Real Life

REAL LIFE STORY: “I dug up my groom's secret family”

When Naidine Hobbs, 38, received a weird message on Facebook from an unknown woman, her whole world began to unravel...

Naidine Hobbs, 38, shares her real life story:

My fiance, Paul, flicked through the pages of a bridal magazine and pointed to a photo of a beautiful ivory gown.
"How about that one?" he suggested. "It'd look gorgeous on you."
I know it's not what most women would have preferred, but I loved the fact that my bridegroom was organising our big day.
My first marriage hadn't worked out, and I'd sworn off weddings for good.
But when I met Paul, he swept me off my feet with his kindness and consideration. Then he'd asked me to marry him after just three months.
He moved in with me and my kids, Kane, 15, and Cody, 12, and we married at the local registry office. It was the best day of my life.
A few weeks later, Paul landed a new job changing the light bulbs at football stadiums. He loved the sport, so it was perfect for him.
There was just one snag.
"It means I'll be working away a lot," he told me.
Every Monday he'd go off to work, spend the week travelling the country, then return on the Thursday so we could spend the weekend together.
Paul swept me off my feet.
Once we were into the routine, it was fine. But despite all the hours he was working, he didn't seem to be bringing any money in.
I was covering the rent and the bills, while he wasn't contributing anything.
"It's just a bank issue," he said when I asked him. "I need to get a new account. I'll sort it."
But he didn't.
Christmas was coming and I was worried I was going to end up paying for everything. He was due home on Christmas Eve, but that morning he phoned.
"I've got bad news, Naidine," he said.
He'd missed his flight and wouldn't be back until Christmas Day. I was so disappointed.
But on Christmas Day there was no word. I tried phoning, but there was no reply.
By the time he finally turned up on Boxing Day, I was livid.
"Why didn't you call?" I scolded him. "I was worried sick."
"Sorry," he mumbled.
Paul and me on our wedding day with Kane (left) and Cody.
A few weeks later, I received a message on Facebook from a woman called Claire*.
Are you and Paul definitely over? My niece Laura* has been seeing him.
My jaw dropped.
There had to have been some kind of mistake.
"Paul is my husband," I replied. "We most definitely haven't split up."
Claire was adamant that her niece was seeing him so I offered to call her to clear up the confusion.
"Paul's been with Laura for a year," Claire said. "He said you were his ex."
It turned out Paul's job had never existed. He'd used it as a cover story so he could see his other woman. He'd been with her at Christmas.
There was more.
"Laura's pregnant," Claire told me.
I felt sick to my stomach.
When Paul got home, I was waiting.
"I know all about Laura," I said the moment he walked through the door.
I was shocked to read Claire's message.
He started mumbling something about it all being lies, but then I showed him Claire's messages.
"It was just a one night stand," he said. "I made a mistake. I love you."
But I'd had enough.
"Get out," I yelled.
I was heartbroken, but when I'd got over the shock, I went on Facebook to tell everyone what he'd done.
Don't go near this man. He's a lying cheat.
Lots of people sent me messages of support, and some of Paul's exes even got in touch.
One of them told me that Paul had been convicted of beating her up. He'd headbutted her in front of her children and served time.
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I'd married a total stranger.
I tried to contact Laura to warn her, but she didn't reply.
Months passed. Then I got a Facebook message from a woman called Charlotte. She'd gone out with Paul a few months after we'd split up.
He'd moved in with her but had been working most of the time.
"It sounds like history is repeating itself," I wrote.
Charlotte had found an ultrasound scan picture in his wallet. He'd admitted it was his and Laura's baby, so Charlotte had kicked him out of the house.
We chatted heaps and eventually decided to meet up.
We compared notes and it was crazy how much her relationship mirrored mine.
As we chatted at her home, there was a knock at the door. Charlotte didn't want to answer it because it was late, so I did.
It was Paul.
He looked stunned.
Then his shock turned to anger and he started shouting and hurling abuse.
I called the police and he was arrested and charged with harassment.
He pleaded guilty, and Charlotte was given a restraining order against him. But he breached it and was sentenced to six months in jail.
He'll be out soon and me and Charlotte want to warn women everywhere not to trust him.
He's a liar and a cheat, with a conviction for violence.
I've had a very lucky escape.
*Paul declined to comment.

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