I went un­der­cover to trick my cheat lover!

I gave him so many chances, but I nailed that ly­ing cheat via Face­book... Holly Stand­ing, 27, Chert­sey

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Nuno’s mes­sages to ‘Maria’ kept com­ing…

Iwas hav­ing one of those un­ex­pect­edly great nights.

Just an even­ing of card games and drinks with friends back in De­cem­ber 2017, but I was hav­ing such a laugh.

Step­ping out­side for a cig­gie, one of the gang – Nuno Da Costa, 44 – tailed be­hind me.

We’d met the year be­fore, through friends, found our­selves at the same par­ties.

Truth be told, he seemed a bit odd, awk­ward. But we’d never got to know each other. Un­til that even­ing…

A few drinks down, we chat­ted over a smoke.

‘Ever con­sid­ered dat­ing an older man?’ he smiled.

Is he flirt­ing?!

For the first time, I no­ticed his pierc­ing blue eyes.

‘I’ll cook you din­ner,’ he said. And, just like that, we’d set our first date for a few days later.

Nuno pulled out all the stops, cook­ing a yummy meal of chicken and roasted veg­gies. A per­fect start to our re­la­tion­ship.

Nuno was newly sin­gle, like me. So we de­cided to go slow.

But over the next week, we spent every day to­gether and I started fall­ing for him sooner than ex­pected.

Not ideal, es­pe­cially with Nuno glued to his phone. ‘Ev­ery­thing OK?’ I asked. ‘My ex wants her stuff back,’ he said. I’d seen her things

around, ap­pre­ci­ated his hon­esty. Maybe we’re mov­ing too fast? So, that even­ing, I mes­saged Nuno: If you still have feel­ings for her, let’s be friends. Good idea, he replied. My heart sank, but I ac­cepted it. Time to move on.

Still, two weeks later, I smiled when Nuno’s name popped up on my phone. ‘Can we meet?’ he asked. Over din­ner, we agreed to try again.

And, just like be­fore, we slot­ted into a nat­u­ral rhythm, spend­ing our free time to­gether.

One morn­ing in Fe­bru­ary 2018, while tak­ing a shower to­gether, Nuno held me close. ‘I’m fall­ing for you,’ he said. I felt giddy.

But, a cou­ple of weeks later, his phone buzzed. He was in the kitchen so I picked it up.

His ex… Pock­et­ing the mo­bile, I sneaked to the loo.

The texts were in Span­ish, but Google Trans­late re­vealed my worst fears.

I miss you, beau­ti­ful, a text from Nuno said. I felt sick. I grabbed my bag and headed to work, leav­ing him cook­ing. A few min­utes later, a text. Where are you? Nuno wrote. At work. I saw the mes­sages, I said, block­ing his num­ber.

But an hour later, Nuno ap­peared, emo­tional.

‘Please, I’ll block her,’ he begged me, dis­traught.

‘I don’t be­lieve you,’ I said. He took out his phone, blocked the num­ber.

So, I took him back... He de­served an­other chance. But the seed was planted and now I was on high alert. And when I clocked they were back in touch,

I was dev­as­tated. ‘What’s go­ing on?!’ I de­manded. ‘She’s af­ter her things,’ he ex­plained.

‘If that’s all, I’ll do it,’ I said. As I packed up her be­long­ings, Nuno didn’t protest.

But I still had a nig­gle…and also a plan.

I cre­ated a fake Face­book ac­count, un­der the name ‘Maria’. Up­loaded fake pho­tos from the In­ter­net. Maybe I’d catch him out. But I couldn’t. It felt wrong – I had to trust him. By July, we were liv­ing to­gether. I loved Nuno and thought that it was my jeal­ousy that was the prob­lem.

And, any­way, things were look­ing up. Nuno couldn’t keep his hands off me.

How­ever, in July

I started get­ting tummy pains, so I took a preg­nancy test at work.

I was shocked when it was pos­i­tive.

We wanted kids, hadn’t used pro­tec­tion, but with poly­cys­tic ovar­ian syn­drome, I’d as­sumed it’d be tough. I couldn’t wait to tell Nuno. ‘Looks like I’m preg­nant!’ I

beamed that even­ing.

‘I’m so happy for you!’ Nuno said. But I felt de­flated. Why ‘you’? Isn’t this about us?

The even­ing passed qui­etly, with­out the hap­pi­ness I’d imag­ined.

Over the next few weeks, Nuno be­came more dis­tant. He seemed un­in­ter­ested in me and our baby.

Our once-amaz­ing sex life fiz­zled out. Now he barely even looked at me.

‘Is ev­ery­thing OK?’ I asked, one night in bed.

‘I’m tired,’ he said. Nuno threw him­self into work. Gar­den­ing by day, and work­ing in a restau­rant by night.

Preg­nancy wasn’t easy – with added com­pli­ca­tions,

I had ex­tra ap­point­ments.

Nuno sim­ply moaned about spend­ing too much time at the hospi­tal.

Then, one night in Oc­to­ber, he didn’t come home. Five days later, still no sign.

Para­noid, I knew who could help…


I up­dated her pro­file, added Nuno as a friend.

An hour later, Friend re­quest ac­cepted ap­peared.


And 20 min­utes later, up popped Nuno’s first mes­sage.

Hi Maria, how are you? his mes­sage said.

Hands shak­ing, I replied. Nuno com­mented on Maria’s name, asked about her life.

Anx­ious, I headed for a scan with my sis­ter Re­becca, 20.

I mes­saged Nuno with an up­date on the ap­point­ment af­ter­wards – but no re­ply.

So I sent an­other mes­sage – from Maria.

I want to have a shower with you. I’ll take time off, take you out, he replied in­stantly.

Back at Re­becca’s, I broke down. Nuno’s mes­sages to ‘Maria’ kept com­ing. Then he asked for her num­ber.

Re­becca’s friend had joined us now and we hatched a plan. She agreed to play Maria.

And, if she used Face­book Mes­sen­ger, he wouldn’t need a phone num­ber.

Crowd­ing round, we lis­tened on speak­er­phone.

My tummy was in knots as Nuno picked up.

‘I like your voice,’ he said.

As soon as he hung up, he sent an­other mes­sage.

Can’t wait to meet you, he wrote.

What a com­plete and ut­ter fool!

I stayed at Re­becca’s. I knew that he and I were over.

Are you in a re­la­tion­ship?

I asked Nuno, from Maria’s so­cial-me­dia ac­count.

I’m sin­gle, he said.

Time to come clean… Maria’s not real. I never want to see you again, I wrote. For two weeks, Nuno ig­nored me com­pletely. Then, sud­denly, he reap­peared...grov­el­ling.

I’ve been such a fool, please give me an­other chance, he begged me.

I’ll do it for our baby, I replied.

I tried my best, but it wasn’t enough. Two weeks af­ter my baby girl was born at St Peter’s Hospi­tal in March this year,

I ended things – this time, for good. Look­ing back, I don’t have re­grets. I’ve been blessed with a beau­ti­ful lit­tle baby. But Nuno blew it. I’ll never trust him again.

Thrilled with my baby bump

We fell for each other quickly

My boyfriend Nuno. But what was he up to..?

Just us girls now!

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