Around eight years ago (I was 24), I met a man I worked with. Over a few months, we became very good friends and eventually, that evolved into a romantic relationship. He was a very kind, funny, and sweet man during the time we got to know each other. I had moved back in with my parents for a year after the failure of a 5-year living-together relationship. Around the time things started to get serious with my new boyfriend, it was time for me to move out and get a place of my own.
Boyfriend started staying at my new apartment almost immediately. First, the apartment needed to be painted. He decided to take on that task, and frankly, I let him. (I did do some painting, but I really, really hate it!) Then, he needed to stay over during the week because my place was closer to where we both worked. Three months in, his pay stub had my address on it and he was receiving mail and phone calls to my apartment regularly.
I could see what was happening, but for some reason, maybe because I was young, I just let it go. I figured since the rental agreement and all the bills were in my name, I’d have no problem kicking him out if I had to. After living together for a few months, his true colours came out. He was an alcoholic, verbally abusive, lost his job (due to an incident at our workplace, but that’s another topic for another day) and refused to hold down a new one. Stole my emergency credit card and charged up booze, clothes, whatever he wanted (I eventually cancelled the card when he wouldn't give it back). Always said he would pay me back but of course, he never did. He also started making long-distance phone calls to girls he met on the internet (and having them in our home when I was at work, which I found out about much later), but would come up with some pretty creative lies to cover it up.
Then, the physical abuse escalated, as well as regular tantrums in which many of my belongings were destroyed. He would usually rip the phone out of the wall, block the door, and threaten to do awful things if I tried to get help. One night, I came home from work to him drunk as a skunk. I burst into tears over the stress and misery of it all and he responded by throwing things at me, including a steel-toed work boot. I left and ran to a nearby payphone. I called the non-emergency police line and told the dispatcher what was happening and that this had been going on for a while. She asked how long he had been living in the residence. I told her it was probably about six months at that time. Her response? “Well, we can’t make him leave!!! He legally lives there if he’s been in the residence over a month.” WHAT?! I hadn’t known that…..how could this even be? Again, I burst into tears over the phone and told her I’d press charges, I’d do ANYTHING to put an end to this awful situation. She sent police officers to the parking lot where I called from. It was probably after midnight at this point. I told the officers what was going on and they hemmed and hawed. “Well, you’re already out of the apartment; I could get criticized for removing him, too.” Jaw, meet floor. Finally, after arguing with the officers in a parking lot in the middle of the night, with bruises on my legs, they agreed to go talk to him. When they got there, he had left (this happened more than once), so they left. No report, nothing. I couldn't get help to get him out unless I was seriously beaten up, it seems.
Well, I stayed patient. One morning, he went off one me for whatever reason. He punched me in the face and slammed me into a wall. I managed to bolt out the door and run upstairs to my neighbours. Luckily, they were already on the phone with 911. FINALLY, he was arrested; FINALLY there was an order of protection against him! He was arrested a few more times after that for stalking me and trying to break into my home (to this day, there’s still a warrant for his arrest in this province. He took off to the province he came from). Anyway, he actually spoke to a lawyer at some point who informed him that since we were common-law, he had a right to half of my money and belongings. We weren't married, he sponged off of me for months, but he’s entitled to what little I had left?! He never pursued this, but I’d have burned it all before letting him have a single thing.
Anyway, the morals/lessons of my long-winded story? DO NOT let someone stay with you for longer than 30 days, or NO ONE will assist you if they refuse to leave. It doesn't matter if there was never a contract or agreement for them living there. Another lesson; you may think you know someone, but don't move in together during the honeymoon phase of a relationship. Red flags aren't always so red through rose-coloured glasses. One last lesson; unless you have pets or kids, the only one you are responsible for financially supporting is YOU. I learned a very expensive lesson. I'm still paying for it, since all these years later, he still habitually harasses me.