Questions for a Healthy Relationship

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr

Once a relationship exists between two people, asking and answering questions about your relationship can keep it healthy, open and honest. If you find you don’t like the answers or reveal red flags, it’s time to evaluate whether the relationship is healthy for you and worth maintaining. Healthy relationship questions investigate the overall safety and characteristics of the relationship, how the relationship affects you and your partner, and if your boundaries are healthy.

Overall Relationship Characteristics

Consider whether your relationship includes respect, sharing, trust and mutual support, advises relationship psychotherapist Nancy Wesson, Ph.D., in “Healthy Relationships -- What Do They Look Like?” on her website. If you feel safe, communicate your needs and desires with your partner, cooperate to make the relationship work, keep your agreements and value one another, the relationship is probably healthy. Consider whether you have shared individual interests and friends, as well as healthy relationships with friends and family, adds the Iowa Coalition Against Violence on the Facing the Facts website.

Relationship Interactions

When you and your partner interact, ponder whether you listen to one another respectfully and without interruption. Do you each have a right to your own feelings and opinions? Do you express value for one another? Do you feel safe? Other effective interactions that should be present including sharing responsibilities and caring for each other’s needs and managing conflict in a safe and cooperative fashion, writes Wesson. Neither you, nor your partner should engage in manipulation and unfair fighting techniques.

Relationship Benefits

Your relationship should benefit you and your partner. Consider whether you are both reasonably happy in the relationship and enjoy supporting one another as friends and lovers. Ask if you are better together than you are as single individuals. Ponder whether you spend time with your partner and other friends so there is balance to the relationship. Contemplate how well you meet one another’s needs and if you meet them in the way your partner prefers.

Red Flags of Unhealthy Relationships

Ask yourself if any red flags exist in your relationship, whether the problems can be worked out or if they present a threat to you or your partner. Feeling pressured by your partner to do things you don’t want to do or to change who you are indicates an unhealthy relationship, according to the Understanding U website article, “Signs of a Healthy Relationship.” If either of you feels threatened by or fearful of your partner, your relationship is definitely not healthy. Addictions, illegal activities and untreated psychological problems also create unhealthy relationship conditions.

About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

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