Sometimes our relationships have dynamics which are unhealthy, harmful, or even abusive. This article talks about signs that something may not be working, identifying unhealthy dynamics in a relationship, and dealing with common scenarios for trans people. It touches on working through some issues, or leaving a relationship which may be difficult or dangerous to leave.
If a relationship is unhealthy or abusive, it may be very difficult to end it amicably. Your partner may not accept that you want to end the relationship: they may try to make you feel guilty, afraid to leave, or worried that they will not cope. They may even threaten to hurt you, your loved ones, or themself. Even if they do not accept that the relationship is ending, you do not have to stay in the relationship.
One aspect of having healthier, safer, and more productive arguments is planning how to argue. Partners can choose a time when there is no stress and argument to be had, and sit down together to talk about how they can have better arguments.
If a person has experienced trauma in the past, such as being the victim/survivor of sexual violence, they may have very strong emotions such as anger or fear which are associated with an element present when the initial trauma happened. This element - or trigger - can be anything from a smell to a certain word or phrase, it could be a particular sexual activity or position, or any number of other elements.
One of the most important things in a relationship is having your own autonomy - or getting to make decisions for yourself. If both or all partners get to be in charge of their own lives, then you have a great foundation for making room for each other and growing together. When one person controls another person, it’s easy for the relationship to become abusive.
Respect looks different to each person, and the things that feel respectful to one person may feel disrespectful to another. Use these tips to start a conversation about respect.
Active listening is a form of therapeutic or empathetic listening, which focuses on understanding the speaker's perspective, and encouraging them to explore their thoughts and emotions.Often active listening is used when supporting someone, building trust, and discussing difficult experiences. It can help the listener focus on what is being said, rather than their thoughts about it.
Great practical advice on consent, hookups and one night stands, dealing with trauma, and discussing triggers. From our new series 'Sex and Sexuality for Trans People'.