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I’ve made a huge mistake


HarrietB

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I met my current boyfriend on a dating app a few months ago and it was a bit of a whirl wind romance. At the time I believed I had finally found “the one” as we had so much in common and he felt the same. We were inseparable for the first month and he suggested that he moved in to my flat as we lived around the corner from each other and he was at mine every night and we were paying loads each month on our individual flats. I agreed as he convinced me if it didn’t work out at least we had both saved some money..

 

Fast forward two months, he has moved in and the country goes into lockdown. We are now both working from home in my tiny one bed flat. He has taken my dining room table as his desk “as he needs the space” and I’ve been forced to buy a pop up camping table as make shift desk. He has persuaded me to get rid of some of my furniture (mattress, tv, tv stand) and kitchen stuff to make room for his. He’s bought us a new washing machine on finance and I paying him half of the monthly payments. The whole of my attic is full of his belongings and we have bought all new bedding.

 

He has now started to change... he loses his temper over the smallest things. He hasn’t laid a finger on me but he has screamed in my face several times. I feel like I am treading on egg shells constantly as he is so particular about everything. I can’t even open a cereal box without him complaining I have done it wrong. Every time I get upset he shouts at me and calls me pathetic. I try to talk about it with him and he says it’s all my fault. I try to warn him that I won’t have him living here if he treats me like that and he sneers and says it’s half my flat now. When I pull away more he then blows me up with apologies. He’s showing all the traits of a narcissist.

 

He has an 8 year old son who stays every other weekend and he has been jumping all over my furniture and scratching my walls. I own the flat, I bought it out of the inheritance I received from my dad dying and I’ve spent two years painting it and doing it up. Not only has his son caused damage but he has too, he’s broken my lamp, two dining room chairs from swaying on them whole working, blinds in the bedroom. He just laughs at me when I get upset about it and says “they were cheap” in the first place.

 

Our rows have got really bad to the point that I threatened to call the police. He then demanded that I pay him £5000 compensation if I want him to move out as he gave away his sofa when he moved in and has paid for a holiday for us next month (£1400). He has also paid for half the washing machine and half the bedding. I more than happy to reimburse him for the bedding and washing machine but I’ve also paid him £600 for another holiday we have booked in July (he has insurance so he will get money back if we can’t go due to covid otherwise I am happy to take the hit) and a couple of concert tickets which have been postponed.

 

Basically where I am at is that I want my life back and I want him out but I’m frightened of how he will react and I know he won’t be able to find somewhere easily during lockdown. He has a small lorries worth of belongings in my loft so I can’t just say toss his stuff out, not that I would do that.

 

He keeps holding the holiday next month over my head as he’s paid for it so I am trying to wait it out until then as it will likely be cancelled which means he will get a full refund. I’m also hoping that the economy will have picked up a bit by then and he will be able to find somewhere to move into quickly. I can’t bare the thought of him living here after I break the news, I don’t trust him not to damage my belongings but I know he won’t lay a finger on me as he won’t risk losing custody of his son.

 

Any advice would be helpful.

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This is an easy fix...you need to contact your brother, father some of your male friends or d.i.y ladies and check your lock details and type. As soon as you know what it is purchase a new barrel lock if it's a UPVC door, or a standard dead latch on a wooden door. Wait till he's out with his son for an hour or two and swap the locks. Also get a couple of frame jammers. This can all be fitted very quickly & easily.

It's your property and this relationship sounds over. When he returns he can ring you and make arrangements to collect his stuff after he's calmed down and accepted that his key to longer fits YOUR front door.

My daughters ex husband was being a knob when they split up so I swapped all the locks in 40 minutes and fitted frame jammers. He came back after a few hours stamping his feet like a petulant child...same thing l told him to make a list of the essential things he needed and to contact a solicitor.

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Oh dear.

 

I would speak to a lawyer, OP. You want to be sure you're crystal clear on your rights before making your next move. This guy sounds like the sort of unhinged person who is going to make this very difficult for you so you want to make sure you're first armed with information.

 

He likely has zero rights given that he's not officially a tenant, but you want to make damn sure of it.

