Damnit. I just screwed up my post and now have to re-type it. I hate when I do stupid crap like that.
For whatever reason, last night as I was falling asleep I found myself trying to come up with an analogy for a stifling relationship.
Imagine two flowers in a field. One is blue and gold, rounded petals, a soft scent. One is a stunning red with a clean white center, its petals more angular. Both are stunning and beautiful, but they grow well next to each other. Neither draws away from the other. Both have ample access to sunlight and to water and minerals in the ground, and both are able to grow to their full potential; healthy looking, good size, vibrant colours.
Now imagine the same blue and gold flower in the same field, but neighbored instead by a large bush full of delicate yellow buds. When they are small both the flower and the bush may grow well together for a time, but as the bush becomes larger and more beautiful it will begin to block the sunlight available to the flower and it will draw more water and minerals out of the ground, thereby limiting the resources needed by the flower.
The flower in the second example may still live a full life, and it may still be pretty, but in having its resources limited it will never be able to reach its full potential. Its growth will likely be stunted, its colours will never be as bright, and it will never look quite as healthy as it might under other conditions. Looking at this particular flower on its own you might not even realize that was the case, but if you were familiar with the breed of flower, if you could see it in comparison next to the flower in the first example, it would be blatantly apparent that the flower here was ultimately something less than it could have been.
So I fell asleep thinking about flowers and bushes.