It’s 2022, and it seems it would be understood by now that we shouldn’t hide our partners’ possessions to prevent them from going somewhere, even if we’re uncomfortable with them going.
But clearly, that isn’t the case, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
On the contrary, Redditor Dontstealmypassport had to go to desperate measures to uncover the location of her passport.
But when her boyfriend accused her of going through his things, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she had taken her search too far.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for ransacking my boyfriend’s apartment?”
The OP recently moved into her boyfriend’s apartment.
“I (25 Female) have been with my boyfriend, ‘Jake,’ (34 Male) for 8 months.”
“Things were fine until I (against my better judgment) moved into his place a couple of months ago. Since then, he’s been getting kind of possessive and protective.”
“I immediately told him to cut that s**t out because it’s off-putting, and things seemed to get better.”
But when the OP made travel plans, her boyfriend actively objected.
“Anyway, I have a friend in Mexico who is getting married. I’ve been excited to fly down for her wedding since she told me she was engaged a year ago.”
“However, Jake has made it clear that he doesn’t want me to go.”
“He says Mexico is too dangerous, even though I’ve been there many times, lived there for a year, speak Spanish, have friends there, and know my way around.”
“No matter what I say, he doesn’t want me to go.”
The OP’s boyfriend then tried to make sure that his girlfriend would not be going.
“Then a couple of days ago, my passport went missing from my nightstand.”
“I’m supposed to go tomorrow, so I wouldn’t have time to get a new one.”
“I looked everywhere, but no luck.”
“When I asked Jake about it, he behaved a little suspiciously, but I dismissed it, because I couldn’t believe he would actually take my passport to keep me from going.”
The OP decided to continue her search.
“But he’s been giving me some red flags, so I decided to have a thorough look around.”
“When he went out this morning, I started going through everything.”
“As I searched, I became increasingly certain that he had taken my passport.”
“I started off carefully picking through drawers and cabinets, but as my anger grew, I became a lot less careful. I turned out drawers, pried open a briefcase, and made a total mess.”
“But I found it. It was behind some books on the bookcase in his study. I never go into his study. He definitely put it there.”
The OP’s boyfriend accused her of meddling with his things.
“Now he’s furious with me for going through his things and ransacking his place.”
“He said he would have given my passport back, and there was no need for me to ‘go crazy.'”
“I’m just angry that he took it to begin with, and I don’t believe him when he says he was going to give it back.”
“This is only my third serious relationship, and I have no real perspective on this kind of thing.”
“AITA for ‘overreacting’ and ransacking my (ex) boyfriend’s place?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some urged the OP to leave the relationship and never look back.
“There will be times after the shock and rage fade that you miss him, or miss the person you thought you knew. Clearly, it wasn’t all bad, at least at first.”
“I call this retroactive gaslighting; even without saying a word, the abuser still sometimes makes you question your perception of reality because it’s difficult for your mind to merge the person you fell for with the person they actually were.”
“Please remember nothing they say will help you reconcile this. They are incapable of emotional honesty.”
“And however angry you are, it’s not worth giving them a piece of your mind. Trust me, the thing that cuts them the deepest is to see that you have completely erased them from your life as if they never existed.”
“You are clearly a smart, educated, and well-traveled woman. You didn’t fall for him because you’re stupid; you fell for him because abusers are often VERY charming when they need to be. Don’t give him an opportunity to do what he does best.”
“So happy you got out, OP!” – Working_Departure983
“Read this as many times as you need to. And I say that meaning that when he tries to gaslight (finally get to say the sub’s buzzword!) or charm you back. Read as many people telling you no.”
“He’s abusive. Controlling. Don’t go back. You’re worth more. He’s unsafe. You are an autonomous person. Whichever version you need at the time. NTA.” – djroomba24
“NTA. Run. Now. Don’t go back to his apartment. In fact, stay in Mexico till you have somewhere else to stay.”
“I understand you’re unsure so here’s your validation. He’s controlling. It’s happening fast and WILL NOT STOP. Stealing your passport (he WOULD NOT HAVE given it back) is highly illegal, immoral, and dangerous behavior.”
