A woman who lost her husband to her own mother has said she will never fully forgive her for taking him away and then having his child.
Lauren Wall, who’s now 34, and from Twickenham, south-west London married airport worker Paul White when she was just 19.
Her mum Julie, who is now 53, paid for a £15,000 wedding and grateful Lauren took her along on her two-week honeymoon to Devon.
Eight weeks later, husband Paul moved out and nine months later, her mother Julie gave birth to his child announcing they were together.
Lauren said: ‘Paul always got on really well with mum. I never thought it strange though, as she was his mum-in-law and he was just being friendly.
‘They’d laugh a lot together. I didn’t think to be worried at all. Who would?
‘I couldn’t wait to settle in to marriage but the ink was barely dry on our certificate when Paul changed.
Lauren added her new husband became protective of his phone. Four weeks later Lauren’s sister was using her mum’s phone and found what Lauren claims were texts between Julie and Paul.
Her mother denied there was anything going on saying, ‘You’re crazy.
”When I confronted Paul he went white as a sheet – and refused to let me see his phone,’ Lauren said.
Only days later, Paul removed his wedding ring and walked out on Lauren and their seven-month-old daughter.
When she heard he had moved in with her mum she said she couldn’t believe the two people she loved and trusted more than anything in the world would treat her in such a way.
‘It was sick. It’s one of the worst things a mum can do to a daughter.
Paul may have been a gutless groom but she’s my mum. She’s meant to love and protect me above all others.’
Lauren, a business development manager met Paul when he was 18: ‘I met him at a local pub – I fancied him straight away.
‘He asked for my number and the next day he texted asking to go on a date to the cinema. We started going out straight after that.’
She quickly found herself pregnant and their daughter was born in March 2004, the pair marrying shortly afterwards.
‘Five months later we were getting married in a beautiful church ceremony with friends and family. Mum looked on proudly as we exchanged vows.
‘He told me that he wanted to be with me for ever.’
Lauren recalled how after Paul walked out she heard rumours he was living with her mother and she saw Julie walking down the street, apparently pregnant.
Lauren said: ‘When I saw her in the street and noticed she had a bump, my mind raced. She clutched her stomach and told me, ‘It’s a cyst’. I felt so sick, I went home and destroyed all the photos of our wedding.’
She also set about getting a divorce. In July 2005 nine months after Paul had walked out, Lauren’s mum, Julie, gave birth to his baby.
‘She tried to claim the father was another boyfriend but I knew the truth. Paul and mum officially announced themselves as a couple that summer and my world crumbled.’
Five years on from his marriage to Lauren, Paul married Julie.
Lauren even ended up going along to her mum’s wedding for the sake of her daughter.
‘She rang me up and invited me. It was awkward. I got married on the 14th August 2004, they married on the 15th August 2009. ‘
It was almost too much to bear but I did it for my daughter.
‘I went to watch Mum marry the same man I’d wed five years earlier.
Lauren said her mother has tried to build bridges but she sees her infrequently. ‘She initiated it.
I dropped my brother off at her house and she got in my car, started crying and just said, ‘I’m sorry’.
‘I told her, ‘Get out of my car’. She wrote me a letter a couple of weeks later apologising.
‘And that was the start of us mending our relationship.’
That was in 2006 and the pair still fall out.
‘I still bring it up and make a comment and she doesn’t like it.’
Just because we spoke after doesn’t mean I’m over it. Paul never said sorry or tried to apologise to me.
I speak to him as he’s married to my mum. I’ve asked him before to explain to our daughter and he just says it’s forgotten about now.’
Her mother, who works in child services remains married to her former son-in-law.
Lauren has recently found a new partner and is now happily pregnant with her fourth child but says what happened will give her ‘trust issues’ for the rest of her life.
‘Time is a great healer, and mum and I have tried to have a normal relationship. But we will never be as close as we were – and I’ll never fully trust her again.’
Julie, 53, said: ‘We are married. We didn’t have an affair. We are married and that’s it.’