What healthy relationships should look like


April 14, 2022

To The Eagle:

This story can be about any two or more people in a relationship, whereby one person feels they are being oppressed by another:

There was a young woman who came from a very abusive home. She wore a brave face and appeared normal on the outside but inside, she was scared and lonely. One day, she met a young man. He was kind, charming, attentive and gave her compliments. Before long, they started spending most of their time together.

Gradually, he started to say things that made her feel uncomfortable. He became increasingly controlling, wanting to scan her phone or demand that she account for every minute of her day. When she tried to talk to him about it, he’d say “It’s only because I love you so much that I get jealous.” She was starting to feel scared and on edge around him all the time. Finally, she told him she didn’t want to see him anymore. He slapped her and said “No one else will ever want you.”

She blamed herself and wondered how she could have been so wrong about him. She talked to the school counselor. The counselor assured the young woman, the abuse wasn’t her fault. The counselor said “One reason you might not have been able to identify early warning signs, is because you’re used to seeing worse violence at home, and milder abuse didn’t register on your radar. The counselor gave her a list of what healthy relationships are supposed to look like (see below):

• I feel safe emotionally, mentally, physically and sexually.

• My thoughts, feelings and opinions are treated with respect.

• I am free to spend time with whomever I choose and to make my own choices w/o criticism or judgement.

• I am free to come-and-go, as I please.

• I am free to be myself.

• I am free to disagree w/o fear of emotional or physical retaliation.

• I have the right to expect my needs to be met and the right to meet my own needs.

Patricia Goodwin



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