People need to feel safe in their committed relationship. Otherwise, they are not comfortable being fully honest, which hinders intimacy.
There are three types of safety in relationships:
- Physical Safety
- Emotional Safety
- Commitment Safety
In physically safe relationships:
- Partners do not hit, shove, choke, destroy property or engage in other violence.
- Neither partner feels afraid of the other.
- Arguments do not become volatile.
- Neither partner threatens or controls the other.
- Your children and pets are safe around your partner.
In emotionally safe relationships:
- The relationship is based on acceptance and unconditional love.
- Both partners share opinions and feelings without fear of humiliation or put-downs.
- Partners are also good friends.
- Both respect the other and honor their differences.
- Partners support and encourage each other.
In commitment-safe relationships:
- Both partners want to be in a long-term relationship.
- Both partners contribute equally to the relationship.
- Both partners are willing to work on the relationship.
- Partners talk about the future and agree on goals and plans.
- Partners do not threaten to leave when they argue or disagree.
(Adapted from Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program)