Consent and healthy relationships

Consent is the voluntary, informed, un-coerced agreement through words or actions freely given, that a reasonable person would interpret as a willingness to participate in mutually agreed-upon sexual acts. Consensual sexual activity happens when each partner willingly and affirmatively chooses to participate. A person who is incapacitated cannot consent.

Below are common examples of unhealthy behaviors in relationships.

  • Isolative - your partner takes up all of your time or discourages you from seeing your friends and family, restricts you financially.
  • Highly Critical - they are overly critical of everything you do; your behavior, your actions, your words, your body. You feel as though nothing you do is ever "right. "
  • Reactive - their temper causes you to be overly cautious of your actions in fear that they might lash out and direct their anger towards you.
  • Coercive - your partner doesn't value your input or respect your decisions. For them, "no " doesn't mean "no " - it means "try harder. " Sometimes it's easier to give them what they want, even if it's not what you want.
  • Employs Scare Tactics - when you express interest in doing something your partner doesn't support, they imply that there will be consequences for doing so. They may say things like, "If you leave me, no one else will ever love you. "
  • Gaslighting - you begin to second guess yourself because your partner tells you that you're "crazy " or you "don't know what you're talking about " or you're "imagining things, " even when you know something is true.
  • Jealous - your partner is constantly questioning and monitoring your relationships with others. They assume that no one is "just a friend. "
  • Supervises - they insist on having access to all of your social media, your phone, your computer, and maybe even your bank account. They tell you it's "for your benefit " and that they're "just trying to help you. "