It's completely normal in a relationship that the power or upper hand will shift at times, depending on who needs more support than the other at the time. The problem is when the power never seems to shift back to you, and you realize that you have no autonomy or authority over your own relationship.
It's not terribly romantic, but a relationship is like a business partnership. To succeed, you both have to feel like you're supported by your partner, and like your opinions or feelings are important and valid.
You Never Get To Talk About Your Personal Problems
Somehow, every conversation that you have turns into a conversation about her problems. If you're having a bad day at work, she had a worse one. Her problems always trump yours.
You Don't Feel Supported By Your Partner
You don't get to talk about your own problems, and in general, you don't feel like you're supported. The person you're dating is supposed to be the person you rely on for support, to help you make decisions or work through difficult issues.
They Make All The Decisions
When it comes to making decisions, big or small, some part of you knows that even if you make a decision in your head, it will still come down to what your boyfriend wants. He gets the final say, every time.
You Bite Your Tongue
You might be someone who doesn't do well with confrontation, or maybe your sweetheart isn't so sweet when you give them an opinion you don't like. Whatever the reason, you feel the need to hold back your true opinions.
You're Always Under A Microscope
Every move you make is fair game to be critiqued or commented on. Living under a microscope is exhausting, and yet you still continue to let your partner pass judgments on your behaviors or actions even if they don't have a right to.
They're Constantly Checking In On You
It seemed nice at the beginning that she would text you asking how your night was going any time that you were apart, but it's a bit much that she wants a constant update on your whereabouts or who you're with.
You Allow Them To Dictate How You Look
Wanting to wear a certain outfit because your girlfriend always compliments that one shirt or wanting to look good for your person in general isn't a bad thing. The issue is when you don't feel like you can dress a certain way or look a certain way because they dislike it, even if it makes you feel good.
They Don't Respect Your Boundaries
If you do something they don't like or that they're uncomfortable with, they're going to have no qualms about telling you that and they expect you'll stop, but they don't treat your boundaries with the same respect or courtesy.
You're Always Competing Against Each Other
It feels like no matter what you achieve or what your goals are, you're always competing against your better half. They try to one-up you with their own accomplishments at every turn.
An Argument Only Ends Because Of You
You know that if you don't apologize after an argument, it'll never be over, because they're not going to be the first to apologize. Even if you're genuinely not in the wrong, it's expected that you'll cave first and end the fight.
You Wait Around For Them To Make Plans
You've spent your fair share of Friday nights sitting at home, waiting and wondering if they're going to call or want to make plans. You forgo making your own plans just in case they deign to reach out or make time for you.
You're More Committed (In The Beginning) Than They Are
Especially at the beginning of the relationship, it's easy for the power dynamics to be more in the hands of one person than another. Chances are one of you is more invested than the other, or someone is pursuing the other, putting in way more effort.
Your Mood Is Easily Affected By Them
Even if you're having a great day or a particularly good week, the second that your boyfriend is upset, you allow it to affect you. You mimic his emotions and find it difficult to separate yourself. The only person who should have that kind of power or influence over your emotions is yourself.
You're Always The One Making Compromises
They make all the decisions, and even if it's something that doesn't quite work for you, you're the one who ends up compromising. One person in the relationship shouldn't be the only one who has to make compromises; it should be equal between you.
They Control Your Schedule
If they make plans without consulting you, it's expected that you'll make it work. They want you to come over at 11 p.m. even though they know you have an early morning the next day? You'll do it, and just silently deal with it on your own.
You Let Your Relationship Hold You Back
It might be time to listen to that small, nagging voice in the back of your mind that's been telling you that you're letting your relationship control your life. Your relationship should be a factor when making big decisions (or small ones!), but it's not the only factor.
You Tolerate The Bad For Small Bursts Of Good
It's easy to blinded by your desire to want to make a relationship work, to the point where you're letting a lot of bad behavior slide because you're holding onto those small moments of good.
Your Goals Take A Back Seat To Theirs
More than competing with each other, you also know that when it comes to goals or accomplishments, theirs are always going to be the priority. You'd drop anything to help them get what they want, but would they do the same for you?
They Talk Over You
You could be telling a story or having a conversation with someone or just voicing your opinion, and what do you know? Your boyfriend decides that's the perfect time to talk over you.
In General, Your Communication Has Broken Down
All of these things pretty much point to the fact that your communication in your relationship has broken down. Somewhere along the way, you let your own feelings and needs get pushed aside because you want to make your partner happy, but they have to want that for you too.