Basic rights in a relationship
In a healthy relationship, you and your partner have the following basic rights (Evans, 1992):
- The right to good will from the other.
- The right to emotional support.
- The right to be heard by the other and to be responded to with courtesy.
- The right to have your own view, even if your partner has a different view.
- The right to have your feelings and experience acknowledged as real.
- The right to receive a sincere apology for any jokes you may find offensive.
- The right to clear and informative answers to questions that concern what is legitimately your business.
- The right to live free from accusation and blame.
- The right to live free from criticism and judgment.
- The right to have your work and your interests spoken of with respect.
- The right to encouragement.
- The right to live free from emotional and physical threat.
- The right to live free from angry outburst and rage.
- The right to be called by no name that devalues you.
- The right to be respectfully asked rather than ordered.
What can you do?
- Realize that emotional abuse is a serious problem and you can get help.
- Recognize that emotional abuse is as bad as physical abuse.
- Take your safety seriously.
- Know that you are not to blame for someone else’s abusive behavior.
- Find people to talk to that can support you.
- Consider seeing a mental health professional.
- Recognize that you have the right to make your own decisions, in your own time, and that dealing with any form of abuse may take time.
- Trust yourself and your own experiences and believe in your own strengths.