Man Slammed for Hiding Girlfriend's Passport to Keep Her From Taking Trip

Commenters supported a woman in a popular internet forum who revealed that she ransacked her boyfriend's apartment after she realized he hid her passport to prevent her from visiting a friend in Mexico.

The anonymous woman, who goes by u/dontstealmypassport, posted about her situation to Reddit's "Am I The A**hole" forum where it amassed 23,000 upvotes and 1,400 comments, many condemning the man's behavior as manipulative and a form of psychological abuse.

In the post titled "AITA for ransacking my boyfriend's apartment?" the woman, 25, explained that she has been dating her boyfriend Jake, 34, for eight months. She said the relationship was going well until she decided to move in with him a few months ago.

"Since then, he's been getting kind of possessive and protective," the post read. "I immediately told him to cut that s**t out because it's off-putting, and things seemed to get better."

The woman explained that her friend from Mexico is getting married and that she's been excited to fly down for over a year since the engagement. But the woman said Jake said he does not want her to go.

Man slammed for hiding girlfriend's passport
A woman went viral after writing in a popular internet forum that her boyfriend hid her passport in an attempt to keep her from going on a trip to visit friends. Many commenters accused the boyfriend of gaslighting the original poster. FTiare/iStock

"He says Mexico is too dangerous, even though I've been there many times and even lived there for a year, speak Spanish, have friends there, and know my way around," the post read. "No matter what I say, he doesn't want me to go."

A few days ago—and the day before the trip—the woman noticed that her passport was missing from her nightstand.

She said she looked all over the apartment but was unable to find it and knew she would not have time to get a new one since the trip was the next day. She said she asked Jake about it and he acted a "little suspiciously" but she dismissed it because she did not think he would take it.

But since he had been giving her "some red flags," the woman started thinking he did take her passport and decided to thoroughly search through the entire apartment.

"I started off carefully picking through drawers and cabinets, but as my anger grew, I became a lot less careful," the post read. "I started turning out drawers, pried open a brief case, 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."

When Jake came back, he told the woman he was "furious" for going through his belongings and "ransacking" his place. He also told her that he would have eventually given the passport back and there was "no need" for her to "go crazy."

She said she is angry that Jake took her passport and that she does not believe he planned on giving it back.

"This is only my third serious relationship, and I have no perspective on this kind of thing. AITA for 'overreacting' and ransacking my (ex)boyfriend's place?" the post concluded.

In an update, the woman clarified that she does not think she did anything wrong in the situation but that she was in an initial state of shock that made her question everything.

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, victims of gaslighting and emotional abuse can oftentimes find themselves questioning their sanity and second-guessing their thoughts and decisions.

Some key signs that one is being gaslit are highlighted on the hotline's website by psychoanalyst Robin Stern and include: asking oneself if they are overly sensitive, making excuses for a partner, feeling confused or "crazy," lying to avoid "put downs" from a partner, and constantly apologizing.

In the post, the woman also said she officially broke up with Jake, blocked him on everything, and moved in with her parents. She said her brother and dad agreed to go to the apartment to move out what's left of her belongings so she doesn't have to see him.

More than 1,400 users flocked to the comments section, many to share their disgust for Jake's controlling behavior and to warn the woman to stay away from the relationship because it was clear it was becoming emotionally manipulative.

"Here's some perspective. Your boyfriend is Escalating," one user commented. "He's starting to do bigger and bigger things...he started with small attempts at controlling you, and he's trying to move into gaslighting you. If the pattern holds, the real abuse comes next."

"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," another comment read.

"Move out immediately and don't look back," another user wrote. "This is the start of an abusive relationship he is starting lightly with the controlling so that you get used to it. That you even question that you are an AH for looking for YOUR passport that HE STOLE means that he is already succeeding."

Newsweek reached out to u/dontstealmypassport for comment.