Relationship Wellness

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1 Relationship Wellness Brought to you by: Community Health a Division of Wardenburg Health Center UMC 411

2 Are you in an Unhealthy Relationship? Ask yourself: Does my partner criticize me and blame me when things go wrong? Does my partner attempt to control where I go, what I do, who I talk to, and how I spend my time and money? Has my partner emotionally or physically hurt me, threatened me, or pressured me to have sex? If you answered yes to any of these questions, your health and safety may be at risk. Different forms of abuse: Abuse can be a part of unhealthy relationships. It is sometimes difficult to recognize and can show up in different forms such as: Emotional abuse: humiliation, namecalling, belittling, threats, etc. Physical abuse: slapping, kicking, pushing, hitting, etc. Sexual abuse: unwanted or non-consensual touching and/or intercourse.

3 Are you in a Healthy Relationship? Ask yourself: Is my partner willing to communicate openly when there are problems? Does my partner give me space to spend time with other people? Is my partner kind and supportive? If you answered yes to these questions you are likely in a healthy relationship. Studies show that this kind of relationship leads to better physical and mental health and a longer life. Benefits of a healthy relationship: A healthy relationship can provide: Trust and security Emotional support and stability Freedom to grow and change within and outside the relationship A safe environment These benefits may directly affect your stress level and your health.

4 How is my health being affected? Ask yourself: Am I eating or not eating as a way to cope with my relationship? Do I often find myself depressed or overly anxious about my relationship? Do I have frequent headaches or unexplained pain? Do I feel tense, worried, scared or feel like the stress of my relationship is impacting my health? Am I having difficulty sleeping or concentrating? ANY of these health problems may be the result of chronic stress from an abusive relationship. Identifying these health problems can be the first step in improving your well-being. Talk to a health care provider or counselor for support around these issues. Suggestions to address your relationship and improve health Talk with someone you trust about how you are feeling. Write about your experiences, thoughts and concerns. Take time for yourself and do some self-care. Talk to your health care provider about how you are coping, including those things that may harm your health (smoking, drinking, and/or disordered eating) and steps for change.

5 If Someone Approaches You About Their Relationship Be honest about how you feel, but don t try to convince them to feel the same way. Ask what you can do to help. You may be shut out at first, but letting your friend know that you are there will be a huge comfort. Listen: if your friend opens up to you, believe what you hear. Be supportive: validating their feelings is helpful, criticizing or telling them what to do is not. Discuss with your friend what they need to feel safe and supported. Don t make demands of your friend (break up now, leave, get help, etc.). People need to feel in control of the situation. Don t attack your friend s partner who may be acting abusive. This could cause your friend to feel defensive and ashamed.

6 Resources On-Campus Office of Victim Assistance: Confidential services Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): Confidential services Wardenburg Psychological Health and Psychiatry: Confidential services CU GLBTQ Resource Center: Off-Campus Moving the End Sexual Assault (MESA): Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence:

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