There is a difference between a healthy relationship, an unhealthy relationship and an abusive relationship. Often you will see a pattern of behaviors in an abusive relationship. However, a one-time incident of hitting can still be indicative of an abusive relationship. Your instinct or gut reaction is always the best guide. Because it is very difficult to recognize the difference between an unhealthy and an abusive relationship, it is recommended that you speak to a domestic violence advocate through a hotline if you feel safe doing so.
What is a healthy relationship?
A healthy relationship is characterized by mutual respect, equality, trust, communication and freedom. Each person is allowed to be an individual within the relationship. Both people grow independently of each other as well as grow as a couple.
What is an abusive relationship?
Relationship abuse is a pattern of behaviors used to maintain power and control over a partner. Abuse can be emotional, financial, sexual or physical and can include threats, isolation or intimidation.