He's out on a bender!

I had to find out what my fella was up to, one way or another...

Published by: Jean Jollands
Published on: 14 June 2012

There's nothing like decorating your new home with your man. Me and my boyfriend Josh Beccles, 18, had just moved into our new flat, and were painting our new bedroom.
‘Come here, gorgeous,' Josh grinned suddenly, dabbing some cream paint on my cheek.
‘Gerroff!' I laughed. Though I'd known Josh for two years, we'd only been an item for seven weeks after bumping into each other again at a pal's party.
I'd just started my own gardening business, and was happiest tending my plants and flowers. But as I'd stared into Josh's sexy blue eyes, I'd felt a love flowering straight away.
Josh grabbed his paintbrush again, and this time attacked the walls, not my nose. Josh & Kate he daubed. We even put a love-heart around it! ‘That'll stay there forever,' Josh said.
He knew how much that meant to me, because my last fella had cheated on me. When I'd told Josh, he'd been so understanding about my trust worries. He'd taken my hand and promised, ‘I'll never hurt you.'
We soon settled into our new home. Josh was on a fashion course at college and, whenever I got home all muddy, he'd have a bath run for me.
But just eight months in, Josh always seemed to be out on all-night benders with his college mates, and never invited me along. ‘Nobody else is bringing their partners,' he insisted.
Then one night he came home after an 18th birthday party. As he undressed, I switched on the bedside light.
‘Where are your pants?' I yawned, noticing his bare bottom.
‘I don't wear them all the time!' he shrugged.
‘Cheeky, going commando,' I giggled. A few weeks later, I was at the salon where my mate worked, having my hair done.
‘I saw your Josh in a club in Manchester last night,' she breezed.
‘What?' I spluttered. ‘He told me he was visiting a mate in Accrington!'
‘He was dancing with another girl,' she admitted. ‘I'm sorry.'
I felt sick, rushed home to confront Josh.
‘Who was she?' I hissed, jabbing my finger in his face. He put his hands up defensively.
‘There was a change of plans,' he insisted. ‘She was just a college mate. Anyway, stop being so paranoid!' Tears welled in my eyes and immediately he softened. ‘I know you've been cheated on before,' he said, hugging me. ‘But I'll never do that.'
I let myself melt in his arms. Were my old insecurities ruining a good relationship?
A few days later, I caught an episode of Jeremy Kyle... My ears pricked up when a woman told how she'd hired a private detective to follow her cheating boyfriend. I knew it was daft, but I needed some reassurance. ‘I'll get someone to follow Josh!' I thought.
Next thing I knew I was typing Private Detective into Google, and getting a consultation over the phone!
‘We're very discreet,' the investigator insisted. ‘He'll never know.' But the cost - £780 - brought me back to my senses. ‘Er... no, thanks,' I blurted.
Guilt buzzed through me. What kind of person pays someone to spy on their partner?
For months I put it off. But in January this year, I heard Josh talking into his mobile in hushed tones. ‘Can't wait to see you...' he said. ‘Love you too, babe.'
My heart stopped. Who the hell was he talking to? ‘It's certainly not his mum!' I hissed to myself.
The first chance I got I rang the agency back. ‘I want you to put my boyfriend under surveillance,' I ordered. It meant using up the money that my parents had given me to help start my business, but I couldn't go on like this. ‘He's meeting her at a pub in Burnley town centre.'
The next night, I was shaking as Josh kissed me goodbye. But when I spoke to the investigator...
‘Your bloke simply went for a drink with his friends,' he said.
I felt stupid. I mean, it wasn't like our sex life had fizzled out. Josh still enjoyed himself - nobody was that good an actor! So why couldn't I just trust him?
‘I've got a last-minute surprise birthday to go to in Manchester,' he said one Saturday.
‘Can I come?' I frowned. ‘Nah, it'll just be loads of blokes getting drunk!' he shrugged.
Hmmm, I wasn't convinced. Instinct told me to book my investigator again.
So Josh went off on the train, unaware my investigator was shadowing his every step.
He didn't roll home again till 8.30am the next morning and slunk straight to bed. I snuck out and phoned the investigator.
‘Josh met a group of lads there...' he began. Phew! So there wasn't another woman!
‘They all went to Canal Street, the gay village...' he continued. ‘I'm sorry to say he kissed some boys, and left with one of them.'
‘I don't believe you... you're making it up!' I raged, and hung up. He called right back and I forced myself to listen.
‘I followed Josh and this bloke to a Travelodge where they spent the night.' he said. ‘I've got enough proof to suggest your boyfriend is gay.'
Gay? I'd been terrified Josh had another woman... but another man?
Sobbing, I rushed home. 'You've slept with a man!' I raged. ‘How could you?'
He went pale.
‘It's true,' he wept. ‘I'm sorry. I can't help the way I am.'
Bewildered, I locked myself in the loo and started sobbing. Our whole life together had been one fat lie.
After two hours of Josh begging me to come out, I agreed to talk to him.
‘If you promise you won't do it again, I‘ll forgive you,' I said, praying this had just been a mistake.
‘That's a promise I can't make,' he said quietly.
As he packed his bags, I slid down the wall where our names were painted. I remembered how happy I'd felt that day. Then I remembered that night he'd come home commando. He must have lost his undies in the heat of the moment - yuck!
Three months on, I've sanded the love-heart off the wall. I can't even think about trusting another man. It's not being gay that matters, it's that he lied. I thought our love was blooming, but Josh was just a thorn in my side.

Josh Eccles, 19, said: "I've known I was gay since I was about 15, but Kate was lovely - we really clicked. I fell in love with her, but I couldn't give up my ‘‘other life''.'

Kate Jackson, 21, Accrington, Lancashire