Healthy vs. Unhealthy Relationships

Hello my beloved perverts!

Having made some changes to my health regimen, I am in a much better frame of mind than last week. I find myself feeling better physically, mentally and with more energy and drive to accomplish stuff … whatever that stuff may be.

While sorting some research material for my weekly newsletters, I ran across a document I wrote to and for myself while in an unhealthy relationship; analyzing and exploring the WHY I stayed and tried to make it work. It got me thinking about relationships in general, and my various experiences in my past and present relationships specifically. Spending a couple of hours percolating around that topic gave me plenty of material for the next few newsletters that I think are useful for anyone either in a relationship or looking for one.

The next few mails I will be sending are going to be about Relationships – whether they are healthy or not, how to recognize either, how to go about figuring out what YOUR needs are, and how to find a matching partner. The information I will share applies to any relationship – polyamorous, D/s, or vanilla. I hope you will find something useful! 🙂

Story Time

Looking back on my past and current relationships and evaluating them according to healthy/unhealthy relationship signs, I must admit to having had two very unhealthy and/or outright toxic relationships. On the flipside, I am grateful to identify four extremely healthy ones!

All relationships have their ups and downs, their good and bad days. However, if one or the other is prevalent, the indicators towards healthy/unhealthy are in place, waiting to be recognized. It is also a truth that usually, if in an unhealthy relationship, you are the last person to figure it out. Folks around you are bound to notice before you do, and may even try to point it out to you with the best of intentions, but not necessarily the expected and/or hoped for outcome.

I have always had a soft heart and hard-on for the “bad boys” – male or female (I suppose I still do). If they swagger, are cocky, self-confident (easily to be confused with arrogance), preferably (but not necessarily) tall, dark, handsome, have an air of danger, dress their reasonably nicely build bodies in sexy clothing … there is a good chance my intelligence is going to take a back seat and my libido takes over the wheel.

When I met either one of my unhealthy partners, it was all about my baser instincts and my libido. Both had the markers of ‘bad boys’, and both expressed desire for me – woohoo! Add a bit of D/s, a bit of S/M, some fantastic sex, and my usually quite pragmatic and intelligent brain was a goner. Out came the (admittedly rare and quite small in the overall picture) Femme side of me, and she was ALL over either of them; willing to throw caution in the wind, go with the flow and enjoy and revel in the new, the dangerous, the hot and sexy, the play and energy, the back and forth of wills. NRE (New Relationship Energy) is a thing, and I was not (and still am not) immune to its effects. I ran and I played, and I filled myself up with all the good stuff, loosing myself in the NRE, the power, the sex.

My trusted and beloved husband watched all of this, and being emotionally intelligent, smart, pragmatic, practical, and not necessarily the most emotional person in the world, started pointing out some red flags he saw. An incredibly good man, that one. I willfully ignored him, justifying and reasoning away every single flag he pointed out because I was having a great time, a lot of fun, feeling desired and powerful and indulgent.

Well … pride comes before the fall, and I was no exception. In the long run, he was right, and the flags he pointed out not only in the beginning, but also for the duration of either relationship, all manifested and became serious issues that ultimately ended both relationships. Neither ending was a good one, both resulting in a great deal of loss, pain, questioning myself and my judgement, my abilities as a Dominant, in some ways even my identity. It took a lot of time to rebuild myself, and I would not have been able to do it without a lot of loving support from my Family and closest friends.

I learned a LOT during these times, lessons I need to learn but wished had been spread over a greater time span as to not almost destroy me. BUT – I did come out on the other end, and am stronger, wiser, smarter and more understanding for it.

Healthy vs. Unhealthy Relationships

Over the years I have had several relationships based on different foundations and structures. I found that underlying any structure, any configuration, any level of emotional and/or physical intimacy, are some factors that are common to healthy relationships:

  • Trust for each other
  • Mutual respect for each other
  • Honesty and Transparency with each other
  • Fairness and equality between the partners
  • Support for each other
  • Maintaining separate identities
  • Good communication skills
  • Playfulness and care/fondness with and for each other

It does not matter what kind of relationship you have; these basics are the foundation for a long-lasting one. They take commitment, they are a lot of constant work, they require investment and dedication. Just like everything else good in your life, they do not come for free.

