03 Nov
Boyfriend, Don’t Go Touching My Stuff!

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My boyfriend moved into my place about a month ago, and I just barely moved in myself, so it’s a work in progress. So while I try to work on it in my very limited free time, there’s still a lot to be done.

As my boyfriend and I were working around the house the other day, he was going through a pile of things that were mine/my family’s, and he started throwing some of it away. For example, I got upset because he tried to throw away sunglasses that belong to my niece.

We started arguing over the things he was trying to throw away, and he told me that he’s trashed other stuff of mine too. I was appalled. He said that I wouldn’t miss these items, and claimed that I’ve been hoarding too much stuff.

I’ve tried to reason with him.   I’ve tried explaining that I have anxiety over the littlest things and he is stressing me out more.   His excuse is that these “items” aren’t that important at all.   Please help.

Signed,

If I Wanted My Boyfriend To Throw My Stuff Away, I Would Date A Sanitation Worker

_____________________

Dear IIWMBTTMSAIWDASW,

Of course this stuff isn’t important to him. It’s not HIS stuff. He doesn’t see the importance of a jean jacket from 1983 with a “Men at Work” pin. Or your Go Go’s concert t-shirt. Or your x-rays from when you broke your nose in the 7th grade.

I’ve noticed in life that there are two kinds of people – those who like to keep stuff and the ones who like to throw out stuff. Personally, I like to get rid of stuff pretty much as soon as I buy it. But my husband – he’s your kind of guy. He’s got a pile of crap on the dresser that never budges.

So the good news here is that your boyfriend and you are perfectly suited for each other because you balance each other out. And dating him means you won’t die in a cluttered apartment with newspapers up to the ceiling.

Now first, we need to determine if you have a problem…

1. Has more than one friend suggested you go on the TV show, “Hoarders?”

2. Have you ever said to your boyfriend, “There’s so much crap in this living room, I can’t find the couch. Have you seen the couch honey?”

3. You have all 88 episodes of “Punky Brewster” on VHS tape.

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may indeed need to seek professional help. But if you answered no, then your boyfriend needs to back off a bit. Yes, there can be some growing pains when you move in with your significant other. That’s to be expected. But he’s being very disrespectful when he throws out your belongings without your permission.

Sit down and have a discussion with him. Tell him you do not want any more of your things thrown out without your consent. And then make a real commitment to spend a few Saturdays going through everything together. And make him a deal. He can keep his 9th grade wrestling trophies if you can keep the jean jacket. Fair is fair.

Good luck, Kelcey

 

11 Responses to “Boyfriend, Don’t Go Touching My Stuff!”

11.03.11#1

Comment by Desperate Dietwives.

Very wise, Kelcey! I would have started trashing HIS stuff and saying that it wasn’t important and he wouldn’t miss it… 😉

11.03.11#2

Comment by Cheryl.

Missing the point here on one thing. Her first paragraph clearly states she just moved into the apartment too. Having just helped 2 different families pack, I know that stuff got moved because they ran out of time to get it back to its rightful owner or to get it to the Goodwill. Sounds like she’s normal & he’s a controlling SOB.

I feel for ya, IIWMBTTMSAIWDASW.

11.03.11#3

Comment by Kristine.

Great advice, Kelcey!

I’m a thrower-outer too, and my husband holds on to things. Sounds like this boyfriend definitely needs to respect her boundaries…even if she does have too much stuff, SHE needs to come to terms with that and deal with it, not him.

11.03.11#4

Comment by Plano Mom.

Hubs is an indiscriminate trasher. He’ll get his shorts in a knot about the state of the paperwork, and throw away all our tax receipts. Ok, so I’m exaggerating, however he and I had to make a deal. For the first 10 years of our relationship, we went through our collective stuff and whittled down. Doesn’t have to take that long, however throwing away useless stuff (has your niece ever ASKED for those sunglasses?) is a necessary evil. Sounds like its a process that both of your personalities (hoarder and OCD) can work together on, as long as you respect each other’s feelings on the matter.

That said, I’d sure like to hear the BF’s side.

11.03.11#5

Comment by Bean.

I did that to someone once. ONCE. And then I realized how inappropriate and controlling it was. Really. One of my big rules for life? Don’t make decisions for other adults.

I’m a tosser. My hubby is a keeper. And yes, we need to have balance. But I don’t make deicions for him – when it makes me really crazy, I make a pile for him to sort through.

11.03.11#6

Comment by Karin.

hubby is a keeper (learned behavior from his mother who is the daughter of a tosser of other peoples stuff although not so much her own). I used to be middle ground but now I’m fits and spurts. Sometimes I can’t bear to throw things away, sometimes I can’t stand to have paper anywhere near me (too bad I need to keep lots of it for my business taxes!). I gave my kids a rule that I now have to live with – find a home for it that’s not cluttered or it goes in the trash. hubby’s stuff goes in a rubbermaid box and he has to clean it out twice a year and find a home for it or toss it (he can’t handle it daily).

I’m working on having an uncluttered life but it’s not going well!

11.03.11#7

Comment by brandy @ Momwcih.

Great Advice.

I’m a thrower outter too.
As in, if I trip over your shoes more than once, they are in the trash. I can’t help it, I grew up with a hoarder and it freaks. me. out.

But if it’s something sentimental (photograph, letter, trophy you won for being awesome, collect away)

Brandy

11.03.11#8

Comment by Wendi.

I think he’s overstepping his boundaries in a big way. Even if you have too much shit, he needs to at least ask you before it’s tossed.

Karin Reply:

this – you’re an adult and can make decisions about what you are going to keep and what you are going to toss with one caveat: as long as it isn’t becoming a health hazard.

11.03.11#9

Comment by Cynthia M.

I know we’re only hearing one side here, but it seems that he’s showing you that he doesn’t care about your feelings. If he doesn’t care what you feel about this issue, in what other issues is he going to ignore you? You should definitely have a discussion about that.

I'm a big ol' b with a captial B! Reply:

Agreed entirely. I mean, this is a relatively new relationship and he already sees fit toss stuff out that isn’t his? If I were him I would have made a box for her that she would need to go through but every time I would find something of hers I’d put it in there. Then of course, I would expect her to go through it and put things in their rightful places (a home, family, goodwill, garbage). But no, I wouldn’t just go about willy-nilly tossing stuff out! I definitely would change my ways if she complained about it as well instead of saying, ‘Well, I tossed out other stuff and I’m going to continue to do so.” Seriously? Where is the respect in that?

I think that after many years of marriage we can all identify with some the whole hoard/toss thing. And maybe some of us would toss stuff without asking but that’s after knowing each other forever and being in a committed relationship forever. When newbies start out doing this kind of stuff it raises a red flag for me.

That said, I do wonder how many times he’s asked her about that same pair of sunglasses and he finally got tired of seeing them and threw them out…. two sides/every story.

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