Healthy vs. Abusive

Abuse is not just a matter of someone having a bad day or getting into a bad mood sometimes. If your boyfriend or girlfriend forgets to call you one night, or doesn’t remember an anniversary, it can be disappointing, but these things happen even in healthy relationships. If your boyfriend or girlfriend tells you what to wear or controls who you talk to, it is no longer a healthy relationship.

In a healthy relationship, you:

  • Have respect for each other and treat each other with respect
  • Feel comfortable and safe
  • Support each other
  • Pay attention to each other
  • Are interested in each other’s lives, families, work, etc.
  • Resolve conflicts effectively
  • Are not violent with each other
  • Have an enjoyable time together
  • Have a sense privacy
  • Trust each other
  • Each decide what you are comfortable with sexually
  • Can express your desires as well as things you are not comfortable with
  • Have personal privacy of who you talk to, call, write to, etc.
  • Make healthy decisions about drugs and alcohol
  • Have, and encourage each other to have other friends
  • Are honest about your past and present sexual activity if the relationship is intimate
  • Know that most people in your life (friends and family) are happy about the relationship
  • Have more good times overall in the relationship than bad

In an unhealthy relationship, one or both of you:

  • Attempts to manipulate or control the other person
  • Makes the other person feel bad about her/himself
  • Makes the other person afraid because of their temper
  • Calls the the other person names or puts them down
  • Is overly critical of the other’s friends or family
  • Doesn’t make time for the other person
  • Discourages other from being close to other people
  • Pushes, grabs, hits, punches, throws objects, or threatens to do any of these things
  • Ignores the other person when he/she is speaking
  • Becomes overly possessive, controlling or gets jealous about normal behavior
  • Criticizes or supports others who criticize your gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or other personal attribute
  • Controls money or other resources (e.g., car, phone use, etc.)
  • Controls how the other dresses, what they can and cannot wear
  • Harms or threatens to harm children, family, pets, or objects of personal value
  • Makes use of physical force or threats to stop the other from leaving the relationship
This is a great chart  found at For more information, check out their webpage.