Do you know if you are in a healthy relationship or not? Or are you considering starting a new one, but not sure how to tell if it is a good idea? The health of a relationship is important during any stage, but when you are pregnant, it is a good idea to really take some time to evaluate your relationship. Why? When you are pregnant, more lives are now impacted besides yours and your partner.
At Informed Choices, we understand that you both will also be faced with many new decisions and even challenges. It is important to know you are with someone who is both safe and trustworthy.
4 Signs of a Healthy Relationship:
In this blog, we will share some signs of red flags and also what a healthy, thriving relationship looks like to help you determine if your current or potential relationship is healthy or if it is in need of some help.
Violence is NEVER Tolerated
Violence is ALWAYS a red flag. If there is any kind of abuse in a relationship, it is the biggest warning that it is not healthy. Abuse can come in many different forms: emotional, verbal and/or physical. A healthy relationship does not tolerate any form of violence; it is not acceptable towards you or your baby.
Even healthy relationships will experience disagreements and arguments from time to time, because as humans we may not always see eye to eye. However, a healthy relationship consists of two people being able to work through disagreements without ever becoming violent. If you are currently in an abusive relationship, do not wait any longer to take the steps you need to leave to protect both you and your baby. No one deserves to be abused, no matter how big or small.
Trust and Respect for Each Other
Trust and respect are two qualities that go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other, and all healthy relationships have both present in them. Trust is something that is built over time with someone. When you are able to completely trust your partner, that means you believe they are both reliable and honest.
When you’ve built trust with someone, you believe the best about them because over time they have not given you any reason to question their motives. Also, if your current relationship is built on trust, it will have a very positive and helpful impact on your parenting.
Trust will allow you to feel safe leaving your child in his or her care. However, if you or your partner are not being completely honest to each other, it is a red flag that will eventually diminish or even break the relationship because trust will be broken.
Respect goes along with trusting your partner, because if you do not trust someone, there is no way you can respect them. All healthy relationships are built on respect for each other. When you respect someone, that means that you honor his or her rights, feelings, and needs. Before you start a new relationship, it is a good idea to talk about each other’s feelings, desires, and needs.
By doing this, it will be clear to both sides how to respect each other, as well as establishing initial trust. If you’ve never taken the time to have this conversation in your current relationship, don’t worry– it is not too late!
Take time to sit down and talk with your partner about your needs and desires as a couple and as future parents, as mutual respect for one another will also set a positive example for your baby as he or she gets older.
Respect is a two-way street. It is important to remember that you matter and you do not deserve to be treated poorly in any way; it also is just as important that you show the same respect to your partner. If there are any desires or needs your partner cannot respect and a compromise or understanding can’t be reached, that is a sign that the relationship will become unhealthy at some point in time.
This may seem like an obvious sign, but it is one that is often ignored. Excellent communication is a MUST and is at the foundation of every healthy relationship. You and your partner should always feel safe to talk about the highs and lows of life together.
If you do not feel comfortable doing that now, how will you have open communication when you become new parents and have to make decisions for you and your baby every day?
It is also important to know that excellent communication isn’t just about talking to each other– it is also about listening. When you take the time to stop and listen to what your partner is trying to communicate to you, there will be less room for confusion and misunderstanding. Listening will also make them feel loved and respected, and they will feel they can tell you anything because you are trustworthy.
Clear and Fair Boundaries
Just hearing the word “boundaries” may cause some people to feel uncomfortable because they have a misunderstanding of it. But it is good to know that all healthy and thriving relationships have clear and fair boundaries put in place. Boundaries are not limitations, they are instead clear signs to help keep a relationship in a healthy state.
A relationship doesn’t automatically come with boundaries; instead, boundaries must be talked about and formed. It is vital to talk about what is important to both of you, so you will know what boundaries are useful and appropriate for your relationship, as well as the boundaries you would like to establish for your baby.
If you don’t make time to create boundaries, you risk creating an unhealthy environment for your relationship because you or your partner may hold unrealistic expectations over each other’s heads. If you haven’t communicated to your partner what boundaries you want to put in place and why, it is unfair to get mad at them if they do something you consider to be wrong.
Take the time to talk about any boundaries you would like to establish and give your partner the reasonings. This is a time to be vulnerable and honest.
Don’t forget to listen to your partner with an open mind and seek understanding if they are requesting a certain boundary that you may not understand. However, it is a red flag if a requested boundary is something that would hurt you or your baby in any way.
These four signs are a great guide to check the health of a potential or current relationship, but also know they are not the only ones to test the health of a relationship. Relationships are made up of two people who come from different walks of lives and views, so there is no fool-proof way to make sure it will last.
However, these four signs are still very helpful when checking on the health of a relationship. No matter what your situation looks like, you deserve to be valued, loved and respected.
We Are Here for You
If your current relationship or potential one is struggling in any of these areas, it may be a sign that you need to evaluate if it is the best situation for you or not. If you need someone to talk to, no matter what your current situation looks like, our caring team at Informed Choices is here for you.
All of our services are free, and we are here to help you through your journey with the information and support you need and deserve.
Call, text, or visit us online today to schedule an appointment, or stop by one of our centers for non-judgmental support during your pregnancy.
Grayslake, IL: Call or Text: (847) 650-5864