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Healthy Relationships

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The opposite of an abusive relationship (one based on power and control) is a healthy relationship which is based on equality. When both people in a relationship believe they are equal and neither tries to gain power or control over the other, the result is a non-violent and healthy relationship. The "Equality Wheel" below shows equality as the center of the healthy relationship.

Trust and Support

Both partners encourage each other's goals, acknowledge talents and strengths, value feelings and opinions even when different from their own, respect privacy, and listen non- judgmentally.

Non-threatening Behavior

Both partners talk and act so the other feels comfortable expressing his/her opinions and making his/her own decisions. Both always feel safe around the other.

Sexual Safety

Both partners are able to say "no" to any sexual beha vior they are not comfortable with, honor and respect each other's sexual decisions, communicate about sex, and practice "safe sex" if sexually active.

Financial/Economic Independence

Both partners control their own money and have equal control of househ old money. When gifts are given, they are given freely and without expectation for anything in return. There are no demands for money or material items.

Negotiation and Fairness

Both partners have equal decision-making power and are willing to compromise. Rules and agreements are made together and apply equally to both.

Responsible Parenting

Both partners communicate and make responsible decisions about pregnancy. If parenting, both share responsibilities and are positive, non- violent role models for children.

Honesty and Accountability

Both partners accept responsibility for their own actions, acknowledge mistakes and admit when wrong, communicate openly and truthfully, trust each other and are trustworthy.

Connections with Others

Both partners main tain friendships and family relationships, enjoy activities outside of their relationship and make their own decisions about where they go, what they do and who they are with.