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Oh dear.

 

I would speak to a lawyer, OP. You want to be sure you're crystal clear on your rights before making your next move. This guy sounds like the sort of unhinged person who is going to make this very difficult for you so you want to make sure you're first armed with information.

 

He likely has zero rights given that he's not officially a tenant, but you want to make damn sure of it.

Yes, do. It's a gift to folks being taken advantage of and a curse to people in your situation that people attain certain rights simply for residing in the same place for 30+ days, lease or no lease. While I'm US and you're UK, it's a common law staple, so be incredibly sure before you invest in all kinds of locks and scheme your way into kicking him out without notice only for him to come back with the police to assert his lawful access. If he's willing to jump through hoops to crunch together this £5000 you "owe" him, I'd bank on him doing a quick Google of his options for legal recourse should you change the locks on him. You're definitely not wrong for looking into how to get him out, but this is a full grown man you hardly know sharing a living space with you. I absolutely would not encourage you risk escalating tensions.

 

I'd get in touch with your local police and women's services to inquire on what options you have and how peacefully you can accomplish them. I wouldn't drop any hints on him. And yeah, get back in touch with any able-bodied male family you've got. If it does come down to kicking him out, I'd be ready to either ask one to stay with you or for you to stay with family during that time. Yeah the guy might trash your place, but only having known him a month before moving him in along with the screaming in your face and the manipulative threats around money, I'd put your physical safety first.

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I don't think changing the locks is a good idea. It could provoke a violent reaction in him to be thrown out of his dwelling and not have access to his belongings. Please do this through a legal route. It may cost you some money, but just consider it a 'stupid tax.' :)

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At this point he has no right to your belongings or home.

But in time he might.

 

Why are you paying him half for his washing machine in his name?

Isn’t he paying rent?

 

Have you kept a record of his rent payment? Does he pay cash? Or bank transfer?

 

Do you actually know if he has booked holidays under your name? Is it transferable?

2 months ago no one was paying for holidays due to covid?

 

As for him giving away a couch, that is on him? How is that worth $5000? If it was he would have sold it and for all you know he did???

 

Did you ever visit him at his residence before he moved in?

Do you know what he paid for rent there?

Do you know if his lease was up? Or due to be evicted? Did he share with others?

 

I think you need to document what’s happening on a daily basis.

At some point let police know even if not officially putting in a complaint.

 

Can you tell him it’s not working out living together and that perhaps can try continue the relationship living apart? Lie lie lie at this point until he moves out?

 

Covid does not make it hard to find a rental property. There are as many out there as before. No excuse.

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If it's your property and you have no 'Tenancy Agreement' change the locks he hasn't got a leg to stand. If he kicks off you call the police. As you said he can't afford to jeopardise his custody position with regards to his son!

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Take photos of everything document everything. Start charging him for damages. Get him out as soon as legally possible, whatever you have to do. Why can't he see his son at the mother's place or other family? Stop having sex if you plan to end things.

 

Check court records locally where he lived and his kid's mother lives, does he have evictions, or arrests or restraining orders? Stop quibbling over who paid for what etc. just get him out. Start doing your homework so you can start undoing this colossal mistake.

 

Hire some movers to get his stuff out of your place, send the bill to him. Pay him off whatever he paid for or just give it to him. He's not violent ...yet.

I own the flat

his son caused damage but he has too, he’s broken my lamp, two dining room chairs from swaying on them whole working, blinds in the bedroom.

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I think you need to approach this from a couple different fronts.

 

First, call your local social services or women's shelter and explain the situation. Tell them he is behaving aggressively and threatening to extort money from you (he is), and you are afraid how he will behave if you tell him you need him he needs to find another place and get out.

 

If you have a written agreement with him to pay you rent then you're in a bit of a pickle because you can't just change the locks on an official tenant/renter, even if you own the property. So you need to make sure you do this legally. A call to a real estate attorney would help with that.

 

Because you think he won't willingly vacate and may trash your place, you need to contact the police to see what your options are. If you can get a judge to award you a restraining order or the right to put him out, then you can request the police be present when you give him the news and change the locks. They will wait while he packs up and gets out.

