Mandy Kloppers

Violence vs non-violence in relationships

The non-violence wheel offers a view of a relationship that is based on equality and respect. Use this diagram to compare a healthy vs an unhealthy abusive relationship (see violence wheel). The non-violence wheel is also helpful in setting goals and boundaries in personal relationships.

healthy vs unhealthy relationship

The violence wheel shows the dynamic of an unhealthy relationship. It shows how each seemingly unrelated behaviour is an important part in an overall effort to control someone.

Healthy relationships are based on both people getting their needs met. Both people are equally responsible for the success of the relationship, therefore it is unhealthy if there is a consistent pattern of one person giving and the other taking. When the relationship plays out according to one person’s wishes and desires, the longevity of the relationship will be threatened. Ongoing selfish behaviour has no place in a healthy relationship. Compromise and communication are vital to ensure a happy long-lasting union.

People in a healthy relationship recognise each other’s need for independence and foster this individualism.

What to consider in a new partner:

He/she supports your relationships with your friends and family

He/she spends time with your friends/family and gets to know them. if they are important to you, they’re important to them

Maintains his/her own friendships and family connections

Asks your opinion and respectfully listens to your opinion

Regularly considers your needs and is willing to compromise to allow the relationship to as fair and equal as possible

Does not control you with money. As much as possibe, you share the resources you have when you are truly in love. Your relationship is a partnership

Cultivates a safe atmosphere where you feel safe to communicate your thoughts and feelings

Accepts responsibility for his/her own behaviour. Feels guilt and empathy to make amends

Decisions are shared.

Does not use manipulation – financial or emotional to get what they want.

Treats others fairly and with respect.

Trusts you and is trustworthy.

Encourages you in your goals and dreams.

Makes positive statements about your strengths and talents. Is complimentary and does not criticise you and try to change you.

Resolves conflict through clear dialogue without using insults, threats or violence.

Is there for you when life gets tough, not just there for the good times.

Trust your gut instincts. If you spend a huge amount of time thinking about the relationship, trying to prove your worth, trying to please your partner and don’t feel good enough – there is definitely a problem.

Mandy X


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