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Ganohkwasra and Healthy Relationships

Ganohkwasra. It translates to, ‘Love among us.’ As Valentine’s Day draws near, it’s always good to be reminded of the importance of being in a healthy relationship: not just with our partners but with everyone around us. We need to show our loved ones how much we love and appreciate them each and every day.

Ganohkwasra. It translates to, ‘Love among us.’ As Valentine’s Day draws near, it’s always good to be reminded of the importance of being in a healthy relationship: not just with our partners but with everyone around us. We need to show our loved ones how much we love and appreciate them each and every day.

What is an unhealthy relationship? Some signs for girls and guys to watch for to know whether or not a relationship is an unhealthy one:

Do you or your partner have unrealistic expectations of each other? When entering into a relationship, it’s important to accept your partner for who they are. People often go into relationships thinking they can change certain habits or behaviours of their partners. This often will cause conflicts and arguments. Conflicts often lead to violence or abuse. Know what you’re looking for in a partner before you begin a new relationship instead of trying to form your partner into how you want them to be or act.

Dishonesty or omission of truth? Do you feel your partner isn’t telling you the truth or only partial truth? This could be a warning sign of an unhealthy relationship. It is important to keep the lines of communication open with your partner. If you feel you are not getting his or her full honesty then sit down with them and talk about it. If the dishonesty persists, it may be time to get out of the relationship.

Lack of trust? Is trust a big issue? Do one or both partners accuse the other of looking at the opposite sex or get mad when your partner talks to another guy or girl? If yes, then one or both partners lack trust in each other. Trust is one of the building blocks to a healthy relationship, along with love, respect, acceptance and compassion. If you find that your partner does not trust you and has absolutely no grounds as to why he or she thinks like this, then this could be a sign of an unhealthy relationship. No guy or girl should have to give their partner their passwords for their phone, email or social media. If you find your partner demanding such things then get help. Talk to someone. This could turn into a very dangerous situation down the road and can lead to future violence and/or abuse.

Cycle of pain, betrayal, lies or blaming. All relationships have their ups and downs, but should always move forward. Some relationships stall for a bit and that’s normal but if you find your relationship is in a vicious cycle of pain, betrayal, lies or blaming, then please get help. Talk to someone. No one deserves to be miserable, sad or depressed.

Everyone deserves to be treated with kindness, compassion, love and respect.

Some people stay in unhealthy relationships ‘for the kids’. Kids are smart and can tell when mom or dad aren’t happy. When children grow up and begin their own relationships, they often build on what they were taught about relationships as young children. It’s important to teach our kids when they are young, what a healthy relationship is. Lead by example. Saying one thing and doing something totally different will confuse children. For example, if you teach your children not to swear, then it’s important that you don’t swear around them.

#Ganohkwasra, love among us. In knowing the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship, we now know what a healthy relationship is. It is one based on mutuality, respect, trust, honesty, compassion, acceptance and most of all: love.

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Jen MtPleasant

Jen MtPleasant

Tuscarora Nation. Honours BA Criminology, Class of 2013. Advocate for missing and murdered ogwehoweh men and women. @JenMtPleasant

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