 

 

Regarding his stuff stored in your loft, the way to handle that is to rent a storage locker for a few months, then have his stuff moved to the locker. Then when you tell him to get out, you can give him the key to the storage and call the storage place and have them transfer the ownership of the storage space to him. He's then responsible to either get his stuff or continue to pay the storage place for more months. Keep your a copy of your storage contract and take pictures of his stuff inside the storage locker to prove that you transferred his stuff to a safe place and didn't deny him access to do what he wanted with it.

 

You have the complication of the covid lockdown now. That means that you may need to tolerate him a bit longer until a judge is willing to agree to have him put out. So I would do all in my power right now to de-escalate fights and keep the peace. They are beginning to relax lock down provisions, and as time passes, more restrictions will be lifted, so you may be able to get him out in a couple months. Meanwhile talk to an attorney to learn what steps you need to take to get him out legally. And if you are genuinely afraid of him and the fights escalate before you can do that, then call the police to protect yourself and your property. Don't assume he won't be violent, because he could well turn violent in future if he realizes you'll really put him out.

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They apparently reconciled in June.

 

I don't think it's the same person... that BF she said she's been with for 3 years, this one she says she's only known a couple months before moving in. I think she unfortunately rushed into a new relationship with someone else. In future, she needs to really take her time getting to know someone before leaping in with both feet. Some people have trouble with being alone and unfortunately need to learn the hard way that being alone is better than being with the *wrong* person..

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As appealing as it sounds, there is no better way to set him off then for him and his son to return and find themselves locked out and no where to go.

Talk to him when things are calm. Don't wait til the next blow up. Give him two weeks or the first of June to find a place to stay.

 

Tell your family and friends of your plans. Let him know that you have support on different levels. Let him know that you want to keep things civil but at the same time you can no longer live under the same roof.

 

It may be challenging to find another flat, but it's not impossible. He can go stay with family in the meantime if he has to. That's his dilemma to figure out.

 

Keep your word with whatever financial agreements you had about sharing the costs of things shared.

 

In the end it is your home and there is no reason that you need to live this way.

Its hard to say how much of threat he is from what you write. Notify the police of what you are about to do if you don't feel safe.

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I don't think it's the same person... that BF she said she's been with for 3 years, this one she says she's only known a couple months before moving in. I think she unfortunately rushed into a new relationship with someone else. In future, she needs to really take her time getting to know someone before leaping in with both feet. Some people have trouble with being alone and unfortunately need to learn the hard way that being alone is better than being with the *wrong* person..

 

That makes sense.

 

As you mentioned, rushing in the wrong person is NOT better than being "alone".

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Thank you all. I do appreciate you all taking the time to respond.

 

It’s not the same person I posted about last June. I took a break from relationships for 6/7 months before I met my current boyfriend in December. It’s not that I am unable to be alone, I am 31 and would like to have a family before I’m 35 so I took 6 months for myself and got back out there. I admit I got caught up and moved way too quickly.

 

The timeline is that I met him in December and we moved in together in March after he served his notice on his flat. I did visit his flat a lot and I was there when he handed the keys back to his landlord. He is Chief Financial Officer so he is not short of money and very anal when it comes to paying bills etc so definitely doesn’t owe any previous landlords money.

 

After I posted this morning, we had another argument and I told him I would like him to move out. At first he started threatening that he will sue me for his financial loss and once he realised I was being serious he calmed down and said he would move out if I want him to but he needs to time to find somewhere. Where we live no estate agents are open and there has been no flats advertised for a couple of months.

 

He is paying me rent via bank transfer but there is no contract in place. He bought the washing machine on his Very account as we got a discount for purchasing on finance and we split the cost as he is living here also. I would give him the money for thus though.

 

I don’t want to change the locks while he is out as I think this will cause so many more issues. His family live miles away and there is so much of his stuff at mine, it would take 3 people a couple of hours to clear it all out.

