich our life, fill it with joy, help us to grow and know ourselves better. Human relations are never perfect, but it is very important to recognise when the relations might cause you too much stress or even become harmful.
What are healthy relations like?
In healthy relations both partners:
If one wants to establish healthy relations, it is necessary to put effort as healthy relations are a result of the consistent work by both partners. In such relations it is also very important that both partners could openly express what they do not like and draw the limits beyond which they cannot compromise, for example, personal space. In healthy relations, both partners should feel free to express or show when these limits are crossed and to ask the partner not to do this again.
How should you feel in healthy relations?
Healthy relations should provide more joy than stress. In all relations the moments of stress could occur but the relations should not cause long-term, never ending stress.
When you are in healthy relations, you:
How should one see that the relations are not healthy?
Difficulties might occur in all relations but in unhealthy relations, they are more prevalent and they would cause you constant anxiety and pressure which will be difficult to avoid. This stress is unhealthy to both partners and may manifest itself in problems in other areas of life.
If your relations are marked by a few of these features, this does not necessarily mean that you should end it. By realising how the negative aspects impact you, one may look for ways to solve the problems by approaching the specialists – psychologists and psychotherapists.
Some relations might not only be harmful but also dangerous to you. These are the relations where violence and control become the model one of your partner’s behaviour with you.
What is violent behaviour?
Relations based on coercion that aim at making one partner dominate over the other is violent behaviour. It is easier to recognise physical and sexual violence but it may be difficult to identify another type of coercion.
The Power and Control Wheel best reflects this type of behaviour. If you recognise these behavioural models in your partner, there is high likelihood that you are in abusive relations.
At first, maybe only some features that worry you manifest themselves, however, in the long run the violent episodes and control strengthen and become more prevalent until the relations almost do not remind of healthy ones.
Violent behaviour is usually cyclical – the growth of tension, outburst of violence, making up and the “honeymoon” period. The stage of the relations is identified by the behaviour of the perpetrator and the victim.