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 dmzvisitor
Joined: 3/25/2011
Msg: 26
privacy boundaries?Page 2 of 4    (1, 2, 3, 4)
If you feel there is a need for privacy in a committed relationship, then you and she may be on different pages. Talk about it and decide what compromise will work for each of you.

If I found letters in a drawer in a space my partner had lived alone but I recently moved into, I probably would not read them, but point it out and give him a chance to clean up his space for sharing. I'd point out that as a new resident, I expect I will find a few left-overs from his single days, and as a courtesy to that, I'd give him a chance to take care of his business.

If, after I had said this, and the letters were still there--taking up space--I'd ask if they were so important or could I toss them. If they were important, I'd ask him to put them someplace more appropriate--a filing cabinet, for example. Important papers don't belong in a junk drawer and I'd explain that if I'm cleaning, I'm tossing out stuff in the junk draw every so often. If he left them and they were not important enough to put somewhere safer, I'd toss them w/o reading them. But that's me.

BUT--when I found stuff my ex used to keep in weird places, I'd generally read before tossing b/c I didn't want to toss something important--he was not good about putting important papers where they belong. If I saw it was junk, I'd toss. If I saw it was important, I'd ask him to put it in the filing cabinet. If I had found something sexually explicit and undated? Yep, I'd be asking.'
 VirtuallyLove
Joined: 9/8/2011
Msg: 27
privacy boundaries?
Posted: 12/22/2011 7:25:14 AM
I understand your upset, TBF. I had a very similar experience when my gf read my private journal, and of course encountered some things she didn't like (including XXX passages about a former relationship).

Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz have discussed this issue, and came to the - to me - surprising conclusion that snooping was expected and okay, and that both partners should reassure each other by being utterly transparent.

I don't consider this to be a "breakup-able" offense. I mean, perhaps if she were always compulsively searching through your stuff and following you covertly, then yes, it would doubtless be a good reason to end your relationship.

But a certain degree of nosiness and even insecurity-based concern is understandable and more or less normal, I think. There is a tendency between very intimately involved partners to believe that "what's hers is mine," and I think that kind of goes with such intimate territory.

Best to discuss your feelings with her and ask that she be more respectful and trusting in the future, then move on, in my opinion.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 28
privacy boundaries?
Posted: 12/22/2011 7:34:26 AM

I did not intentionally keep them as mementos. I am organizationally challenged. Things end up in places, and I forget about them. They mean nothing to me and will be destroyed when I get home (I'm out of town). If I had known I still had them, I would have destroyed them already. I don't expect the non-organizationally challenged to understand so I guess I'll just have to ignore those accusations.

I'm about as organizationally challenged as it gets, but my response would have been completely different than yours. I'd have just told her to toss them when she was done asking about them. In any case, why wait until you get home? Tell your girlfriend to toss them and when you get home, that will be done and over with.
 VADERPRIME
Joined: 12/9/2011
Msg: 29
privacy boundaries?
Posted: 12/22/2011 7:42:34 AM
she made a mistake.. i would have also read them.. just cuz i found them and now they are there to read.
i really don't think she did it to purposely disrespect you. talk it out... this to me, does not sound a good enough reason to break up with someone you say you >love<....look that word up btw..
.
and... your profile isn't hidden...i can pull it up.. so...?
 Whisky_River
Joined: 9/12/2010
Msg: 30
privacy boundaries?
Posted: 12/22/2011 8:19:14 AM
@CarpeOmnia....very well put!

I know that RIGHT NOW I feel comfortable in bringing any concern to my Sweetheart right away. He has always made himself open to me this way.
However, if I came to him with something like your girlfriend did...and he reacted to me the way you did...I would NO LONGER feel free to bring my concerns to him right away. Our relationship would become less open, which would be a shame. Him hiding stuff...me afraid to speak lest he become angry...and round and round...
 TuffGuy666
Joined: 11/22/2011
Msg: 31
privacy boundaries?
Posted: 12/22/2011 8:32:15 AM
You carelessly left them available for her to access innocently, and she probably read more of them than she should have. But really now. I mean, it's kinda like with eating potato chips, who could stop reading with just one glance of the page? Could YOU? (I doubt it.) I doubt I could.

At any rate, cool off, toss the letters, forgive and forget. No federal crime committed here.

And for gawd sakes get yourself a shredder.
 Angelsbigheart
Joined: 7/30/2011
Msg: 32
view profile
History
privacy boundaries?
Posted: 12/22/2011 8:33:52 AM
You know what they say about curiosity!!

