If you’re asking, “help, my husband hides my belongings”, or “why does my partner hide my things?” here are some possible explanations to explain their behavior:
He Might Be ‘Gaslighting’ You
Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation. It’s when the manipulator tries to make someone else think they’re going crazy by moving things, saying things did or didn’t happen, and generally trying to make them question their own sanity.
If your husband is hiding or moving your belongings, then denying it even when you know it’s him he may be gaslighting you.
Why would he do this?
It’s a form of control and manipulation. When someone gaslights someone else, they gain some power and control – at least in their minds.
When they see the person questioning their own actions and memory, it makes them feel like they’re in control. Because it was down to their actions that caused this confusion.
Any form of control in a relationship is incredibly dangerous. Gaslighting, in particular, is ugly. It’s unfair to make someone think they’re forgetting things, and it’s unfair to hide someone else’s belongings.
If you know this is happening to you, you need to either get out of the relationship or confront him. If he’s willing to come clean, talk about it, and seek help, there is hope for you both.
Related – Benefits of ending a toxic relationship.
He’s Suffering From Mental Illness
You can’t ignore the fact that your husband might be dealing with some kind of mental illness. After all, it’s not ‘normal’ behavior to hide a partner’s belongings.
It may be due to a form of neurosis, which is essentially a condition that can cause someone to lose grip with reality a little. As well as causing abnormal behaviors – such as moving or hiding things.
This is something only a qualified doctor, psychiatrist, or the appropriate medical professional will be able to tell you for sure. It’s a difficult subject to tackle, but something you will have to do to rule it out.
It Depends on What He’s Hiding?
The reason behind our husband hiding your possessions might also lie in what those possessions are.
For example, a few items and their reasons are:
Mobile Phone – If he’s hiding your mobile he’s trying to control who you can and can’t speak to. This is probably because he thinks you’re cheating, or he’s just lacking self-esteem and confidence.
It’s one of the worst forms of emotional and mental abuse though. No one has the right to hide someone else’s phone, no matter the reason why.
Money – Hiding money is another form of control. Without money, he thinks you can’t do much without his help. In the long-run, this is a form of abuse controlling men use to keep a woman from having the means to leave him.
Or, at least they make it a lot harder for their partners to leave. If your man gives you limited money, start forming an emergency fund with every spare penny you can.
Things important to you – If he hides anything important to you that he knows will cause you some emotional distress, he’s just trying to enforce some kind of emotional control over you.
Hiding things like jewelry, presents given to you by friends and family, and other mementos, are all forms of abuse. Once you know for sure he’s hiding them, make sure you find somewhere safe for the items that are important to you.
Car Keys – Again, an abusive form of control to dictate where you can go and who you can see. You should never feel – or actually be – physically trapped in any way due to the deliberate actions of a partner.
If he’s been hiding your car keys it’s a strong sign that worse is to come in the future if it isn’t already.
What Should I Do If My Husband Is Hiding My Things?
First of all, you need to be sure that he’s hiding your things. Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you’re going mad or getting forgetful – but you do need to get some concrete proof for your own peace of mind.
Once you know for sure he’s hiding your stuff, you need to confront him about it.
It’s not going to be easy for most, but what’s the alternative, right?
To keep dealing with this abuse? Hope he’s going to change his ways and stop hiding your stuff?
Unless you’re already completely over the relationship and you just want to walk away, of course. Then you can always just leave.
But if you want to work at the relationship, as with all inter-relationships problems, it starts with communication.
Be prepared, however, hiding your belongings is a serious form of abuse. It’s probably going to take more than a brief conversion and an apology. This is a systematic behavior carried out with the intention of controlling and manipulating you.
Most men that do this form of abuse will need some form of professional help to really help them understand why they do this.
It’s something you will need to keep a close eye on. It’s crucial that you don’t just give in and allow them to make excuses, or make excuses for them though. Toxic relationships and toxic behaviors rarely, if ever change for the better without a major intervention.
Don’t Lose Touch With Friends and Family
One of the main reasons men do controlling behaviors is to limit the contact their partner has with friends and family. Which is essentially your support network.
Have you lost touch with friends or family? Been seeing them less? Noticed your husband has been slowly restricting the time you spend with them?
This is unacceptable. You need to break this cycle of controlling behavior now. Make contact with your support network, and keep them informed about what’s going on in your life.
Most importantly, listen to them!
Friends and family always see the problems more clearly from the outside and give the right advice.
Most women in abusive, controlling relationships don’t listen to that advice or don’t see it the same as they do. Because they’re under the control of an abusive partner.
Whatever it takes, please, listen to those who care about you. Listen to your inner-self, pay attention to what’s happening around you.
Image credits – Photos by Eduard Militaru and Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.