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You Asked: Why Does he Still Have her Things?

Dear Sugar--

I am 27 years old and have been dating my boyfriend for about a year. Before me, he went out with a girl for a year and a half. He recently moved into a new apartment, but before he moved, I would constantly find her clothes hidden around the house. I know he didn't know that they were there but it still really hurt. To make matters worse, I found that he has kept a birthday gift from her and keeps it hidden in a drawer. Also, I know they talk sporadically and he keeps whatever correspondence he has with her a total secret. Basically, I feel like he is protecting their relationship from me.

He knows I get very jealous but I think he feeds off feeling wanted. Am I overreacting by feeling that he should throw out the birthday gift and not talk to her anymore? Or at least not keep everything about her a secret? -- Jealous Jessie

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Jealous Jessie --

Yes, it does sound like jealousy is getting the best of you, but the way he keeps their communication a secret, I don't blame you! While it's still up for debate if it's a good idea to remain friends with an ex, if your boyfriend knows it makes you feel uneasy and insecure, he should either stop communicating with her altogether or he should be open and honest with you when they do talk. Have you talked to your boyfriend about how his actions are making you feel? He is not a mind reader, so if you haven't vocalized your feelings he won't realize how hurt you are.

I think it's OK for him to keep the birthday gift she gave him - I'm sure you have some keepsakes from past boyfriends as well - but the clothes around the house after being broken up for over a year and a half is unacceptable. It sounds like you need to set some boundaries with him so you can be happy in this relationship. You need to be able to trust him 100% and know that you are the only woman in his life. If he still makes you feel second best to his past, you might be better off without him as your mate. Good luck.


Join The Conversation
tiffyd tiffyd 10 years
Unlike some people, I know how you feel honey. Although I am an altogether confident person I still have my doubts. It's normal to feel jealous especially if her clothes are lying around the house AFTER you moved out together. I would talk to him and ask him why didn't he just throw it away when he was packing? If you bring it I'm sure he will consider your feelings because sometimes they just don't know what your comfort level is without you telling them.
PinkNC PinkNC 10 years
This is not a big deal. Get rid of them, and if he complains then simply and calmly ask him WHY? ASK HIM: Why would you be so upset over me getting rid of someones old clothes, someone that you're not with anymore. And why get upset especially knowing that she's not coming back for them honey?
yoan190 yoan190 10 years
About the things she gave him, I don't think they're too special for him, especially they're hidden somewhere. It also happened with my husband and the things from his exes. He still keep them not because he wants to keep them, but only because he's too lazy to collect them and throw them away. It's just a give, nothing more. He doesn't mind if I throw them away (but I'm also a lazy one...) About still secretly communicating, it's something you two have to talk about. If you don't like it, just tell him.
gibbylet gibbylet 10 years
I wouldn't have a problem with him talking to her. I WOULD have a problem with him keeping it secret from me. Honesty is pretty important in a relationship, but so is letting a person have their own friends and hobbies, and we know men dont' like women who are clingy (how can you not be though when he hides his interactions with her?) Id have an honest chat with him about if he wants to be with her or not, and if he says he doesn't, all you can do is accept it or decide you dont trust him, in which case its just time to re-evaluate the relationship. It says something you have been together as long as you have. You might be surprised to find out how much easier things can become if you let him know you are secure in your relationship and aren't scared by him having friendships with females as long as he is upfront about it and you guys can discuss what is or isn't OK for him to do (lunch with a friend sure, sharing intimate details of your relationship not so OK)
ReverendZelda ReverendZelda 10 years
I've kept things from boyfriends before not because there was anything to hide, but because they would flip out about the stupidest little things. Oh, I mentioned that I thought his hair was cute, that was flirting, he'll think I'm into him... blah, blah, blah. Then I'd get resentful that I was asked to stop having a harmless friendship and talk to the person more then before. You may want to look into the cause of your jealousy problems and fix those before driivng your boyfriend insane.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
Agree w/ others that it sounds like clothes issue is resolved. You yourself said he didn't realize they were even there. It's not like he went and hid them all around the house so he could smell them whenever he wanted. As for the gift, he has an absolute right to keep it. He shouldn't have to get rid of everything in his past just to make sure you are happy. He's keeping it hidden and not shoving it in your face every day... what more could you ask for? And as for two of them talking - they were an important part of each other's lives. If your boyfriend knows how jealous you are, I frankly don't blame him for keeping it from you. If I had to deal with my boyfriend going into a jealousy fit every time I talked to an ex I would stop telling him, too. It's just not worth the energy.
bfly1133 bfly1133 10 years
I am with Dear and the other posters here. I think the clothes problem has solved itself, and he has every right to keep a gift. As for being secretive, just talk to him about it. I doubt he knows how you feel entirely and he may be trying to protect you in some way. Tell him he doesn't need to give you a play by play of their infrequent conversations, but that hiding it makes you uneasy. See where things go from there. You need to tone down the jealousy factor (and hey lots of people do) and he needs to be more open. I hope you can work things out. :)
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 10 years
I don't think that it's a big deal that she's still in his life. When somebody means that much to a person, it's tough to cut them out completely. And wouldn't you rather have a boyfriend who is a good enough person that he gets along with his ex, instead of a guy who leaves behind a string of women who despise him? That being said, I think it sucks that he's being so secretive about it. That makes it seem like he's got something to hide. I think you should ask him to at least be honest about things with you. That way you can have an open dialog about this stuff when you need to.
Muirnea Muirnea 10 years
I think you have a right to worry because no matter what kind of person you are, jealous or not, that doesn't make it ok for him to hide things like that from you, doesn't he realize that hiding things will only make you worry more!!!??? urrrrggg!!! This situation hits home for me. Ok, I think you don't have a problem though, the only way I would see a problem is if you talked to him about these things and told him they bothered you and then he didn't do anything about it, if he tries to fix things once he knows they bother you then its ok. No matter what though, I think he should tell you what going on with the ex. and not keep stuff a secret, thats just rude and thoughtless of him. You guys need to have a talk, and if you get, and act, jealous, well ok, try to work on not being like that, (unless you have some evidence against him), but if it does happen, he should help you deal with it instead of hiding more stuff from you because of it. Guys can be so clueless sometimes when it comes to talking and working things out, goodness!!! (no offence to guys out there). Good luck!!! :-)
MrsSchmitt MrsSchmitt 10 years
I don't know. Sounds like to me he's still in love with her and hoping there's some way to work it out.
gossipqueen gossipqueen 10 years
No offence but...get over it! He probably keeps the talks from you cause you sound like a very jealous and insecure person...if he doesn't even know her stuff is around why crucify him??? He's with you not with her! Don't push him away and work on your confidence!
Marci Marci 10 years
It sounds like her clothes aren't around anymore since the move. That makes sense to me. The stuff was in the last apartment and guys are guys. He just never did anything with them. So when the time came to HAVE to deal with them, he did. All I can suggest is trying not to make this girl a third person in your relationship. It doesn't sound like anything is going on between them; their contact is occasional and he kept some gifts he gave her. I have a lot of stuff from ex-boyfriends, too; they have no bearing on my relationship. I just like those things and they hold good memories from another time in my life. Try to concentrate on your relationship and make it all about you and him. The more importance you allow her, the worse it's going to be. Jealousy can be the death of a good relationship.
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