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Healthy Relationships & Unhealthy Relationships

An LGBTQ+ Inclusive Resource for Everyone

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Healthy Relationships & Unhealthy Relationships is a pdf brochure that is free to download, print, and distribute. Full text below.
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Why Healthy Relationships Are So Important?

Our overall health is connected to having healthy relationships. When our partners, families, and friends treat us with kindness, respect, and support, we are physically and mentally healthier. 

Unhealthy relationships, on the other hand, can cause stress, anxiety, and physical illness. 

If you have unhealthy relationships, your healthcare provider or therapist can help. Talking about your experiences can be tough, but their support can make things better. You deserve to be loved and treated well. 

In healthy relationships, everyone...

Respects one another. 

  • Only uses correct name and pronouns. 
  • Discusses things with care and allows for differences of opinion. 
  • Embraces each other’s differences. 
  • Listens when other(s) say no to sex or set boundaries. 

Has independence and interdependence. 

  • Enjoys activities apart from each other (as well as together). 
  • Supports each other’s needs and wants. 
  • Encourages each other to have additional healthy relationships and sources of support. 
  • Gives room for the other(s) to grow, mature, and explore. 

Trusts one another and is trust-worthy. 

  • Believes each others’ truth and experience. 
  • Gives each other privacy. 
  • Keeps confidential information confidential. 
  • If having sex, shares sexual histories and health status. 

In unhealthy relationships, one or more people...

Use coercion to get what they want. 

  • Yell, name-call, or use physical force when others disagree. 
  • Make others feel guilty or ashamed for not meeting their every need or desire. 
  • Knowingly violate boundaries related to sex, touch, or intimacy. 
  • Make threats (to their own safety or the safety of others) if someone refuses to do what they need or want. 

Control others. 

  • Isolate people from friends and family by physically preventing them or convincing them that they don’t need/want other people. 
  • Make decisions for others without consulting them. 
  • Restrict access to resources, like money, transportation, food, or healthcare. 

Treat others with suspicion. 

  • Question or interrogate others’ stories or motives. 
  • Gain access to others’ private conversations or information (with or without permission) to “verify” details. 
  • Threaten to expose confidential information. 
  • Make others’ doubt their own perception, memory, or mental health in order to deny their experience. 

If you are in an unhealthy relationship, you can…

  • Ask your primary care provider and/or mental health care provider for support
  • Tell friends and family
  • Contact a domestic violence organization like Safe House Center ( or Michigan Coalition to End Domestic & Sexual Violence (