There are important attitudes and behaviours that may predict whether a relationship may be healthy in the long term and red flags that may be causes for concern.
The following are a few key ingredients or potential predictors of long-term healthy relationships where both partners:
Take emotional and behavioural responsibility
Taking responsibility for one’s own feelings, actions, needs and happiness is important. If your partner/friend is dependant on you to ‘fix’ any part of their world or blames you for the way they are feeling or behaving - this is a red flag. Similarly, we cannot go into a relationship hoping that this person will be the ‘solution’ to our problems.
Support each other’s goals and achievements
In healthy relationships, no one is threatened or jealous of each other’s talents, skills, intelligence or achievements. There should be mutual encouragement and support for each other’s endeavours and mutual celebration for each other’s successes.
Learn from and respect differences
Being able to listen attentively and to respect each other’s point of view and not always having to be right or win an argument is key. The focus should be on respecting differences in opinions and beliefs, not controlling them.
Understand feelings are acceptable
...and can be shared openly, honestly and respectfully. There are not good and bad feelings but only better and worse ways of expressing them. For example, anger is an acceptable feeling but it is not acceptable when it is expressed in a threatening, injurious or harmful manner or when it becomes the predominant feeling expressed.
Know their worth
Are your core values, expectations, and dreams aligned? Are you able to discuss any concerns openly without conflict?
If you have a cause for concern speak up - now is the time!
— Survivors Handbook —
Survivors Handbook - This outstanding resource is aimed at supporting survivors on their journey to recovery. It has been written with a particular emphasis for Christian women who can sometimes feel like they need to choose between their faith and their freedom because we believe it's possible to have both.