While I don't feel that her finding the letters and asking about them is a bad thing (I don't think she should have read them ALL - that IS a privacy issue)... her statement about you 'hiding them better' if you didn't want her to find them and then accusing you of still having feelings even after you were honest with her about them is a HUGE red flag (at least I think so).

All of these things are just signs of insecurity and insecurity is usually a relationship killer - it will slowly rot at the foundations of what starts out as a good thing!! And if she is suspicious enough NOW to be trying to "FIND" things, then where does it stop?? Is she looking though your phone numbers, in your wallet, snooping on your computer to see what sites you've been on?? And since she THINKS she found something... will she get worse??

I think at this point all you can do is try to decide if these are questions you're willing to live with or not!?

Good luck!!
 mustardmoon
Joined: 9/10/2010
Msg: 33
privacy boundaries?
Posted: 12/22/2011 8:58:03 AM

After-all you know what they call someone looking for a perfect mate.......


single.


I think you are being a bit hard on your gf. Nobody is perfect. And the fact is, material like that should have been thrown out long ago. It does not benefit anyone to keep old love letters. Unless, of course, you are still carrying a torch for your ex.

Apologize to your gf and burn the letters. Problem solved.
 carolann0308
Joined: 12/9/2006
Msg: 34
view profile
History
privacy boundaries?
Posted: 12/22/2011 8:58:32 AM
I have a box full of old poems, letters, diaries etc that are all from before I was 23. All written while I was away at college. I could not tell you if they are dated or not as I rarely look at them. But they are mine, and for some strange reason I like to occasionally get all mushy and read bad poetry from lovesick boys I have not seen since 1982.
If my ex husband or current love was to go through them I would not care as it is no different to me than an old photo album. The girl they were written to no longer exists except in memories.
But I do not open people's mail, do not go through computers, phones etc. but old crap in an attic? Fair game and dusty sentimental hogwash.
I would probably bring the box out and read it together as most of the old verse is nauseatingly hilarious and sappy.
 Capn_America
Joined: 10/6/2011
Msg: 35
privacy boundaries?
Posted: 12/22/2011 9:03:23 AM
Its a real tough issue OP. Let`s consider for a moment you are NOT you, you are some grubby **stard out to cheat on her. Or better yet, put yourself in her shoes for five minutes. How would you react? While I do agree some things need to be private (my ex used to drag my to the bathroom to show me her poop like a 3 year oldf...gimme a break), you can`t expect her to enjoy you keeping secrets from her. You met her, talked to her, gave her the explanation, which she has a choice to accept or not. You can tell her that you disagree with her way of seeing it and explain your own way. She`ll either agree to do it your way, or not. Is it a break-up able offense? I`m not convince. But it seriously is an issue that needs addressing....

Good luck!
 Maleman999
Joined: 2/14/2010
Msg: 36
privacy boundaries?
Posted: 12/22/2011 9:04:16 AM
For the people who are reading this post who are under the age of 25, you should explain what a letter is. Young people have no concept of combining a pen with paper and can't imagine doing something so pre-historic. They are going to think you left a cell phone hidden with explicit texts on it. LOL.

There's something puzzling about this finding love letters business. You said she was looking for a mailbox key and found these letters. I don't know about other people, but any keys I have that I will need to use don't go in a junk box with personal items. I keep keys in a specific place at all times. After a year of living together, finding the mailbox key should not be a problem. There needs to be more clarification about this to make a better judgement of the situation. Did you tell her this junk box had your personal items in it and she was not to open it without your permission?

I agree with others who say if you're through with previous girlfriends, why are you hanging on to letters, especially with sexual content? What would your reaction be if the situation reversed?
 ComplekCity
Joined: 1/17/2011
Msg: 37
privacy boundaries?
Posted: 12/22/2011 9:28:32 AM

I feel this is a complete lack of respect on her part and a big trust issue. I have nothing to hide, but I feel if she saw the letters and wanted to know about them, she should have brought them to me and asked instead of reading them.


I agree.


She feels completely justified in reading them because "this is *our* home and nothing is off limits".


Wow, that is one big crock of shite. I wonder how she'd feel if you starting looking through her purse every night ?


She said if I didn't want her to see something I "should hide it better".


Wow, I think your picker is broken - this is so ridiculous it's grounds for dumping.

She sounds like the type who can't handle admitting their wrong and will always justify everything they do - good luck with that .
 HappinessOK
Joined: 7/19/2009
Msg: 38
privacy boundaries?
Posted: 12/22/2011 9:42:15 AM
HHmm, This is a hard one.. I think that I would feel like you do, that she violated your privacy. HOWEVER..., if it was me and i was cleaning your closet or whatever and I found love letters that were there for the looking, Im not so sure that I would not look... and thats only because I have trust issues which are well founded. I've been cheated on and lied to so often that I'm sceptical of my partners honesty.