 

He has told me he wants to try to work things out and is acting a lot nicer. I am not a fool I know this will only be temporary. I have made it clear that I am not happy and things need to improve or else he will need to move out. I don’t believe he is violent, he’s always had joint custody of his son. He split up from his sons mother when he was born and has had a few long term girlfriends since. He also has a high powered job and works 12 hours a day even more so during lockdown so I am able to stay out of his way. I’m going to do as a couple of people suggested and tread carefully over the next few weeks and see what happens with lockdown. Once he is able to easily move out and I can ask family members to come over then I will ask him to. I’ve made friends/family aware if the situation and he knows they are. If anything escalates I’ll involve the police if I have to.

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Excellent. Now do not sleep in the same room or act as a couple who just had a bad fight. Can you afford this place on your own?

said he would move out if I want him to but he needs to time to find somewhere.

 

He has told me he wants to try to work things out and is acting a lot nicer. I’ve made friends/family aware if the situation and he knows they are. If anything escalates I’ll involve the police if I have to.

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My only concern is that you told him that he needs to improve or move out. That's not a definite decision. You're leaving the door open for him to improve just enough to keep from getting kicked up.

 

I think you need to tell him that his moving out is non-negotiable.

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Harriet, I hope you don't lose sight of how manipulative and unstable this man is. He's threatening to sue you in one breath and then promising to be nicer in another. He's 'nice' when he thinks it will get him something he wants, but when things aren't going the way he wants, he shows you his really nasty side. So believe that is who he really is and that the niceness is only apparent when he is 100% getting his way. A man who criticizes how you open a box of cereal and puts you down and threatens to sue you is not a nice person at all.

 

I think since your fights have already escalated into scary territory, you really should just try to avoid any discussion of the breakup until you are in a position to do something about it. He's nice for now because he thinks he'll manipulate you into forgetting about it. That will change if you continue to discuss it while the stay home orders are in place. The best attitude to take with him is to treat him like a co-worker you don't particularly like but must tolerate at work. You know you can't be provoked into explosive fights with co-workers because you'd get fired from your job, so approach this the same way, that those fights are damaging for you and will make things worse, so no matter how annoying he is, you can't fight with him.

 

If you feel yourself getting angry, take a few breaths and go into another room. Just refuse to fight with him. If he tries to start up, just have a stock answer like, 'being trapped in a flat is a difficult time for all of us. Let's not fight. I'm going in the other room so we can calm down and have some space.'

 

And please please please don't keep having sex with him. You've seen how nasty he can be, and sharing a child with someone like this is worse than you know. If you're anxious about losing your window to have a child, you're better off getting a sperm donor who signs away parental rights than linking yourself to someone like this who threatens to sue at the drop of a hat. You could end up spending all your money on custody battles and lawyers and would be turning over a child to a man who is a jerk and does not have control of his temper. Your child will end up as wild and badly behaved as the one he's got now, and he could start criticizing and belittling the child the same way he does you.

 

I think you need to be very careful if you are trying to rush into things with men because you want a child. Waiting 6 months to date again wasn't the problem, but moving in with someone after only a couple months was. It's not how long between partners that's the problem, it's how serious you get with them too quickly. People can hide who they are during a honeymoon period at the beginning, and he certainly did.

 

Maybe you were just overcome with the desire for a child and that clouded your judgment. I fully understand that, but remember that the goal is a happy child and a good relationship with the father of your child, not just any relationship to get a child. You can have a child on your own via sperm donor if need be, and believe me (and women who've had children with bad men), that it's better to be on your own with your child than to be tangled up with the wrong man as your child's father.

 

So lesson learned here. Date a lot of men looking for the right man, but don't move in and tangle yourself up financially with one until you've spent a year or more with them to get know who they really are in all circumstances, not just that early excited phase when he's on his best behavior to attract you.

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I have made it clear that I am not happy and things need to improve or else he will need to move out. /QUOTE]

 

This is a mistake.

 

You need to just be done with this. He has demonstrated that he's very good at manipulating you and bulldozing you to get what he wants. Asking him to improve? You're signing up for more of the same. He'll play nice for a bit, until he knows you've let you guard down again. And then he'll continue to be the person he is: a jerk.

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