15 Things Your Partner Will Never Do If You Are in a Healthy Relationship
Relationships can be TOUGH. And while things like cheating and trust issues are some very obvious red flags that things are not great, experts say there are also some smaller things that can give you an idea of just how healthy your relationship is.
And while these little things are really important for a healthy relationship, it’s also critical you don’t ignore small signs of disrespect.
To find out what some of these signs are, we hit up psychotherapist and couples counsellor Lissy Abrahams, and asked her to tell us 15 things your partner won’t do if you’re in a healthy relationship.
1. They never impose their struggles on to you
If someone really loves you, they’ll always be there for you – through thick and thin. However, Abrahams reminds us that it’s important your partner doesn’t rely on you to fill a gap missing in themselves.
“A good partner will never impose their mental health struggles onto you, as they recognise that by looking after themselves and receiving professional help, they are also looking after you and the relationship,” said Abrahams.
“A good partner knows it’s not your responsibility to ‘fix’ them.”
2. They never block the potential to improve your relationship
No matter how good your relationship is, there’s always going to be arguments – but what matters is how you deal with them. Your partner should always put the needs of the relationship first, and want to talk through issues rather than leaving things to fester in the dark.
“A good partner never says ‘no’ to you when you want to go to couples therapy. I have seen the damage that this causes when partners say no and block their potential to develop. This causes more conflict between partners and prevents happiness being created in their relationship,” said Abrahams.
3. They're never controlling
If you’re in a healthy relationship, you should have room for spending time with family and friends. A partner who loves and respects you won’t monopolise your time or keep you to themselves. You should never feel restricted for seeing people outside of your relationship.
“Your partner should understand that you are a separate individual with your own mind and desires and these need to be respected. Some examples: If you want to see friends, they encourage you to go and don’t try to make you cancel to stay home with them.
“They don’t try to make you eat food you don’t want in your body. They don’t try to guilt or manipulate you to get their way, or force their life view on to you.”
4. They never pick apart your appearance
Your partner should also never take jabs at your appearance, lower your self-confidence or make you feel bad about yourself. It’s a d**k move and a sign of a bad relationship.
“A good partner will never suggest you need anti-wrinkle injections, fillers, or plastic surgery,” said Abrahams. “They know that your body is great the way it is, and it is yours. They respect that it’s not their body to meddle with for their own sake or pleasure.”
5. They never disrespect you
It may sound simple, but this is one that’s often overlooked.
“A good partner will never use you to make other people jealous or score points with others. If they ask you to wear particularly revealing clothing or ask you to perform in a particular way to bolster their own standing in the eyes of others, then this is a misuse of you. It’s narcissistic.”
6. They never minimise or dismiss your feelings
Your partner should understand how important it is to listen to how you’re feeling. You should never feel that they avoid important conversations – rather, seek them out and approach them with respect.
“They also understand that listening and wanting to know how you feel is important for creating psychological safety in a relationship,” she adds.
7. They never discourage you
One of the best signs of a person’s confidence is their ability to help support the ambitions of others.
Abrahams said a good partner will never discourage your psychological, educational, or physical development, nor stand in the way of you accessing it.
“They will see that your wellbeing and development is a good thing for you and will offer support to help you facilitate your experience, such as offering financial support or taking the children that day.”
8. They respect your feelings
Whenever you feel like you need to prove your worth in a relationship, this isn’t a good sign. “A good partner will never forget that you are an asset in their lives and worthy of protecting you and the relationship,” reminds Abrahams.
“They understand that being with you is a privilege and not a right – even if you have tricky bits,” she adds.
“This means they don’t forget you and the relationship and step over your agreed upon couple boundaries when they are out for a night drinking with their mates.”
9. They pull their weight at home
If your partner really loves you, you’ll work as a team.
“A good partner will never make you do all the housework. They understand they produce mess and dirt and that they are part of the tidying and cleaning solution with you.
“They’ll also never assume it is your role to solely look after the kids, and understand that they need to participate and share the load, even if you do take on more of this than them.”
10. They don't try to control your finances
We’re just going to be straight up with this one: Your partner should never control your finances – unless you have a gambling problem or an addiction to spending.
“They will understand that we all have a different relationship with money, and we need to discuss and set boundaries together that we both adhere to – for the greater good,” said Abrahams.
11. They never criticise your body
While there’s nothing wrong with being with someone who encourages you to be the healthiest version of yourself, there’s a line between wanting the best for someone and criticising their lifestyle choices.
Because if this kind of criticism is constant, it’ll end up making you feel sh*tty about yourself.
“A good partner will never ask you to lose weight for them. They understand that bodies change throughout life and that neither of us are likely to be the size or shape we were when we met,” said Abrahams.
12. They understand physical boundaries
Another important one? Boundaries. Especially physical boundaries.
“A good partner will never touch your body in a way you don’t want once you have told them. They will remember that your body boundary is important and that to push their sexual agenda onto you is disrespectful and will breed a lack of trust in them.”
13. They never dismiss your career
A partner who loves and respects you will be your number one supporter. They’ll push you to challenge yourself and aim for big goals – not dismiss them as silly or unrealistic.
“A good partner will never disregard your career as unimportant after having children. They will want to participate in discussions and support you to get you back to work when you are ready – even if this does not align with their opinion on this,” said Abrahams.
14. The would never mentally or physically harm you
This is one is crucial. A good partner will always be able to recognise their self worth without attempting to place anyone (you) below them, or break someone else’s self-confidence.
“A good partner will never raise their hand or harm you or verbally abuse you,” said Abrahams. “They know that they’re upset or angry feelings should not be taken out on you.”
15. They don't compare you to other people
A good partner will never compare you to other people or make you alter your behaviour “when their past experiences have left a mark on them”.
For example, if they have been cheated on in a past relationship and they struggle with trust, a good partner will not make you responsible for this and understand they need to work on this inside of themselves.
“This means they would not ask you to repeatedly text them when you’re out without them and they don’t put limits on who you can and cannot speak to when you’re at a party.”
If you’re looking for help in improving your relationship with your partner, Abrahams has a free e-book available here.
If you or a loved one is experiencing family violence, support is available. Call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit the website to chat online.
If you are concerned about your behaviour within a relationship, call Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277 to find a service near you.