I was glad of the help when I fell pregnant with my third child and my cousin offered to lend a hand. I never expected her to help herself to my hubby... By Charlotte McDougall, 26

‘Can’t wait for tonight! Do you want to order a pizza?’ 

I grinned as I texted my cousin, Katie, 21. She often popped over to my house on the weekend for a girls’ night in, and I was even more excited than usual to see her.

As soon as she plonked herself down on my sofa, I handed her a drink and smiled.

‘I have some news,’ I blurted out. ‘I’ve met someone.’

‘That’s brilliant!’ she said, giving me a hug. ‘Anyone I know?’

‘His name is Craig,’ I said, with a grin. ‘He’s lovely.’

When friends introduced me to Craig, 31, in February 2008, I was instantly besotted. Charming and gorgeous, Craig was perfect and we got on like a house on fire.

He was a real gentleman, and he treated me like a princess.

Every time I saw him, I was unable to wipe the smile off my face for hours afterwards, and Katie noticed.

‘It’s so nice to see you happy,’ she beamed. ‘He’s a lovely lad.’

It meant so much to me that Craig got Katie’s seal of approval. Katie and I had grown up together, as our grandad used to take care of us both while our parents worked.

As a result, Katie was more like a sister to me than a cousin. We spent most weekends together and every school holiday.

My relationship with Craig went from strength to strength, and it wasn’t long before we decided to move in together.

Life was bliss, and we even talked about starting a family.

‘I’ve always wanted to be a dad,’ Craig admitted as we settled down on the sofa.

‘Well you’d be good at it,’ I grinned as we snuggled in together. ‘Oh, Katie said she might come over tomorrow night to watch a film - is that ok?’

‘Yeah of course,’ he replied. ‘I like Katie, we get on well.’

‘Good,’ I said. ‘After all, we come as a package!’

I was so glad when Craig and Katie started getting along, it felt like everything was slotting into place. Katie would often come over and we would all hang out together. I’d never been happier.

When I fell pregnant, she was one of the first people I told and when I gave birth to our daughter Caitlynn, now nine, in July 2009, Katie was one of the first people to visit.

I was thrilled with my little family and in August 2012, Craig and I got married in an intimate ceremony in front of our friends and family.

We had a fantastic day, and Katie and I had a great time tearing up the dance floor. I was so happy that Katie and Craig got on well. As the three of us proudly posed for wedding pictures together, I was on cloud nine.

‘This is easily the happiest day of my life,’ I murmured to Craig during our first dance.

Craig grinned broadly in response.

‘Mine too babe,’ he said.

A year later, in August 2013, we went on to welcome another little girl, Millie, now five, into our family and Katie often came over to babysit.

When I fell pregnant for the third time in November 2016, we were over the moon at the chance to complete our family unit. Katie was thrilled for us too and offered to help in any way she could.

But as time went on, Katie started popping over more and more. I didn’t mind - I loved hanging out with her and I knew Craig liked her too. But soon it felt like she was at ours all the time.

I tried not to feel put out when she and Craig started popping to the shops together, but when they began giggling at private jokes I couldn’t help but feel a bit jealous. I wanted them to be friends, but I wasn’t keen on them getting that close.

I tried to shake off my suspicions, but soon I started to feel like an outsider in my own home. On top of that, Craig started acting strangely.

A few months into the pregnancy, he became distant and withdrawn, and was constantly glued to his phone.

‘Who’s that?’ I asked, when his phone buzzed with a message for the seventh time that night.

‘Oh nobody,’ he replied. ‘Just work.’

When he started dropping Katie into conversation more and more, casually mentioning that she’d popped round for coffee when I wasn’t home, alarm bells started to ring.

Once when we had an argument, he wanted to go out late to see a friend, with no real explanation. I rang his friend when he wasn’t back after an hour, and he hadn’t seen him.
Then a couple of days later, I found his wedding ring in the car. I was devastated, he’d never taken it off before.
I tried to reason with myself that I was just being paranoid, but Craig had never acted like this before.

But my own cousin? Katie could never do anything like that to me. Could she?

But the nervous knot I had in my stomach remained. So when Craig’s phone bill arrived in March 2017, I couldn’t resist tearing it open.

I felt sick as I spotted hundreds of text messages and calls to a familiar number.

Shakily, I punched the digits into my phone, and stared at it in shock as Katie’s name appeared on my screen.

How could they?

I felt sick, and my mind raced to think of a logical explanation. They had been in almost constant contact for the last three months. But there was no need for them to speak to each other that often, I didn’t understand.

I waited for Craig to return home, hoping he would offer me some sort of reason for all the messages and calls to my younger cousin.

‘What’s going on Craig?’ I demanded, pushing the phone bill towards him.

Craig’s face went white as a sheet.

‘Why are you looking at my phone bill?’ he asked quietly.

‘Don’t avoid the question,’ I snapped. ‘Are you seeing Katie?’

Craig sighed, running his hands through his hair.

‘There’s nothing going on,’ he replied. ‘You’re just being paranoid.’

But as I stared at him, I could tell he was lying. As soon as my back was turned, he had his phone in his hand and was frantically typing a message.

‘Are you texting her?’ I spat angrily. ‘Right, that’s it.’

I grabbed my car keys and strode towards the front door.

‘What are you doing?’ he shouted after me. ‘Where are you going Charlotte?’

‘Look after the kids,’ I muttered as I walked past him.

I drove to Katie’s, and demanded she tell me everything. That’s when the truth came tumbling out.

Katie and Craig had been seeing each other for months - while I was pregnant. They had been to hotels together, and out for romantic dates together.

I was devastated.

‘I’m so sorry Charlotte,’ Katie said. ‘I never meant it to happen, it just did.’

‘How could you?’ I screamed at her. I was beyond furious and couldn’t stop myself from shaking violently with anger.

‘I’m pregnant,’ I said, wiping away my tears. ‘He’s my husband, Katie.’

Katie started crying too, although I didn’t have any pity for her. I was five months pregnant, and completely heartbroken.

Their double betrayal was almost too much to bear, but I told myself I had to be strong for the kids, and for the little life growing inside me.

I drove home, and immediately threw Craig out. Most of the family disowned Katie and the pair now live together.

When our daughter, Ivy, was born in July 2017, Craig was by my side, although I didn’t really want him there.

It broke my heart when he took a picture of Ivy and immediately texted it to Katie.

‘You don’t have to be so blatant after what you’ve done to our family,’ I muttered as he gazed down at Ivy.

He didn’t reply. In fact, his whole demeanour changed.

Now everything was out in the open, he acted like he didn’t really care what I thought. He’s never apologised, even to this day. As for Katie, I can’t stand her and we don’t talk.

I can barely look at Craig when he visits the kids.

I can’t believe the two people I was closest to in the world betrayed me like that. Katie offered to help when I fell pregnant, but I never expected her to help herself to my hubby. As far as I’m concerned, she’s welcome to him.

Craig and Katie both declined to comment, but a source close to them said: “Craig did start a relationship with Katie but he does not consider it as an affair because he had already left Charlotte at the point when it started.”

Charlotte was heartbroken when the two people she trusted most in the world betrayed her so badly. Sell My Story helped her turn her heartache into a positive when we placed her story in a national newspaper and magazines both in the UK and Australia, earning her a top fee. If you've been cheated on and want to name and shame your love rat, give us a call to find out how it works.


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