Healthy Relationship Week Offers Advice for Student Couples

By Angelica Diaz
Jambar Contributor

Sieyribeth Montaz, a sophomore in the dental hygiene program and Joel Montaz, a junior in the financial management department, who transferred from Kent State, met on July 4, 2015, and decided to tie the knot in 2018.

“I decided to come back to school and finish what originally was the plan,” Joel Montaz said.

He said he was not happy with the work he was doing, although he was making good money, and spoke to his wife about returning to school.

“She was super understanding and said she supported my decision,” Joel said.

They said they never see each other on campus and prefer to do their homework on their own.

Sieyribeth Montaz said the dental hygiene program can be challenging and prefers to keep to herself and just pray about it.

“It still new to us,” Joel Montaz said. “This is the first semester we are actually attending school at the same time.”

He said they plan to have a better system set up for the next semester.

“We knew it was going to be hard,” Joel Montaz said. “We know it will be worth it when we both have our professions.”

Students at Youngstown State University were invited to participate in Healthy Relationship Week activities on campus Feb. 11-15.

Kelly Beers, coordinator for Title IX, said Healthy Relationship Week was held during the week of Valentine’s Day because there is a lot of focus on relationships and romance.

“A healthy relationship consist of open communication, honesty, trust, support for one another, mutual respect, shared relationship for the relationship, a focus on fairness and shared negotiation at times of disagreement, physical affection and in intimacy to an agreed-upon extent,” Beers said.

Beers said although everyone has disagreements, people should work through them in an open and honest way.

She said it is very important to have a “clear conversation” of what they want out of a relationship.

“It is very important for folks to understand what they want for a relationships, what are their boundaries and what are they happy with,” Beers said.

Anne Lally, assistant director for Counseling Services, explained what an unhealthy relationship may look like.

“An unhealthy relationship doesn’t encourage independence. This can be manifested in insisting on always being with the individual,” Lally said. “An unhealthy relationship does not have healthy communication but rather is manipulative. The unhealthy relationship partner displays jealousy. Additionally, in an unhealthy relationship, your partner would not take responsibility for their actions but blames others.”

She said although they do not provide counseling for couples any enrolled students are welcome to use the counseling services.

“We can assist individuals in practicing healthy communication skills, building healthy relationships and healthy boundaries,” Lally said. “If the student would benefit from couples counseling, we can provide community referrals.”