Question: My friend says that my relationship with my boyfriend is unhealthy and almost abusive. How do I know what is unhealthy and healthy in a relationship? I think we are fine.
Break The Cycle says: Your friend sounds concerned and most likely wants to help. Perhaps your friend is noticing subtle unhealthy patterns in your relationship. The key to distinguishing abusive behavior from healthy behavior is how it makes you feel. Do you feel hurt, put down, afraid, or worried when your partner acts a certain way? Do you feel like you don’t have a voice in the relationship?
Healthy relationships are built on honesty, trust, and communication. If your partner is doing things that cross your boundaries, that’s a sign of an unhealthy relationship. But these behaviors aren’t always obvious and easy to recognize. For example, a jealous partner might try to gain control by setting rules for you. Abusive behavior also includes unwanted kissing or touching of any kind—even forcing you to hold hands.
Remember, it’s not okay for your partner to make you do anything you don’t want to, no matter how many times you’ve done it before.
Blog-only note: If you feel that you may have be in an abusive relationship, or have questions about how to develop better relationship communication, please contact your school’s student health services, counseling office, or Dean of Students office for help and guidance. Often, there will be a directory on your school’s website that will help you find phone numbers and different services on campus. MyStudentBody schools have many resources listed on the Campus Resources page, once students have logged onto the site. Your school may also be listed on ULifeline.