I had a b/f a while back and found flirty photos of younger other women in his draw by his bed. I was in the draw because he left something of mine in there. The pics were photo copies(downloaded from a computer) so I could see the date he printed them..it was recent. I was so mad that I took the copies. I did not mention it to him...but he knew I had them because his behaviour became worse..we split up soon after that..I came to find out he had been on several dating sites while he was dating me...

You love this woman...so you need to sit her down and tell her the boundaries, reassure her that she is the one for you. If the letters mean nothing then have her watch you tear them up. Keep an eye open though for further indiscretions..
 SweetLilGTP
Joined: 10/22/2010
Msg: 39
privacy boundaries?
Posted: 12/22/2011 9:55:40 AM
People keep saying those on the forums are always telling OPs to end relationships instead of working things out.


Aint it something.

Great commentary on todays dating and marriage scene.

As for the OPS case; I'd let her know I was pissed, and warn her to ASK next time, so that you can delve into areas previously undiscovered together. I think you may be blowing it out of proportion, because really; how are you affected negatively by this? Did your mrotgage just rise? Did you just lose your favorite fish? How WOULD you be affected IF she snooped around the home? Can any of these secrets hurt you and your relationship? If the answer ti that is yes; yuo have a bigger problem in that you HAVE to hide somethings from your mate. ;)

If she is worthy of living with you; there are no mistakes she can come across that she would use to hurt you; or that COULD hurt you if she TRIED!!

It's Water off your back....

*shrugs*

So another chick wanted to sex you at one time....oh no.....calamity.



Laugh it off, have some sex, get some dinner n move on....

And let us know when your relationship turns to "our" instead of "mine".

But now that you're already stuck living together, you'll probably have to work it out


The horror; you've gone and gotten yourself in a position that requires some effort and communication. [Egads; call 911]

My post above is just a different version of the one written by Evil genius btw

seriously??? why do you need "privacy" from her??? it is a relationship.... you shouldn't have secrets....


Mine mine mine mine mine


There are some very thoughtful and sincere posts here, and to those people, I thank you. I will attempt to have a calm discussion with her when I get home. I'll hope for the best.


If you are talking it over with her, then burning them in front of her; I suspect you may HAVE the best of results sir.

Merry Christmas.
 christ on a crutch
Joined: 2/1/2009
Msg: 40
view profile
History
privacy boundaries?
Posted: 12/22/2011 10:08:04 AM
maintaining personal privacy and committing lies of omission are not the same thing. the difference is intent.

by entering into an exclusive relationship with me, my SO did not FORFEIT her personal autonomy. she compromised parts of it for the sake of the relationship.

the men she loved before me are part of the experiences of her life. if the tokens of those experiences are important for her to have, then it's important to me that she have them.

for those who want their SO to give up all such tokens, would you demand your SO give up a child as well? after all, what clearer token of a past sexual relationship is there?
 FNADude
Joined: 7/22/2011
Msg: 41
privacy boundaries?
Posted: 12/22/2011 10:08:04 AM

I really don't want to be in a relationship where our privacy is not respected or hiding things is considered normal. Am I way off base here?


This doesn't make any sense - you just said you want to hide your past from her.
When you commit to some one there should not be any secrets.

However I see that trust may be an issue here. You told her the truth and she does not trust you - that's not good.
 femaleconnection
Joined: 8/12/2010
Msg: 42
privacy boundaries?
Posted: 12/22/2011 10:09:41 AM
Before you asked her to move in you should have done some housecleaning. Maybe put all of this stuff into a box, and told her it had momentos from loves past in it, and asked her if she would mind if you kept it somewhere. By keeping it, hiding it, then freaking out that she found it, makes you look suspiscious. In her shoes, I would think it was suspiscious as well.

It is either both of your home, or not. Which is it? If it is considered to be BOTH of your home...then she has a right to know what's inside it. If you have momentos, you should have told her where they are and asked her to respect your privacy. If she did not, then you have a beef. You did not communicate your expectations or what you have in the home that is supposed to be considered her home as well.

The onus is on you to clean house and ensure there isnt anything hidden, or that there isnt anything you wouldnt want her to see in the home- not on her to NOT accidently come across it.

Yes, Id be puzzled that she would read them all, but I am a human and if I found a stack of erotic letters in MY HOME Id likely read them as well. Cant really fault her. Its not like she tampered with the hard drive on your pc and purposely went looking for secrets.

