Identifying Unhealthy Relationships

A great way to check in about your relationship is to talk with other people about it. This could be a friend, whānau, work, school or study colleague.

Not everyone will be comfortable discussing your relationship, keep asking until you find someone who is.

There are a number of reasons you might start to think your relationship is unhealthy:

  • You are not sure what a relationship should be like.
  • You start to feel scared of your partner.
  • You are not being respected.
  • You’re physically or mentally hurt.

When we are in unhealthy relationships, we say things like:

  • You always criticise me, why am I always to blame?
  • I never get to see my friends anymore.
  • They came home drunk last night and had sex with me. I didn’t want to.
  • How come you make all the decisions?

Sometimes, people may try to justify abusive behaviours by saying things like:

  • That’s how my parents did it.
  • My friends treat their partners like this too.
  • This is how it’s done in my/our home country.
  • It’s my right as an elder/ partner.

No one, including yourself or others involved in a relationship with you, has
a right to excuse abusive behaviour for historical, religious, cultural, societal or peer pressure reasons.

If you think someone in your relationship may be using any of these as an excuse for abuse in your relationship, check in with your friends or whānau, or get in touch with a community organisation.