Relationships are a partnership where there is giving and taking from both sides. If your relationship is healthy, there will be a balance in the power dynamic, meaning both party’s feelings and ideas are respected and listened to. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Here are five ways to tell the power dynamic in your relationship skews to one side. If you’re checking too many of these boxes, you may want to seriously address this, or even move on.

You Feel Constantly Scrutinized

If your partner is criticizing you all the time over all things big and small, this likely feels like an intense weight to deal with in your life. Too much criticism leaves people feeling insecure and full of self-doubt, not helping them improve. While there is a time and a place for constructive criticism in intimate relationships, it surely isn’t meant to be constant.

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One Person Decides All

Generally, decisions are not meant to be one-sided in a relationship. Both parties should be involved in decision-making, and that includes both large and small decisions. Whether you’re choosing which refrigerator to buy for the kitchen or which movie to see, the same person should not always have the final word. If that’s the case, there is a serious power issue that should be dealt with before it gets any worse.

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You’re Sometimes Afraid of Them

Fear is an indicator of an imbalance of power in a relationship, and a dangerous one at that. You should never be afraid to say something to your significant other for any reason. Many times, a person won’t speak up for themselves in a relationship because they fear rejection or retaliation, and that is bad news. This kind of control in a relationship doesn’t usually have a happy ending.

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They Never Want To Talk About Issues

No relationship goes without its issues. That in and of itself is not an indicator of power imbalance. However, when one person never wants to talk about things that have to be addressed for the well-being of the relationship, that is a sign that one person has more power than the other. Open, equal communication is crucial to maintaining a healthy relationship, after all.

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You Feel Like You’re All Alone

In a good relationship, both sides feel loved, valued, and supported. Feeling lonely despite being in a relationship is an indicator that your partner might have too much power, perhaps keeping affection from you, or not meeting your emotional needs in some other way. If your relationship has an imbalanced dynamic of power, it can affect how you feel about yourself, which often will leave you feeling isolated.

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