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
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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.