I couldn't believe it when I caught my man stuffing another bird at Christmas... By Danielle Peel, 24

I carefully made the finishing touches to the pile of beautifully wrapped Christmas presents and smiled to myself.

My son Ethan, now five, was getting spoilt this year. My stomach fluttered with anticipation as I surveyed the big stack of presents under the tree. I couldn’t wait to see his face when he woke up in the morning.

“They look nice babe,” my boyfriend Chris, 32, said as he walked into the living room with a beer. He grinned as he admired the pile of pressies.

“I can’t wait for Ethan to see them,” I beamed up at him. At three years old, Ethan was excited for Santa’s visit, and I had made an extra special effort this year.

I met Chris in October 2009 through mutual friends, and we immediately hit it off. Chris was was a proper charmer - he was funny, handsome and warm. We just clicked and I fell for him quickly.

He soon introduced me to his best mate, Connor, 24, and his girlfriend Alyssa, 22, and I was thrilled when the four of us got on like a house on fire. Alyssa and I quickly became the best of friends and soon we were inseparable.

We would constantly text each other, and often went out together on the weekends. It wasn’t unusual for her to let herself into my house when I wasn’t there, and I would do the same at her house.

We were more like sisters than friends, and even my mum Debbie thought of her as one of the family.

So when I fell pregnant with Ethan a few years later, Alyssa was one of the first people I told.

“I’m so happy for you mate,” she grinned when I broke the news to her. “I’ll be godmother yeah?”

“Of course,” I replied. I certainly couldn’t think of anyone better to be godmother to our little boy.

Chris was unsure at first, but quickly came around to the idea of being a dad. I was over the moon, because I wanted the baby so much and I could see myself spending the rest of my life raising a family with Chris.

Ethan was born in April 2013 and he was a complete bundle of joy. When I met him I thought I was going to explode with happiness, and Chris brimmed with pride as he cradled his newborn son in his arms.

I was so proud of my perfect family and Alyssa proved to be a huge support to me during the early days.

Two years later, in December 2015, Alyssa rang me and was crying, so I immediately dropped everything to be by her side.

“I’m breaking up with Connor,” she sobbed, and I became her shoulder to cry on. I helped her move all her stuff from his flat and told her she was welcome to stay at our house for a few nights while she got herself sorted.

“Thanks Danielle,” she said gratefully, as she heaved her bags into my living room. “I don’t know what I would do without you and Chris.”

“Don’t be silly,” I replied. “That’s what friends are for.”

But a few weeks later, on Christmas Day, my world was ripped from under my feet.

The day had started so well, we got up and watched Ethan open his presents. The sight of him made me feel so happy, but when I looked across at Chris he didn’t look like he was sharing any of our festive joy.

“You alright babe?” I asked, and he just nodded in reply.

After we’d finished opening our presents, Chris quietly went upstairs.

He’s probably just tired, I thought to myself. Ethan had woken us up early after all.

But when he returned with an overnight bag, my heart sank.

“What’s going on?” I asked quietly, my eyes fixed on his bag.

“I’m leaving you,” he announced coldly. “I don’t love you anymore.” My jaw dropped in shock. I couldn’t speak, so I just stared at him as he turned and walked out of our lives for good.

My family rallied around me that day, making sure that Ethan didn’t suffer on the most important day of the year.

I hid my tears from him, but inside I was heartbroken. How could Chris walk out on his family on Christmas Day?

There was no clue Chris was unhappy. There had been no warning signs, no red flags - it made no sense. I thought we were a content little family unit.

Over the next few days, I called Chris over and over again, desperate for answers. But he ignored my calls and texts, and mad no effort to come and visit his son.

At the same time, I called Alyssa repeatedly, hoping that she would return the favour by letting me cry on her shoulder. But strangely, she didn’t pick up either.

I was beyond devastated, and I needed my best friend - where was she?

When a friend suggested to me that perhaps Alyssa and Chris had run off together, I couldn’t help but laugh. The idea was ludicrous to me. But as the days passed, I started thinking the worst.

We were supposed to celebrate New Year’s Eve together as a family, but instead Chris had left us. I halfheartedly called him that night, and to my surprise, he answered.

I quickly seized the opportunity to investigate for myself. While I was on the phone to him, I used my friend’s phone to call Alyssa.

When I heard her phone ring in the background, I had my answer.

“How could you?” I screamed down the phone, before hanging up and bursting into tears. I was reeling from the shock - my my best friend and the father of my child? The depth of their betrayal shocked me to the core.

A few weeks later, Chris confirmed that he and Alyssa had spent New Year’s Eve together in a hotel room. When he told me they were seeing each other, I was completely distraught.

My friends and family were disgusted with the pair of them, and I had to deal with the fact that I had not only lost my boyfriend, but my best friend too.

The worst thing was, neither of them seemed to care about Ethan, who was confused and badly missing his daddy.

Chris has only seen Ethan a handful of times since he walked out on me, and he and Alyssa have enjoyed posting constant selfies of the two of them up on Facebook. I’m not stupid - I know it’s done deliberately to taunt me.

All I ever did was try to be a good girlfriend, mother and best friend - and this is how they’ve repaid me. My trust has been shattered beyond repair.

Chris and Alyssa even had the audacity to announce their engagement on Christmas Eve last year - a year after he left me.

When I saw the picture of her engagement ring on Facebook, it was almost too much to bear. Chris had never shown any interest in getting married before, so I suspect he’s been bullied into it.

She’s now pregnant with his baby and I’ve been left picking up the pieces of what he’s done to his family.

Luckily, I have an amazing family who have supported me fiercely and my brother Connor, 21, is now Ethan’s lead male role model. He adores his nephew and has happily stepped in to provide Ethan with a father figure.

Chris and Alyssa’s double betrayal was a bitter blow but I’m moving on and making sure I put Ethan first with everything I do.

I still can’t believe Chris left me for my best friend at Christmas. It’s meant to be a time for family, but those rats are welcome to each other.

Chris, 32, said: “I left Danielle because she was a useless piece of shit. I got with Alyssa a few months after I split with Danielle.”

Alyssa, 22, said: “I do not have to discuss my relationship with you. I'm not telling you anything. I'm happy with my life she's clearly not. She broke down her own relationship.”

Danielle wanted to name and shame her ex and her best friend when she caught them cheating at Christmas, so the team at Sell My Story worked with her to sell her story to magazines not just in the UK but in Australia too. If you want to get revenge on your rat and earn a top fee, get in touch on 0117 973 3730


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