Is my BF too attached to his past?


My BF of one year has old furniture, dishes, pictures, sheets and bedspreads from his marriage at his house. We do not live together, but I spend a LOT of time there. I can understand the furniture, but they have been divorced 12 years! Isn't it time for the little stuff to go? Especially if we have been dating for so long? I have gradually tried to bring in stuff that we buy together and managed to get the sheets & bedspread replaced by buying them myself and bringing them in and saying what a great deal I got on them. etc, but he just put the other bedspread on the guest bed!

Up until last week he still had their plaque they got when they were first married hanging beside his front door (you know those ones that say House of -------, founded -----). He had mentioned that it was "time to take it down" and so I asked him, NICELY, to do so and he got mad and said why does this stuff upset me and then he said he never wanted to see it again and threw it and broke it! 

What is going on? He says I am trying to "erase his life". I can't understand why he didn't just either say no, I want it up (yes, it probably would have caused a rift), or take it down and calmly put it in a drawer. He does a lot of nice things that do make me feel loved, but I am wondering why this happened and why he got so mad. Divorced 12 years people! Am I asking for too much? Should this just not bug me?  I also want to mention that he NEVER comes to my house, so he does not have to see all my old stuff from my marriage. It doesn't seem equal. Besides, I would put anything obvious away so that it would not hurt his feelings!
Dec 09, 2009 @ 09:15 am

8 Replies

Ali de Bold

You are not asking too much

12 years is a loooong time. But it sounds like he might not be over the loss of the marriage since he is accusing you of erasing his life. I think he needs to decide to move on. It's not fair to you to live with the ghost of his old marriage when it's been over so long. At the same time, letting go can be really hard and if he's not ready, there's nothing you can do.

This is a really tough one since I don't have experience in this area, but if I were in your shoes I would probably tell him that you are tired of competing with his old life and that he either moves on or he can be alone to lick his wounds for another 12 years. At bare minimum, a 12 year old bed spread could stand to be replaced, no?
Dec 09, 2009 @ 11:40 pm

Thanks :)

I just needed to know I'm not crazy!
Dec 10, 2009 @ 11:11 am

I agree

I think that anything intimately tied to his past should go - special keepsakes, wedding photos, etc. If he has kids with his ex, I could understand him boxing that stuff up for them if it's important to them. I have a wedding photo of my parents, now 15 years divorced. I don't display it, but it's still important to me.

I know a lot of girls have problems letting go of the ex-BF jewelry, especially if it's valuable. However, it's my (completely never-been-in-this-situation) opinion that such gifts and treasures need to be put away or sold/tossed. Furniture and such I think is perhaps less important, since it's just part of the household, but I would think that eventually you'd want to replace all these things if you move in together.

The same goes for you, too. Do you have things that are strong reminders of the past? You say you'd never display them if he were visiting, but do you have them up on other occasions? If so, just remember that whatever you're asking of him, you should be prepared to do the same.

You're not crazy. I also think that he's overly sensitive about this, which may hint he's still carrying some baggage there. And why does he never come to your house? Does he feel a lingering presence of your ex? If so, he should be a lot more sensitive to your similar feelings when you are in his home.
Dec 10, 2009 @ 12:56 pm

I have my keepsakes, but

they are boxed up. I have no good feelings for my ex at all. I think a lot of it is that he never really got serious with anyone until I came along, and it wasn't necessary to do anything with the stuff. I also feel that you're both right - he's managed to avoid facing his feelings for all this time, and being with me for a year has forced him to examine things he wants to push down. I just don't know if it's worth all the trouble! There havea lso been incidents with photos of his ex-girlfriends and other insensitive episodes which I just don't understand. I always thought it was just good manners to get rid of that stuff if you have someone in the house often.

As for never coming to my house, I do live 45 mins away and he runs his own business 6 days a week from his home (he has to be there at 7AM when the work crews arrive) I think that's the main thing, also I have a roommate and we can be alone at his place (which was really important in the beginning). But I do feel it has exposed me to more pain than he has had to deal with and he just doesn't understand. Or maybe he's just trying to sabotage this point I' m so frustrated I am wondering if it' worth it. :) Thx for the kind words girls..
Dec 10, 2009 @ 05:18 pm

Some stuff is ok

I mean if the bed spreads are still good, he is a guy and probably is thinking that way. The other stuff is sort of weird.
Dec 10, 2009 @ 09:33 pm

man thinking

I agree with Fargiemargie13 - guys are practical often to a fault. They'll look at bedding, towels, furniture, dishes and say "what? it's still in great shape!", rather than think about the memories attached to them. I'm generalizing hugely of course, but this has been my experience.

As for pictures, plaques, and other really relationship-specific doodads, even the densest guy should realize that those serve no other purpose than to remind about the special person they were with at the time. You are completely justified in wanting such items removed!
Dec 11, 2009 @ 08:54 am

Put up all the pics and knick knacks from all of your past relationships. See how he likes it. Sometimes you have to point a mirror at people for them to understand what the world is seeing.

As far as furniture dishes drapes bed spreads.. I agree with the others.. why throw away perfectly good things. The pictures/stuffed animals from their first carnival and blah blah blah have to go.
Dec 13, 2009 @ 03:54 pm

Not crazy

You are not crazy for feeling the way you do . If anyone is crazy it would be him. I mean its been 12 years he should be over it already. I can relate I am remarried and its been 12 years for myself and my husband. If he still had stuff up from his past or still has a strong attachment to an item from his past I would think he is still holding out hope for a relationship that no longer existes. As for pictures I have one that has my deceased grandmother in it and unfortuneately my ex is in the picture. So out of respect to my husbad I cut my ex out of the picture and I can display it with repect to my grandmother and not have to look at my ex's face.
Dec 16, 2009 @ 02:09 pm

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