So – what are some specific signs for a healthy relationship? Here are a few examples:

  • You maintain and respect each other’s individuality
  • You are able to express yourself to each other without fear of negative consequences
  • You are not worried about violence
  • You trust your partner
  • You are honest and transparent
  • You are maintaining relationships with your friends and family
  • You are participating in activities without your partner
  • You take interest in their activities
  • You feel secure and comfortable in your relationship
  • You allow and encourage other relationships
  • You respect your partners boundaries
  • You practice, and can trust your partner to practice, safe sex
  • You are honest about sexual activity with other people (poly or play)
  • You have the option of privacy for other relationships
  • You take care of yourself and have a healthy self-esteem

Ideally, your relationship exhibits all of these markers, although it is more common to have a couple of the less desirable (read unhealthy) in the mix, it is perfectly normal due to the everyday ups and downs of any couple. So, do not worry too much if any of the following unhealthy relationship markers show up ON OCCASION:

  • Selfishness through neglecting the partner’s needs
  • Pressure to change yourself to fit your partner’s idea of who you should be
  • Worry about expressing your opinion honestly
  • Arguments/disagreements are not settled fairly
  • Worry about violence while arguing
  • Attempts to control and/or manipulate your partner and their behavior
  • Restrictions on freedom to see friends and family
  • Feeling pressure to quit activities you enjoy
  • Lack of privacy
  • Feeling obligated or forced to have sex
  • Not using safer sex methods, especially if non-monogamous
  • Feel like you must explain and justify your actions

If your relationship exhibits more of the unhealthy than healthy markers, you should take a good, hard look at it. Preferably as soon as you notice them, not like me – once the shit has hit the fan. As I said, you will see some of these some of the time as you go through life with your partner. However, in an overall healthy relationship, you should be able to bring these up (at an appropriate time!) and work through them together.

If most of your relationship fits in the italicized list, I would recommend getting yourself to a counselor and get the hell out. Nothing good will come of staying and trying to “fix it”, trust me. Been there, done that, hate the damn T-Shirt. It is not worth the time and energy to wade through the crap trying to somehow hold it all together. Not only that, but the one in the unhealthy relationship is affecting and to some degree, influencing, their family and friends. They are most likely seeing what is going on, but have no idea how to help or what to do about it. Do yourself a favor and get out – and if you need to, get help!

Listen – I hope nobody needs this, but if you do … educate yourself and get access to resources to help HERE.


Alright – this week covered Relationship Markers that indicate either a healthy or unhealthy relationship. I hope you got something out of this. Next week I will give you a list of questions you should ask yourself about your current or proposed relationship in order to evaluate the longevity/potential of longevity. Until then ….

Go ye forth and be kinky! But safely!

Ms. Cenna


Facebook: MsCenna Austin

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3 Replies to “Healthy vs. Unhealthy Relationships”

  1. Nicht übel, werde daraus einiges ziehen. dennoch denke ich es war für Dich eine sehr harte Zeit. Respekt für Dein Umfeld und deiner Familie dies mit Dir durchzustehen.
    Ich liebe Dich

  2. This is a great list of positive and negative signs! I recently ended a 34-year relationship with my best friend (not romantic, but still unhealthy). The main red flags for me was her total disregard for my boundaries, refusal to accept the ways in which I’ve grown and changed, and perpetual gaslighting that I’m still working to unravel. Breaking though those deep bonds is so hard and often takes an outsider to point it out (like you mentioned). We owe it to each other to gently voice concerns to our loved ones when witnessing the red flags in others’ relationships, but you’re right, ultimately the person in the relationship has to come to terms with the toxicity on his/her/their own.

    • I am glad you made choices that are healthy for you, even though I am sure it was a very, very tough decision, and is/will be an even tougher journey.

      Hugs! I am looking forward to seeing you soon!

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