Healthy vs. Unhealthy Relationships

Self-respect and respect for others is a key characteristic of healthy relationships. In contrast, in unhealthy relationships, one partner tries to exert control and power over the other physically, sexually, and/or emotionally.

Healthy relationships share certain characteristics including Mutual respect, Trust, Compromise, Individuality, Honesty, Anger Control, Good Communication, Problem-solving, Understanding, Self-confidence, and Healthy Sexuality.

Maintaining open lines of communication can help in forming healthy relationships and recognizing the signs of unhealthy relationships, thus preventing violence before it starts.

Is Your Relationship Healthy?

  • Does your partner or someone close to you criticize you, put you down or call you names?

  • Are you frightened about how your partner will react if you get into an argument?

  • Are you frightened of your partner when he or she has been drinking?

  • Has your partner ever hit you?

  • Does your partner complain about your friendships or family members or stop you from seeing them?

  • Does your partner ask you to do things that make you feel uncomfortable?

  • Are you ever worried that your children are seeing or hearing things they shouldn't be?

  • Has your partner ever forced you to have sex with him/her or with other people? Has he/she made you participate in sexual activities that made you uncomfortable?

  • Has your partner ever kept you short of money, so you are unable to buy food and other necessary items for yourself and your children?

  • Has you partner prevented you from continuing or starting a college course, or from going to work?

  • Does your partner constantly check up on you or follow you?

  • Has your partner ever tried to control you by telling you that you could be deported because of your immigration status?

  • Has your partner ever threatened to take your children away or said he/she would refuse to let you take them with you, or even to see them, if you left him/her?

Warning Signs: If your answer is yes to four or more of these questions, consider calling The Center for support resources. (530) 626-1131

6 Types of Abuse

Physical Abuse

Sexual Abuse

Verbal & Emotional Abuse

Mental & Physical Abuse

Financial & Economical Abuse

Cultural and Identity Abuse

How Trauma Affects You

It is not always easy to know if behaviors are being influenced trauma. Trauma could be recent, or in the distant past, such as from childhood. Below is a list of behavioral identifiers that may result from traumatic experiences. If you identify with more than one, talking with a counselor may help release the pain and lead to healing.

  • Keeping Secrets

    Shame thrives in secrecy. Trauma survivors may bury experiences and emotions. Painful hidden secrets need to be explored and released for healing to begin.

  • Growing up too fast

    “I’ve had to make adult decisions as a child.” The result may lead to emotional distancing and  inability to trust others.

  • Pushing others away

    The inability to trust and rely on others can be caused by a number of factors related to past trauma such as fear of intimacy and low self-esteem.

  • Sensing danger.

    Processing sensory threats due to past trauma is common. Being overly wary of situations can be addressed in a healthy way.

  • Engaging in self-destructive behavior

    Living with unpleasant thoughts and emotions can be the result of past trauma. This may increase the likelihood of relying on unhealthy coping strategies such as drug or alcohol abuse, self-harm and repeat behavioral patterns. Counseling can help to replace destructive behaviors with more productive ones.

  • Denying feelings and needs

    If you have trouble expressing your own needs and desires, or even recognizing them, you may be co-dependent. Individual or group therapy can be very helpful to acknowledge and express feelings that may have been buried since childhood. This can lead to healthier close relationships.