What are your rights in a relationship? Are you being abused or abusive?

Examining Your Relationship

Sadly, we do not receive proper “relationship education” in schools. We are not taught about  healthy and positive sexuality and relationships and we learn as we go; from our parents, from movies, books and the world around us. As many of us can relate, this isn’t necessarily the best place to learn! There’s all sorts of power imbalances in our family and the media and this conflicts with the promoted romantic happily ever after idea.  All of these mixed messages can be very confusing.
Is it any wonder we can misunderstand what is acceptable in a relationship? Combine this with all the hormones and “blindness” of new love (researchers have found that when newly in love our critical thought capacities are significantly hindered!) it makes sense that we can be making bad relationship decisions.

Here’s a list of what your rights are in a relationship, taken from the Red Flag Campaign. What do you think of this list and would you add or omit any? Some good points to ponder here, even if you don’t agree with all of it.

What are your rights in a relationship?

  • To express your opinions and have them be respected
  • To have your needs be as important as your partner’s needs
  • To grow as an individual in your own way
  • To change your mind
  • To not take responsibility for your partner’s behavior
  • To not be physically, emotionally, verbally or sexually abused
  • To break up with or fall out of love with someone and not be threatened

Are you being abused?

  • Are you frightened by your partner’s temper?
  • Are you afraid to disagree?
  • Are you constantly apologizing for your partner’s behavior, especially when he or she has treated you badly?
  • Do you have to justify everything you do, everywhere you go, and everyone you see just to avoid your partner’s anger?
  • Does your partner put you down, but then tell you that he or she loves you?
  • Have you ever been hit, kicked, shoved or had things thrown at you?
  • Do you not see friends or family because of your partner’s jealousy?
  • Have you ever been forced to have sex?
  • Are you afraid to break up because your partner has threatened to hurt you or himself or herself?
  • Has your partner ever threatened your life or the life of someone close to you?

Are you being abusive?

  • Do you constantly check up on your partner and accuse her or him of cheating or lying?
  • Are you extremely jealous or possessive?
  • Do you have an explosive temper?
  • Have you hit, kicked, shoved, or thrown things at your partner?
  • Do you constantly criticize or insult your partner?
  • Do you become violent when you use drugs or alcohol?
  • Do you use threats or intimidation to get your way?
  • Have you ever forced your partner to have sex with you through threats?
  • Have you ever threatened your partner with physical harm?
  • Have you threatened to hurt yourself or someone else if your partner breaks up with you?Book a session to see me to start working towards healthy relationships today! All counselling is confidential and non-judgemental.

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