Laura Heelas, 34, shares her true life story:
A message popped up on my computer screen and I eagerly opened it.
Bet you’ve got massive tts.*
Charming! I sighed.
I’d recently broken up with my ex-boyfriend because I’d caught him wearing my underwear!
Now I was trying online dating to find love again but it seemed to be riddled with perverts.
I was about to give up but then another message arrived.
Good evening, how are you doing?
I clicked on the sender’s profile and my eyes widened.
His name was Thomas and he was a very good-looking man.
I eagerly typed back a reply.
But I was nervous and started babbling about my cross-dressing ex.
Minutes passed and he didn’t respond. I wondered if I’d gone too far, but then…
I’d love to be the one to make you happy again, he said.
My heart leapt. Thomas* and I exchanged numbers and chatted non-stop.
The only problem was he lived in Denmark!
We chatted a bit, but I really needed to find someone in the same country as me.
Then one day he rang.
“I’ve quit job and I come live with you,” he said in his broken English.
My mouth dropped open.
We hadn’t even seen other in the flesh or even had a first date! I picked him up at the airport.
He was a bit shy, but just as handsome as his photo.
I couldn’t believe my luck.
Back home he was keen to get a job but his English wasn’t great so I gave him a crash course.
Slowly he picked it up.
One night, he mentioned he had cousins living nearby.
“I want find them, but my English…” he trailed off.
I found one of them on Facebook – a woman called Julie.
We met up with her and she gave us the name of Thomas’s other cousin Yvonne* so I messaged her.
She invited us over, and when she opened her door to us days later, I was surprised by how different she was to my reserved Thomas.
“Come ‘ere!” she guffawed yanking him in for a hug.
She was brash and boisterous.
Afterwards she befriended us on Facebook and sent regular messages.
I wondered if she was a bit lonely.
Thomas found work as a security guard but just as things were all starting to come together he got some bad news.
“My father is dying – I need go home… be with him,” he told me.
“I’ll come with you,” I offered but he said he wanted to go alone.
He was away for eight weeks and I missed him terribly but I knew he needed his space.
When he came back, he said his dad had somehow bounced back from the brink of death.
I was about to ask how, but before I could, he got down on one knee and presented me with a sparkling ring.
“To match the colour of your eyes,” he grinned.
It was fast but I’d come to accept his impulsiveness.
“Yes, I’d love to marry you,” I said, smiling.
I started planning our wedding and booked an old town hall as the venue.
Soon, I walked down the aisle in my black, gothic-style dress in front of 30 guests.
Everyone had a great time, apart from Thomas’s cousin Yvonne who glared at me the whole time.
“What’s up with her?” I asked him.
“Ignore her,” he replied. “She’s been annoying for days.”
After the wedding, I was emailing thank yous to the guests for the wedding gifts when a text popped up on Thomas’s mobile.
It was from Yvonne.
He was in the kitchen cooking tea and I caught a quick glimpse of the message and frowned in confusion.
You’re lucky I didn’t say anything on the day.
What was she on about?
I replied as Thomas.
What do you mean?
A reply flashed up seconds later: You blanked me and treated me like sht!*
I carried on texting her but blew my cover and she realised it was me.
Coming clean, I demanded to know what was going on.
Nothing could prepare me for what she did next.
She sent me dozens of explicit texts sent between her and Thomas.
They talked about liking each other, and what it would be like if they had sex.
Thomas had been sexting his own cousin for months!
I stormed into the kitchen, waving the phone in his face.
“She’s your cousin!” I screamed.
He went white.
“So sorry, it just got out of control,” he said feebly.
“Have you slept with her?” I demanded.
“God no! It just messages. Now I tell her to stop,” he said.
I couldn’t bear to look at him.
I chucked him out, but he kept calling me, begging for another chance and gradually, he wore me down.
Then he arrived on my doorstep with flowers and chocolates and convinced me his little episode with his own cousin was in the past.
He moved back in and worked hard to prove himself, constantly telling me how much he loved me.
I was so relieved we’d worked things out. In truth I was utterly in love with him.
But then, soon afterwards, on our first wedding anniversary, I got a Facebook message from Yvonne.
I opened it and clapped a hand to my mouth.
In front of me were several filthy images. In one, a naked woman was sprawled out on a bed: Yvonne.
In another, there was Thomas with his penis out.
I felt ill.
The pair of them had been sending these messages to each other for the past month.
Are you not the slightest bit bothered that you’re related? I messaged her angrily.