Throughout our lives, we are involved with many different kinds of relationships. We have friendships, romances, work and school-related connections, families, just to name a few. Each of these situations has the potential to enrich us, adding to our feelings of self-worth, enjoyment, and growth. These relationships are healthy.
On the other hand, in other situations, we may find ourselves feeling uncomfortable. It can be difficult to come to the realization that a friend, colleague, or family member is not treating us with the respect we deserve. This can be even more complicated when it comes to a romantic relationship.
In a healthy relationship you do not feel unsafe or manipulated into doing things you do not want to do (including having sex). In a healthy relationship you know that the other person treats you with respect and listens to what you have to say. There is trust and support.
An unhealthy relationship looks much different. It can be obvious- the other person can be physically abusive or bad tempered. It can also be much more subtle. If your boyfriend constantly criticizes or ridicules you, it’s time to break up. If you feel like your boyfriend is controlling your money, isolating you from friends, or ignoring you when it comes to your body. It may be difficult, but it is time to move on.
We all want to be happy in our relationships. When it comes to romantic or sexual relationships, many of us can also face added outside pressure from family and friends. Often a friend or family member will tell you that “it’s not that bad” or to take mistreatment in order to “keep” your man. They could make you feel that you will be alone or that this treatment is typical in relationships. This is just not true.
Relationships can be healthy and enriching. They can also be miserable experiences.
Understanding more about relationships can help you make decisions that are good for you. Sometimes you need an objective person to listen to you, and if needed, give you advice. We at Free Women’s Clinic can connect you to counselors who will listen and speak with you.