Comparing healthy and unhealthy relationships

Healthy vs. Unhealthy Relationships

How to compare healthy relationships vs. those that are unhealthy and potentially abusive.

Healthy Relationships


  • Joint Decisions
  • Shared Responsibilities

Economic Equality

  • Freedom in issues of work, school and money

Emotional Honesty

  • Feel safe to share fears and insecurities

Sexual Respect

  • Accept that no means no
  • Caring of needs and wants

Physical Safety

  • Respect partner’s space
  • Express issues without violence

Supportive and Trusting

  • Listen and understand
  • Value partner’s opinion


  • A safe, comfortable relationship
  • Sensitive to other’s needs

Unhealthy Relationships


  • Abuser Decides
  • Servant/Master

Economic Control

  • Deny job freedom
  • Withhold money

Emotional Manipulation

  • Use jealousy, passion and stress to justify actions

Sexual Abuse

  • Treat partner as sex object
  • Force partner to do things

Physical Abuse

  • Partners hit, choke, kick, pinch, pull hair, poke, twist arms, trip, bite, or restrain


  • Name calling, mind games
  • Isolate partner from friends


  • Charming while out in public, yet menacing in private
  • Destroy property

Want to learn more about domestic violence? You can see our educational presentation topics here. To schedule a presentation on DV 101 for your school, workplace, or organization, click here.

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