What are some red flags that warn of a potentially dangerous relationship?



 Everyone wants a healthy relationship, but sometimes relationship turn ugly.  Here are 10 red flag behaviors that warn us that a relationship may be unhealthy—and even dangerous.    

1.     Quick involvement.  In a healthy relationship couples take their time getting to know each other.  It’s a red flag if someone pushes for an exclusive relationship before a foundation of trust can be built.  Take your time.      

2.     Jealousy. A healthy relationship involves trust.  It’s a red flag if someone becomes overly possessive, controlling, and insists on knowing every detail of your life—like who you’re with, what you’re doing, where you’ve been, and so on.

3.     Blaming others.  In a healthy relationship each partner accepts responsibility for their own actions.  It’s a red flag if you are accused of something you have no control over, like your partner’s choice to become angry or be unhappy. 

4.     Rigid gender roles.  In a healthy relationship both partners are equal.  It’s a red flag if one person insists on being the boss because of gender, and the other person is supposed to become fully compliant.

5.     Hypersensitivity.  In a healthy relationship partners feel comfortable expressing their feelings.  It’s a red flag if you are afraid to speak up because someone is easily offended, defensive, and becomes angry over something you said. 

6.  Cruelty to animals, elderly, or children.  In a healthy relationship partners protect those that are vulnerable.  It’s a red flag if someone is cruel or disrespectful to animals or others.

7.     Violence against a former partner.  In a healthy relationship violence is never acceptable.  It’s a red flag if someone has ever physically abused a former partner—violent behaviors tend to be repeated and even escalate.

8.     Controlling behaviors. In a healthy relationship partners honor one another’s rights.  It’s a red flag when one partner makes all the decisions and dictates what the other partner can and can’t do—especially if contact is cut off or limited with family, friends, work, school, social activities, and so on.

9.     Explosive anger.  In a healthy relationship partners feel safe with each other.  It’s a red flag if rage is a common response to frustration or disappointment, whether large or small.

10.   Verbal, sexual, and/or physical abuse. In a healthy relationship partners respect one another.  It’s a red flag if a partner inflicts any form of intimidation, threats, coercion, bullying, physical force, and/or unwanted sexual contact on another.

Leaving an abusive relationship can be dangerous.  If you need help, call the Utah Domestic Violence Council Link Line at 1-800-897-LINK (5465).   For an emergency call 9-1-1.


Posted on 29 Nov 2012

Candace Schaible
Water Wise Landscape/Horticulture Educator, Iron County

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