I dont snoop by nature, and dont like being snooped on-but the OP does not indicate she was snooping, it indicates she simply found the letters and read them.

Id say her reading them all shows she has a few insecurities...why are you more worried about being right than taking those insecurities off her shoulders? Thats what a loving couple should do, is make sure thier lover is secure. You are making sure she stays insecure, as if you enjoy it.
 Debisusanne
Joined: 5/3/2011
Msg: 43
privacy boundaries?
Posted: 12/22/2011 10:24:08 AM
I really liked this Abelian:
I'm about as organizationally challenged as it gets, but my response would have been completely different than yours. I'd have just told her to toss them when she was done asking about them. In any case, why wait until you get home? Tell your girlfriend to toss them and when you get home, that will be done and over with.


Now.. i have to put in my 2 cents.. do NOT look at this as an invasion.. Look at it as an opportunity to discuss boundaries.. and Time for YOU to organize and throw out sh!t.

When i moved in with my then b/f(now ex husband) 20+ yrs ago.. i did NOT go thru his closets.. but as the cleaning lady of the house.. i would have gone thru junk piles. I felt those were my boundaries. But then as his wife.. i was IN CHARGE of organizing his crap.. and (what a pain).. there were NO boundaries.. The things he wanted to keep from me... he kept them well hidden(aka condoms)

get over it.. if you cant turn this into a positive.. she should dump YOU.
 ToBeFrank
Joined: 3/1/2007
Msg: 44
privacy boundaries?
Posted: 12/22/2011 10:25:42 AM

and... your profile isn't hidden...i can pull it up.. so...?


It is hidden. The only reason you can pull it up is because I posted in the forums. If you searched for me you would not find it, and it won't show up in anyone's match lists. I don't know why POF doesn't hide your profile from forums as well, but that's the way it works.
 NarcissusTemple
Joined: 4/23/2009
Msg: 45
privacy boundaries?
Posted: 12/22/2011 10:59:15 AM
don't understand why you still have something explicit from someone else.... usually that stuff leaves when the relationship ends....

Sometimes I can't remember where I put my car keys.
Sometimes I come across $20 dollars that I stuffed in a jacket pocket five years ago.
Those are both things that I need or want to have at hand.

If the relationship has ended and the mementos are tucked away and no longer thought of, why would it be *expected* by anyone that they'd be remembered and automatically culled?
I'd think it more troublesome behavior that someone excised every last trace of a person from their life.
Unless the memory of the person created such a psychological shockwave I don't see this expectation as being reasonable.
It's saying, "If you have X from the past, it MUST mean you have feelings."
Geez. What about our memories? Can't get rid of *those* and they're be just as explicit as the letters.
 Ratsrule
Joined: 9/22/2011
Msg: 46
view profile
History
privacy boundaries?
Posted: 12/22/2011 11:20:47 AM
I'm glad you have decided to talk this over rationally with her. Better give it a few days before bringing it up because even though you know those letters are from ages ago - in her mind she will be going through the same hell as if she had just found out you really did cheat. She needs to process it and calm down.

I think were you to dump her for this you would be throwing something (hopefully special- why else would you move in with her) away for no good reason. Regardless of whether you think she was snooping the fact is SHE didn't consider it snooping because in her mind that's what living together meant. I'm guessing you didn't establish boundaries about this kind of thing when you moved in together.

Either way - obviously you have a different idea of what is acceptable or not. If you can get past this one incident then boundaries do still need to be put in place. If she knowingly oversteps boundaries once everyone is clear on them then that is an entirely different situation and should be treated as a trust issue.

But first you have to genuinely convince her that she has nothing to fear from those letters and the best way to do that would be to answer any questions she has about it without getting angry or impatient, and most especially without getting defensive because that looks like guilt,

I'm of a similar type to your girlfriend - i have nothing to hide and therefore i expect nothing to be off limits. I wouldn't boot up my boyfriends computer to hunt through his emails but if he's replying to one next to me then yep - i'd be reading it over his shoulder. He'd be more than welcome to do the same.

I wouldn't even think that it could be a problem to him unless he told me - and if he did say he didn't i would try my best not to. Give her the boundaries and a chance to stick to them.
 lotustemple
Joined: 10/23/2011
Msg: 47
privacy boundaries?
Posted: 12/22/2011 12:36:26 PM
I was dating a rather charming and handsome professor at my local university and he asked me to move in after about 6 months. Left me in his house alone, told me to get a feel if it was big enough or should he buy a new house.

