Happy Together? Or is Your Relationship Taking a Toll on Your Mental Health?

Human nature is social by design. We have an emotional need for relationships and positive connections to others. But what if a relationship turns from supportive to stressful? From a source of happiness to one of verbal or physical abuse? In any relationship—with friends, co-workers or someone you are dating or married to—there will be times of stress due to misunderstandings or differences of opinion. The question becomes, how much stress is normal and what are the signs that it is time to get out? Things to consider are how often the relationship feels stressful and how it impacts you. If you feel stressed on a regular basis and experience bad dreams, anxiety, worry, depression, increased reliance on alcohol to cope, or physical symptoms such as stomachaches or headaches as a result of your relationship, it may be time to ask for help.

Signs of a healthy dating relationship:

  • Having more good times than bad
  • Having a life outside the relationship with your own friends and activities
  • Making decisions together
  • Feeling comfortable, able to be yourself and safe
  • Being able to talk openly about concerns you have

Visit www.loveisrespect.org to take a relationship quiz!

Are you in an abusive relationship? 10 questions to ask yourself:

Do you worry about your partner’s moods and change your behavior to deal with them? Are you no longer seeing family or friends to avoid your partner’s jealousy or anger?

Does your partner…

  1. Embarrass you with put-downs?
  2. Make you feel afraid?
  3. Control what you do, who you see or talk to or where you go?
  4. Take your money, make you ask for money, or refuse to give you money?
  5. Destroy your property?
  6. Hurt or threaten to hurt you?
  7. Force you to engage in sexual activities that make you uncomfortable?
  8. Constantly accuse you of having affairs?
  9. Threaten to kill him/herself if you leave?
  10. Claim his/her temper is out of control due to alcohol, drugs or because he/she had an abusive childhood?


If you answered ‘yes’ to even one of these questions, you may be in an abusive relationship.

For support and guidance for safely leaving an abusive relationship, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (24 hours/7 days a week) at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or at TTY 1-800-787-3224.

For more information about local domestic violence resources, how to get involved in your community, or no-cost training, visit the San Diego Domestic Violence Council’s website at www.sddvc.org.