LAURA Martin was always thrilled her little sister was such good friends with her fiance – but she had no idea how close they were becoming.
That’s until mechanic Rikki, 36, and her sister Caitlin, 19, ran off together, while the mum-of-six was pregnant with his fourth child.
Dumped weeks before Christmas, Laura initially turned to her sister for comfort.
But she realised her betrayal when the couple, who have a 17-year age gap, went public on Facebook.
Speaking exclusively to Fabulous Digital, Laura, 30, from East Kirkcaldy, Scotland, shares her story…
When I met mechanic Rikki, 36, in June 2010, we hit it off straight away.
It wasn’t long before we were in a serious relationship and I was thrilled when my two kids from a previous relationship, aged 13 and eight, loved him as much as I did.
With an 11-year age gap, Caitlin was more like my daughter than my little sister. I breathed a sigh of relief when she gave Rikki her seal of approval too.
We’ve always been close and her opinion meant a lot to me.
In fact, she was living with me when Rikki first moved in, and the three of us got on like a house on fire.
Warm, friendly and very charming, Rikki was everything I’d ever wanted in a boyfriend – and we got engaged in July 2012.
He wasn’t particularly romantic about it, choosing to kneel down at the side of the bed before we went to sleep one night, but I was still thrilled.
We already had three daughters together, aged five, three and two. Life with five children was busy, hectic and crazy – but fun.
Caitlin had moved back to my mum’s house by then, but she often came over to babysit and I enjoyed having her round.
With an 11-year age gap, Caitlin was more like my daughter than my little sister
When I fell pregnant with our fourth child together in August 2017, we were over the moon at the chance to complete our family.
“I hope it’s a boy,” Rikki said, “there’s too many women in this house.”
Caitlin was over all the time, offering to help in any way she could.
I was grateful for the company, but sometimes I yearned for a night just Rikki and I.
Rikki didn’t seem to mind though. He got on so well with Caitlin, sometimes I felt like an outsider in my own home.
I’d often walk in on them huddled up together on the sofa, looking at something on Rikki’s phone. 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 it off, convincing myself that pregnancy hormones were making me feel irrational.
But Rikki became distant and withdrawn, and was constantly glued to his phone.
When he started dropping Caitlin into conversation more and more, casually mentioning she’d popped round when I wasn’t home, something didn’t feel right.
I’d often walk in on them huddled up together on the sofa, looking at something on Rikki’s phone. I couldn’t help but feel a bit jealous
“That’s weird,” I said. “Caitlin never comes around when I’m not here.”
“She forgot something I think,” Rikki shrugged. “She wasn’t round for long.”
Soon Caitlin was making any excuse she could to come over, and I’d often walk in to find the pair giggling at a private joke.
But when I quizzed Rikki about it, he insisted I was just paranoid.
“Don’t be silly,” he’d say. “She’s your little sister. She’s family. She’s always welcome here, isn’t she?”
The feeling didn’t go away, and soon Caitlin was staying at our house most weekends.
On the Sunday evening, she’d grab her coat before looking meaningfully at Rikki, who’d jump off the sofa and offer to drive her home.
On the surface, it looked like Rikki was just being helpful, but I couldn’t help but wonder if there was more to it than that.
In December 2017, I finally got my answer.
I was unpacking the weekly food shop in the kitchen, when Rikki phoned me from work. He sounded serious.
“I don’t love you anymore,” he blurted, completely out of the blue. “I need to leave.”
My stomach knotted as I realised that Rikki was deadly serious.
What they say
Rikki says: Our relationship was messy for quite a few years, although it was harder for Laura than it was for me.
Caitlin was there for me. She saw everything that happened behind closed doors. That’s how we got close.
Mine and Laura’s relationship was dead for a good couple of years. I was there because my kids were there.
I don’t know if I regret it, Caitlin is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
I feel a lot happier in myself now. I just wish it wasn’t with Laura’s sister. I didn’t mean for it to go like that.
Obviously I totally understand where Laura’s coming from – I didn’t mean for it to happen, but it kinda happened.
I’m certainly happier with Caitlin than I was with Laura.
Caitlin says: I really don’t want to give my part of the story because I’m actually over it.
I don’t want to fix my relationship with her. She’s become obsessive.
It’s complicated but everything happens for a reason. I’m not saying it’s the cleverest way.
Yes we live together. It’s been a year now. We are happy.
“I’m sorry Laura, but I can’t do this anymore,” he said. “You’re too paranoid. We just need to call it a day.”
Again, I asked him about Caitlin or if there was anybody else involved, but Rikki replied: “There’s nobody else, Laura. I’m sick of you saying that. Nothing’s going on.”
He hung up and walked out of my life for good.
I was devastated. With a baby on the way and just weeks to go until Christmas, his departure couldn’t have been at a worse time.
Without thinking, I picked up my phone and called Caitlin. She came straight over and comforted me that night, swearing Rikki hadn’t said anything to her about leaving.
For weeks, Rikki wouldn’t talk to me unless it was to do with the children.
I grew increasingly frustrated and heartbroken, and when Caitlin stopped answering her phone to me I became suspicious.
When they confirmed they were in a relationship on Facebook, my whole world crumbled. I was four months pregnant at the time.
Their double betrayal was almost too much to bear, and my family were stunned and disgusted.
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For months, I blamed myself. I had known deep down that they were attracted to each other.
I had chosen to ignore all the signs, but the evidence had been right in front of me the whole time.
Now when Rikki visits the kids, including our seven-month-old son, I can barely look at him.
I can’t believe the two people I was closest to in the world betrayed me like that.
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