TODAY’S SWEETIE PIE:
My boyfriend was in a very long relationship when we met and had been living with his girlfriend for many years. Now they broke up and we are together and she moved out of state but all of her things, and I mean alllll of her things, are in boxes in his house and he won’t move them no matter how many times and in how many ways I try to get him to.
It been a year that we’ve been together and she’s been gone but it’s something I think about every single day and I feel like I can’t relax or feel comfortable at his place. It makes me soo anxious and paranoid and I don’t know how to just trust that he’ll get around to it and I don’t want to keep making our relationship awful by constantly fighting about it.
He says it doesn’t mean anything and it’s just a practical thing about being difficult to move but I can’t stop feeling like the place is still hers and just waiting for her to come back and I’m just an intruder in her house.
This will soon be your boyfriend or you will be the one moving out!!!!
🍤MINOR UPDATE🍤: I’m a big shrimp cocktail and just assumed that this couple lived together. It is actually unclear from the letter upon re-reading if they share the home or not. While I don’t think that it changes much, it certainly does make this slightly less weird and disrespectful. I messed up! Shocker!!!
I would amend the rage and fire a bit (turn it from an 11 down to a 10). Otherwise, I would keep the advice the same.
ORIGINAL LETTER BELOW:
WHAT THE FUCK ON EARTH. WHAT THE— AND I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH— FUCK ON EARTH DID I JUST READ.
I was reading the first sentence here thinking, “Toot toot she’s going to say that his ex still has a few boxes after a couple months of moving across the country and I’m gonna be like, ehh let it go.” BUT A YEAR.
A damn year.
You can have a baby in a whole year. You can write a book. You can train for a marathon, do the marathon and then get funding to make a movie about how you ran a marathon.
Are you fucking with me? Is he fucking with me????? Certainly he’s fucking with YOU.
Here are some things that might mean “nothing” :
Your boss saying “hmmm” as they read your work.
Your partner has a sweatshirt or two from their ex.
Your enemy saying you look very nice in that outfit.
The number 42.
Seeing four Jack Russell Terriers in one day.
The power going out in the middle of having sex with your crush.
A bird shitting on your new jacket.
Here is something that most certainly does not mean “nothing” :
YOUR BOYFRIEND NOT MOVING HIS EX’S STUFF OUT OF HIS HOME AFTER ONE (1) YEAR.
Here is what it means at the bare minimum: Your boyfriend does not care about your feelings. Clearly, you have brought this up to him (and below I will encourage you to do it again) but first I would like to L I N G E R a bit on just how fucking hurtful and disrespectful he’s being. Are your friends and beloved family members aware of this issue? What do they have to say? Are they minimizing this? Because it’s full-on Buca Di Beppo of him to keep his exes stuff in your shared home* for a year. Full on hurtful and ignorant of him at best, and actively cruel of him at worst.
Here are some questions I think we all have for your dipshit boyfriend (who may not normally be a dipshit, but certainly is being one right now):
Why? Why? WHY? Why would he prefer to do right by his EX GIRLFRIEND who DOES NOT LIVE IN THE CITY than by you?
Why doesn’t he get a storage unit?
Why doesn’t he throw her shit in the trash if it’s really “nothing”?
What is the plan here?
Is he fucking kidding?
Is this his way of staying connected to her?
I’m… losing my mind here. The lack of care here for you is just breathtaking.
Anyway, now that you (I hope) feel supported in your outrage—nay, I’d like you to feel encouraged in your outrage, since it seems like you’re under-doing it based on your letter—I’ll tell you what I think you should do.
I think you should sit Dipshit Balls down One Last Time (I MEAN IT!!! THIS IS HIS LAST CHANCE!!! Even if he wrongly feels he’s been given no warning of his other chances—good partners don’t need to be lead to the water of Treating You Well). You sit Dipshit Balls down and say to him, “This is the very last time I’m ever going talk about Ex’s stuff in our* house. I know it doesn’t seem like a problem to you, but it’s a problem to me, and that should be enough for you to care. So I’m giving you another shot to fix the problem. You have one month to get this stuff out of our house. The house that you and I share. This has been hurtful in so many ways to me, even if that was not your intent. That was the affect of what you did— or rather haven’t done— and you have to own that too because you’re an adult. I do not care what the solution is. I don’t care if you mail stuff to her, if she comes and gets it, if you throw it away or put it in storage. That is your problem and not mine. I’m done with this problem and I’m no longer letting this weigh on me. To clarify: I do not want to hear about this again; I’ve used enough energy on this. I trust that this will be taken care of in the next month. If it’s not, I will take that to mean you do not care about me and simply didn’t know a better way to communicate that to me. Cheers!”
In the next month, do your very best to trust him to solve the problem. Treat him as if the stuff is gone in your house as best as you can. And if the shit is not gone at the end of the month (ALL OF IT), YOU RUN THE FUCK AWAY FROM THIS DIPSHIT MAN WHO IS NOT OVER HIS EX AT ALL AND WHO WILL NEVER TREAT YOU WELL.
Do not negotiate with him. His time to negotiate a timeline that worked for him was up about eight months ago. His time to discuss his reasoning is over. We’re done. He’s being embarrassing and lazy at the very very very least and you deserve someone who wouldn’t have ever put you in this position. Be firm because you’ve already been way too kind.
Alternatively, you can just leave now and not worry about the next month.
You’ve got this. I promise.
*Again, this is maybe not their shared home. A bit unclear!!! My apologies!
❤️❤️❤️NOTE: because so many sweetie pies have been asking questions, it can take up to a month or two to answer them. I’M SORRY. I try to answer “urgent” / timely letters ASAP and more general questions later. IF I HAVEN’T GOTTEN TO YOURS, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO RESEND!!! I DON’T MIND AT ALL!!!❤️❤️❤️
Sophia Benoit writes this very newsletter; she also writes about sex & relationships for GQ, tries to write about Fleetwood Mac for GQ, avoids writing by tweeting at @1followernodad, works full-time as a researcher for Lights Out With David Spade, and has had bylines in The Guardian, Reductress, Refinery29, Allure, and The Cut. You can reach her or yell at her at email@example.com.