So i first went into the walk-in closet and noticed the shelves were full of shoe boxes. Picked up one, opened it to find letters and cards with weekly post marks chronologically filed the last being one or two days previously rec'd. They were very very steamy, his last gf talking about when she finished her graduate work 1000's of miles away she couldn't wait to be together again. She also thanked him for the erotic content of his last letter she had just rec'd, said it turned her on.

I called and asked him to come back to the house asap, it was an emergency. Took him into the closet and pointed to the shoe box. He gave a bunch of stupid excuses. And i said he must write her a letter immediately infront of me telling her he was in love and making love to me now, i was moving in and he had no feeling for her any longer and never to write him again. He struggled thru it, practically cried, i read it, put the stamp on the envelope and we walked together to the mailbox on the corner. I gave it to him to drop in.

Once in the mailbox i turned to him and said "don't ever contact me again you ***hole". And walked away.
 Sully8545
Joined: 12/12/2009
Msg: 48
privacy boundaries?
Posted: 12/22/2011 12:43:18 PM
What was the point of keeping the letters? Seems like you were asking for a situation like this to happen and if it didn't happen now, it would have eventually.

You f'd up by keeping them, now it's time for you to pay. lol Stop whinning and take it like a man.
 Capn_America
Joined: 10/6/2011
Msg: 49
privacy boundaries?
Posted: 12/22/2011 1:40:47 PM

I was dating a rather charming and handsome professor at my local university and he asked me to move in after about 6 months. Left me in his house alone, told me to get a feel if it was big enough or should he buy a new house.

So i first went into the walk-in closet and noticed the shelves were full of shoe boxes. Picked up one, opened it to find letters and cards with weekly post marks chronologically filed the last being one or two days previously rec'd. They were very very steamy, his last gf talking about when she finished her graduate work 1000's of miles away she couldn't wait to be together again. She also thanked him for the erotic content of his last letter she had just rec'd, said it turned her on.

I called and asked him to come back to the house asap, it was an emergency. Took him into the closet and pointed to the shoe box. He gave a bunch of stupid excuses. And i said he must write her a letter immediately infront of me telling her he was in love and making love to me now, i was moving in and he had no feeling for her any longer and never to write him again. He struggled thru it, practically cried, i read it, put the stamp on the envelope and we walked together to the mailbox on the corner. I gave it to him to drop in.

Once in the mailbox i turned to him and said "don't ever contact me again you ***hole". And walked away.




Good thing I wasnt the next door neighboor overhearing all this; I would have compounded it by walking over to you, french-kissing you slowly, then, winking, inviting you in the house for a steamy time of hot "we'll tape it and send it to you, a**hole" sex.LOL! That is really priceless, and not as much as he deserved probably. Because it begs the question of how often has he so blatantly cheated before that. Good going!
 VirtuallyLove
Joined: 9/8/2011
Msg: 50
privacy boundaries?
Posted: 12/22/2011 3:18:43 PM
Fire N Lace:


I am getting ready to move in with the man I’ve been dating for the past year… the timing of your post was perfect… Sure if I found them, I would ask too. I don’t believe anyone wouldn’t… but I wouldn’t look at them as an end the relationship issue either. He and I both had pasts...

You know OP, I can honestly see both sides here. The feelings she has that it’s her home too… as well as your feelings it is my private stuff… Question for you – if they truly don’t mean anything to you – is it really worth breaking up over? It sounds like it wasn’t what I would call out and out snooping, deliberately looking for something on you. I give her brownie points for coming to you and saying, what are these, do they mean anything to you… she could have read them, gotten really hurt and pissed off, and then packed her stuff and left without a word to you.

My gut is telling me she isn’t so upset about the content of the letters, nor that you had them still, as much as you took offense. Perhaps you reacted more harsh than you realize, and instead of just saying, dang, I’d forgotten about those… you got so angry over her finding them and focused too much on the privacy invasion…. especially since they were sexually explicit in nature. While I know my boyfriend had a past, I certainly don’t want sexually explicit reminders in “our” home of it.

I believe you have a right to privacy – everyone does…but I also recognize that if I want a true open and intimate relationship with someone – I can’t go on the defense if I’d forgotten about letters and he found them…

If this truly is a relationship killer for you – then you were not ready to live together anyways. Be kind and let her go now because this is minor compared to other challenges you can face living together and if you two can’t get past this the others you won’t even stand a chance to get over.


Very well said, Fire. I also agree with Carpie and others who've said they would've probably read the stuff as well, had they "stumbled upon it."

And I say that as one who has been the horribly wronged victim of someone reading my private stuff. And there's no way something gets any more private than what was in my journal, believe me.
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