Healthy Relationship Beliefs vs. Unhealthy Relationship Beliefs

When working with Substance Abuse & PTSD, Seeking Safety by Lisa M. Najavits, a treatment manual, gives an in-depth picture of healthy versus unhealthy relationships.

To determine if we have healthy relationship beliefs or unhealthy relationship beliefs, go through the following lists. Mentally check off the different beliefs you relate to under each category. 

Let’s start with looking at what Healthy Relationship Beliefs sound like: 

  1. Seek understanding and solutions, not blame. 
  2. In a healthy close relationship, anything can be talked about.
  3. The best way to change a relationship is by changing my behavior.
  4. Creating good relationships is a skill to learn, just like playing a sport.
  5. While losing a relationship may be painful, I can mourn and move on. 
  6. It is better to be alone than in a bad relationship. 
  7. A good relationship requires effort but is worth it.
  8. I need relationships in which each person’s needs are respected. 
  9. I need to cultivate relationships with a few people who really matter.
  10. With recovery, I can respect myself more and others will too.
  11. Acceptance is the basis of healthy relationships. 

Now let’s look at what Unhealthy Relationship Beliefs sound like: 

  1. I am always wrong; the other person is always right.
  2. I should hide what I really think and feel.
  3. The other person has to change.
  4. Bad relationships are all I get.
  5. I cannot exist without _____________.
  6. It is better to be with someone destructive than to be alone.
  7. Good relationships are easy.
  8. I must take care of everyone else first; my needs come last.
  9. I must be liked by everyone.
  10. I have no value to other people.
  11. I am not __________ enough for a relationship.

How many Healthy Relationship Beliefs could you relate to as you read them?

How many Unhealthy Relationship Beliefs could you relate to as you read that list?

If you connected more to Unhealthy Relationship Beliefs, it may be helpful to find a therapist. There you can process where these beliefs originated and how they may impact negatively within your current relationships. 

Written by: Betty Gebhardt