SAFE T-BIRDS: Recognize signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships

KNOW the facts

How to determine whether you’re in an unhealthy relationship

Is your current relationship unhealthy? The best way to answer that question is to KNOW the facts about unhealthy relationships, reflect on whether those facts relate to you and your relationship partner and seek help if you think you might be in an unhealthy relationship.

Here are some signs you’re in a healthy relationship:
* You have more good times in the relationship than bad times.
* You’ve made a life for yourself with your significant other and still managed to have time for friends.
* Decisions in the relationship are shared, and you both compromise.
* You can have tough conversations without getting angry every single time.
* You can talk through conflict together.
* You trust one another.
* You feel like yourself around your significant other, and you’re willing if not eager to share your hopes and dreams.
* You spend time relaxing with each other on a regular basis.
* You and your partner share in the day-to-day operations of managing your household.

If you can relate to most of the list, you probably are in a healthy relationship. If you can’t, you need to consider learning what makes an unhealthy relationship.

First, go back in your memory. Our family of origin can greatly affect the way we view relationships.

Here are some signs that you may have been exposed to unhealthy relationships:
* Did you experience a difficult or harmful home environment growing up?
* When you were a child, did you see your parents fighting on a regular basis?
* Was there unhealthy physical contact among family members?
* Were you physically hurt by a parent or family member on regular basis?
* Were you emotional hurt – put down or humiliated, for example – by a parent or other family member?
* Growing up, did you fear for the life of one family member who was being harmed by another family member?
* Did you fear for your life at the hand of another family member?

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, you may want to ask yourself these questions:

1. Physical signs: Do you KNOW what you do?
* Are you repeating any physical behaviors that you did not like as kid, but you’re repeating them anyway?
* Do you want to strike or physically grab a family member when you get frustrated or angry?
* Do family members complain, on a regular basis, that you are hurting them?
* Do family members cry, on a regular basis, after you have physical contact with them?
* Do you grab a loved one so hard, he/she is bruised?
* Do you grab a loved one so hard, he/she nearly passes out, or even does pass out?
* Have you shaken someone so hard, he/she cries or becomes injured?
* Have you struck or kicked family pets?
* When you’re upset or angry, do throw objects at loved ones? Do you strike people?
* Do you pressure your partner to accept forceful or violent acts during sex?

2. Verbal signs: do you KNOW what you say?
* Are you repeating hurtful things your dad or mom said that you did not like as kid, but you’re repeating them anyway?
* Do you seek arguments with family members?
* Do you raise your voice in anger on regular basis when speaking to family members?
* Do you publicly embarrass or humiliate family members?
* Do you publicly say things about family members that you would not accept if they said it about you publicly?
* Have you made threats to destroy things family members care about?
* Have you made threats to harm family members?
* Have you made threats to your partner to harm your children?
* Have you made threats to your children to harm your partner?
* Have you made threats to family members to harm their friends?

3. Behavior signs: do you KNOW how you act?
* Do you find yourself acting like your dad or mom, even though you swore you would never act like that?
* Do you find yourself expecting others to act like your parents expected you to act?
* Do you get jealous about your partner’s friends or associates?
* Do you monitor or have to know the location of your partner at all times?
* Do you find yourself texting, emailing or calling your partner to find out what they are doing on a regular basis?
* Do you find yourself nice one moment and mean the next? Could you be described as Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde?
* Do you try to isolate or control the activities of your partner or other family members?

4. Attitude signs: Do you KNOW how you think?
* Do you find yourself expecting others to think the same way that your parents expected you to think?
* Do you have strict gender roles, thinking “men do this and women do that”?
* Do you have to control what your family members say, wear and/or eat?
* Do you have expectations that no one, even yourself, cannot reach?
* Do find you blame others, especially your partner or family members, for the problems you have?
* Do find you blame your partner or family members for the unhealthy feelings you have?
* Do you have to control how family members spend money?
* Do you have to control how family members need to address health or medical needs?

5. Other signs: Do you KNOW other things that keep you from having a healthy relationship?
* Do you overuse or abuse alcohol or other substances?
* Do you spend hours viewing pornography?
* Do you spend hours watching television with programs exhibiting unhealthy relationships?
* Do you spending hours viewing and participating with social media at the expense of time with your family?

The SAFE T-BIRDS program is Cloud County Community College's prevention and education efforts to help stop relationship violence in support of title IX, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, the SaVE Act and Clery Act..