“Now he’s gaslighting you, saying you were ‘crazy,’ after you caught him stealing your passport. Do not stay with this man.” – WriteUrOwnEnding
“NTA. And move out as soon as possible.”
“He tried to control you and hid your passport. And when you took the steps to get it back, he tells you you’re the unreasonable one, you’re the one overreacting.”
“You’re not. He hid your official documents to prevent you from doing something he didn’t agree with. He had no good reason to hide your passport.”
“It doesn’t matter that he ‘planned’ to return it, he shouldn’t have taken it in the first place. You had every right to search for it. Don’t let him convince you otherwise, don’t feel one bit bad about it.” – LazyOpia
“If he’ll take your passport to keep you from going to Mexico, he’ll take your driver’s license to keep you from leaving him.” – ikediggety
Others agreed and pointed out the OP was not the one to blame.
“Please. There is NO way you’re the AH here. He:”
“1. Has been acting strange ever since you moved there.”
“2. Forbade you from going to a country that you’re already familiar with.”
“3. Stole your passport to prevent you from going.”
“4. Is playing the victim, saying that you went through his stuff and that he would ‘have given your passport back.’ Yeah, right.”
“Run. This isn’t healthy. Find a guy who treats you like the queen you are and enjoy the wedding!”
“P.S. Your dad is awesome!!!” – winter_gemini
“Even if you are in a relationship, the partner NEVER has the right to do this kind of thing to you!”
“He STOLE your property, he LIED about it, and then he VICTIMIZED himself!”
“Nooo, gurl. Leave him. This is not how relationships work.”
“We all have our fair share of arguments during a lifetime, but this is crossing the personal boundaries and is also ILLEGAL.” – bouganvilea25
“NTA. And run. There was no reason for him to take the passport in the first place except to keep you from going: leaving you out of all the cash you spent, and isolating you from friends.”
“He’s trying to control you, and calling you ‘crazy’ because you discovered the truth and he’s trying to make you doubt it and yourself. Run.” – jaynsand
“He lied to you straight to your face when you directly asked him about the passport. Then you found the passport hidden (not just lying around but clearly well hidden) in a room he knew you never went.”
“He would not have given it back to you, that’s a lie too; why take the passport if not to do exactly what he’d been saying all along: he didn’t want you to go to Mexico.”
“Now he’s acting the victim, and his claim that he was going to give it back to you makes no sense and is a lie.”
“I also don’t blame you for not just looking in his possessions for your passport but for getting so fed up you tossed his stuff around. He really didn’t deserve any more respect than that since he stole your passport and repeatedly lied to you.”
“His concern for your safety in Mexico sounds like a pretext for controlling you, particularly since he was previously ‘protective,’ which is a euphemism for being controlling or manipulative.”
“NTA. But you must get out. He’s shown you who he really is, it’s over time to believe he him after this.” – sailingisgreat
“He hid your government-issued identification because you wanted to leave the country temporarily for a friend’s wedding and he couldn’t convince you not to.”
“You are definitely NTA for not keeping things tidy trying to find it.”
“His reaction makes me wonder what else he is hiding.”
“I would seriously consider removing any possessions you consider irreplaceable from his living space lest they go missing also.” – AmericasNextTopLlama
After reading the comments, the OP shared an update:
“Thanks for the replies. I guess I was still in a weird state of disbelief that he did that and it made me question everything. Now that I’ve stopped shaking and have had the time to think, talk to my mom, and read through these replies, I feel kinda silly for even wondering if I did something wrong.”
“Suffice it to say, it’s over for good, I’ve blocked him on everything, and my dad and brother are over there getting what’s left of my stuff.”
“I’m going to try to put it out of my mind and focus on my awesome trip.”
Not only was the subReddit overwhelmingly in support of the OP searching for her passport by any means necessary, but they were firmly behind her in her decision to leave the relationship.
Fortunately, this OP had a happy ending, as she had people around her, willing to support her in moving out and moving on, and she had a very special wedding she still had time to attend.