The number one answer we hear from people when asked what the most important thing is in a relationship is “communication.” But, what does that really mean? Is communication just talking to each other? The answer is no, healthy communication in a relationship is respectful, fair, and goes beyond just words.

When individual needs are ignored, it can lead to resentment and conflict in a relationship. That is why it is so important to recognize and respect your partner and your relationship’s needs. That is only possible through fair and respectful communication. Fairness and respect can lead to conflict resolution; but we also must be willing to accept change and compromise.
Respect is often cited as the cornerstone of any healthy relationship. It means listening to your partner non-judgmentally, affirming and understanding their emotions, and valuing opinions (even when they differ from your own). Talk openly with your partner and be mindful of how you communicate your needs to them. Remember, your partner is not a mind reader. Simply put, listen and be kind.
If your partner is jealous or possessive, tries to control you, puts you down and bullies you, or is in any way verbally or physically aggressive, you may be in an abusive relationship. Abusive relationships are based on power and control, rather than respect. Talk to someone who can help you figure out what the best next step is for you.
If you or someone you know has experienced intimate partner violence, Crisis Services of North Alabama can help. Please contact us locally at 256.574.5826, on our 24/7 HELPline at 256.716.1000, or at our website www.csna.org. Advocates provide free, confidential support to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

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