How’s It Going?

Parental Conflict or Domestic Abuse?


A healthy relationship means both you and your partner are:

  • Communicating
  • Respectful
  • Trusting
  • Honest
  • Equal
  • Enjoying personal time away from each other
  • Making mutual choices
  • Economic / financial partners


You may be in an unhealthy relationship if your partner is:

  • Non communicating
  • Disrespectful
  • Not trusting
  • Dishonest
  • Trying to take control
  • Only spending time together
  • Pressured into activities
  • Unequal economically


Abuse is occuring in a relationship when one partner is:

  • Communicating in a hurtful or threatening way
  • Mistreating
  • Accusing the other of cheating when it’s untrue
  • Denying their actions are abusive
  • Controlling
  • Isolating their partner from others

Further Support for Domestic Abuse

For more information visit,


National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline

National Centre for Domestic Violence

What is Our Relationship Like?

Constructive and Destructive – Goake-Morey, Cummings, Harold and Shelton (2003)

How do we feel about our relationship?

Have a look at the questionnaire below and answer honestly.

Things used to be better than they are now between me and my co-parent or partner      
We argue more than we used to      
The children we are responsible for are happy      
I think our arguments affect our children      
Sometimes I feel guilty about the happines of the children because of tension or arguments between the adults around them (including extended family)      
With the right support i think we should be able to work out our co-parenting or couple difficulties      
I am aware why we argue and what it is about      
I want to understand why we argue and how to make it better      
The arguments between us are loud      
We are both as bad as each other      

Download printable version here.


If you have answered ‘Yes’ to two or more of these questions, visit TOOLS TO SUPPORT or your LOCAL PAGE for support.

How do we deal with arguments?

Separated parents can also have the same destructive ways of dealing with disagreements.

For example:


You had the children all day and you couldn’t feed them properly? Just snacks! You have got to get organised and go shopping! You are useless.


I can’t believe you! No maintenance money for weeks, but the kids have just come home and told me you are going on holiday! I will make sure they see how selfish you really are!


I just can’t reason with you anymore. You are so negative and rude! No wonder I am always losing my temper. Don’t ring me or text me. If you want to say anything, get the kids to bring a note.


Refusing any form of digital or in person acknowledgement/communication with the co parent. Using a third party, like a lawyer or even the child to pass on messages

What’s my argument style?

Relate have created a 5-minute quiz to help you understand how you approach arguments.


Why do we argue?

Influences on our arguments

  • Our past – family and the places we have lived
  • Our ethnicity and our beliefs
  • Our personality
  • Our past relationships
  • Our experiences: how we have dealt with stressful situations before. How we feel ‘the world’ has treated us

Download why we are arguing? from Parental Conflict Toolkit (


Want more options where you live?

Select your local council from the dropdown below and click submit.

If you are not sure who your local council is, visit for further information.

Relationship Matters is a new partnership between 13 Councils across Yorkshire and the Humber Region helping families who may be having relationship difficulties.