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So, how is your relationship going?

April 24, 2013
By CATHY BROWNFIELD - Family Recovery Center Publicist , Salem News

Something doesn't feel right. Maybe you've felt this for a long while but you decided you must be imagining things so you haven't said anything.

You don't want to appear to not trust your partner or admit that you aren't happy. Yet, in the back of your mind you just have this feeling that your relationship might be in trouble, that maybe you should be doing something before you're faced with the reality of calling it quits, walking away from something you expected would last a lifetime.

Take a look at some traits that identify a healthy relationship:

-?You give unconditional love. There are no strings attached. You don't have any expectations for anything in return.

- You want her to do things your way, but when she does things the way she wants to do them; you still love and respect her. You are still proud of her and glad to have her in your corner.

- You stand up for yourself because you are just as vital to the relationship as our partner. Partners work together.

- You take responsibility for yourself. It's your life. You make your choices, act on them and take responsibility for your actions. You own your mistakes instead of placing blame on someone else, perhaps your partner.

- You don't particularly like that new tattoo she's sporting on her shoulder, or the way he buzzed his hair. But even if these kinds of things embarrass you or make you uncomfortable, you encourage your partner to be the person he or she is, not what you want them to be.

- You assert yourself at the appropriate occasions and you don't need approval from anyone, including your partner. You both are equals in the relationship and it affects you both equally. Partners share everything about the relationship.

- You share your thoughts and express your emotions with your partner.

The flip side, or unhealthy relationship, is all of the opposites of the above. An unhealthy relationship is a selfish one.

You give love, but not without some expectations in return. If you don't get what you want, you withhold your love until your partner complies. You whine and complain to get what you want without regard for your partner.

You don't want to be responsible for yourself. You want someone to take care of you.

Because you are uncomfortable about her, you try to control what she does. You say she should hide the tattoos she feels identify her individuality, for example.

You want power over your partner, right down to getting your approval.

Passive-aggression. Maybe you aren't sure what that means. Passive-aggressive behavior is using aggression, negative feelings and resentment indirectly and passively.

You may appear to go along with something but passivity is resistant. Say your wife asks you to do something. You lead her to believe you will take care of it, but it's not something you want to do, like to do or are willing to do, so you just let it go even though you know she is going to be really angry. And actually, you may even think you've won.

You are more important in the relationship than your partner-at least in your mind. You go to work every day and make the bigger paycheck. She may or may not work outside the home. Either way, you are worth more and you aren't going to help her with her work.

You're in this relationshipOr are you? How do you feel? How do you feel about your partner? Your partnership? The relationship? Relationships are important. They take work, nothing hard about it, just being caring, concerned, encouraging and respectful.

Family Recovery Center promotes the well being of individuals, families and communities with education, prevention and treatment programs for substance abuse and related mental health issues. For more information, contact FRC at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or e-mail,



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