Breakup and Division of Property

Dear Rob,
I was in a committed relationship for about 5 years. We lived together for that time. She moved out of state for a job. I was to follow but later decided to stay to finish school to be more marketable. She was not keen with this change of plans.

We parted. Things were ok at first but grew kind of ugly. She found someone new rather quickly.

Its been two years now with little or no contact from her. When we did talk it was civil.

I have chosen to move on. Now she wants her kitchen chairs she left behind. My first instinct is to ignore her request since we are no longer friends and do not communicate but then I think I should be the bigger of us and make arrangements for delivery of the chairs therefore preventing any further communication and cutting the last remaining tie with her.

My question to you is, are there any unwritten statutes of limitations when it comes to getting ones crap left behind in a break up?

Currently, I use the chairs every day and they match my decor quite nicely (the chairs were never an issue until now).

I don’t want to be a prick but I also have renounced myself to the heartbreak and don’t want deal with the feeling of giving in to her after so much time has passed. Being secretly spiteful is so much easier.
Thank you for your attention,
Marcus

Hi Marcus,
Depending on the state laws, I would say that the chairs had been abandoned by her and you have every right to them.

She’s not feeling good about herself and is using the chairs as a last stab at you.

Personally, I’d tell her to get lost. Prepare for yourself a legal case showing who bought the chairs with receipts and pictures. Create a journal with a timeline of when they were bought, how they were used and when she left you, moved out and left the chairs behind. Showing abandonment proves your case.

If you do want to silence her, then ship her the chairs, COD. Let her pay for the shipping. And be glad that this just may be you hear from her. What if she next wants the table the chairs were with? Or something else she paid for and now wanted returned as well?

Break-up etiquette does require that property be return to the rightful owner. That’s why it’s important to keep a journal of items purchased when together, receipts, who owns what and why. State laws, which vary, require a certain amount of time pass before property can be considered abandoned as well as any reasonable attempts you’ve made to get the other person to pick up the property.

Depending how hurt you are you may want to fight over the possessions, but in the course of time all you’re doing by keeping these chairs is having a reminder of that person that has abandoned you. Being spiteful isn’t a cure to healing a broken heart.
When you clean out your living space you also clean out your feelings and get some closure.

Move on by moving her crap out. But let her pay for shipping.
Best wishes,
Rob.

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