Archive | March, 2012

Healthy vs. Unhealthy Relationships

31 Mar

I did a GOOGLE search on this topic this morning and found this – it’s a great article!!!  So much better to be in a healthy relationship whether it’s with your significant other, family, friends or co-workers – I hope you find it helpful!!

Healthy vs. Unhealthy Relationships

a photo of a woman hugging a man while looking at a computerRelationships are a necessary part of healthy living, but there is no such thing as a perfect relationship.  Relationships, from acquaintances to romances, have the potential to enrich our lives and add to our enjoyment of life.  However, these same relationships can cause discomfort, and sometimes even cause harm (see the statistics).  Take a few minutes to learn more to protect yourself from developing unhealthy relationships.

What makes a healthy relationship?

A healthy relationship is when two people develop a connection based on:

  • Mutual respect
  • Trust
  • Honesty
  • Support
  • Fairness/equality
  • Separate identities
  • Good communication
  • A sense of playfulness/fondness

All of these things take work. Each relationship is most likely a combination of both healthy and unhealthy characteristics. Relationships need to be maintained and healthy relationships take work. This applies to all relationships; work relationships, friendships, family, and romantic relationships.

What are signs of a healthy relationship?

A healthy relationship should bring more happiness than stress into your life. Every relationship will have stress at times, but you want to prevent prolonged mental stress on either member of the relationship.

Below are some characteristic that maybe present in your healthy relationships.

While in a healthy relationship you:

  • Take care of yourself and have good self-esteem independent of your relationship
  • Maintain and respect each other’s individuality
  • Maintain relationships with friends and family
  • Have activities apart from one another
  • Are able to express yourselves to one another without fear of consequences
  • Are able to feel secure and comfortable
  • Allow and encourage other relationships
  • Take interest in one another’s activities
  • Do not worry about violence in the relationship
  • Trust each other and be honest with each other
  • Have the option of privacy
  • Have respect for sexual boundaries
  • Are honest about sexual activity if it is a sexual relationship
  • Accept influence. Relationships are give and take; allowing your partner to influence you is important; this can be especially difficult for some men.
  • Resolve conflict fairly: Fighting is part of even healthy relationships, the difference is how the conflict is handled. Fighting fairly is an important skill you help you have healthier relationships.

What are the signs of an unhealthy relationship?

At times all relationships will have some of the below characteristics. However, unhealthy relationships will exhibit these characteristics more frequently and cause you stress and pressure that is hard to avoid. This tension is unhealthy for both members and may lead to problems in other areas of your life.

While in an unhealthy relationship you:

  • Put one person before the other by neglecting yourself or your partner
  • Feel pressure to change who you are for the other person
  • Feel worried when you disagree with the other person
  • Feel pressure to quit activities you usually/used to enjoy
  • Pressure the other person into agreeing with you or changing to suit you better
  • Notice one of you has to justify your actions (e.g. where you go, who you see)
  • Notice one partner feels obligated to have sex or has been forced
  • Have a lack of privacy, and may be forced to share everything with the other person
  • You or your partner refuse to use safer sex methods
  • Notice arguments are not settled fairly
  • Experience yelling or physical violence during an argument
  • Attempt to control or manipulate each other
  • Notice your partner attempts to controls how you dress and criticizes your behaviors
  • Do not make time to spend with one another
  • Have no common friends, or have a lack of respect for each others’ friends and family
  • Notice an unequal control of resources (food, money, home, car, etc.)
  • Experience a lack of fairness and equality

If some of your relationships have some of these characteristics it does not necessarily mean the end of that relationship. By recognizing how these characteristics affect you, you can begin to work on improving the negative aspect of your relationships to benefit both of you.

When should I seek professional help for my relationship?

If a partner ever tries to harm you physically or force you to do something sexually that should be a clear sign for you that it is an unhealthy relationship. In that situation, you should consider getting help, or ending the relationship. Even if you believe the person loves you it does not make up for the harm they are putting you through.

Other circumstances include:

  • When you are unhappy in a relationship, but cannot decide if you should accept it, try to improve the relationship, or end the relationship.
  • When you have decided to leave a relationship, but find your self still in the relationship.
  • When you think you are staying in the relationship for the wrong reasons, such as fear of being alone or guilt.
  • If you have a history of staying in unhealthy relationships.

Having a counselor or mental health provider to talk to can help you work out challenges in your relationships and find a solution that is healthy for both partners.

University of Washington Resources

SARIS (Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Information Service)

Counseling Center

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Finding My Voice…

12 Mar

Finding My Voice…

Written By:  Cheri Coleman ~ 3/12/12

Finding my voice…

Has been a challenge for me for many years

Yet, Lord, you have shown me over and over

Again that I have a voice

That what I have to say is important

My feelings are important

So why do I struggle with sharing

My voice?

What am I afraid of?

Finding my voice…

Lord, with you by my side I will find the

Courage and the strength

To find my voice again

So that I can share my story

Because what I have to say is important

Not only to me but to other people who

Struggle with

Finding their voice…

We all have a story to tell and there will be

No healing if we do not share our stories

And our feelings from the heart

Finding my voice…

Lord, I am grateful that you continually

Show me that you care for me

Even when I make mistakes

I know I am not perfect

Yet I long to share my story

To inspire and encourage

And with you walking by my side

I have found my voice

It’s full of love, patience and compassion

Thank you Lord for being there

Every step of the way

Finding my voice…

Copyright 2012 © Cheri Coleman

Survey: Why Do Women Always Fall For The Wrong Man?

2 Mar

I am curious as to why women always seem to fall for the wrong man???  I would love to have your feedback and then I will post the results on my blog and FB page.  This is a subject that has become near and dear to me as I am trying to understand this myself.  I have not been in very many relationships, so this whole dating thing is interesting to say the least. I certainly do not want to choose the wrong man again – thus I am looking for honest feedback. Please do not hold anything back!  I want to hear it all, the good, the bad and yes the ugly!

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me!

Cheri

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