Cheryl Tweedy and Liam Payne were supposed to be "making memories" on their make-or-break holiday – but instead they wound up feeling more frustrated.
The couple were left "reeling" by the Mirror’s pictures of Liam cosying up to his backing dancer Chloe Ferns at a posh bar in Dubai, and sources claim the snaps were still on Cheryl’s mind when she left the UK to join her boyfriend – despite her fierce Twitter response in defence of him.
"When Cheryl landed in Dubai with Bear to meet Liam, she was still wound up from it," an insider told Closer magazine.
- Liam Payne teases fans with new picture from romantic holiday with Cheryl Tweedy
Liam was spotted in a Dubai bar talking to his backup dancer Chloe Ferns
The pair looked cosy – but Chloe denied any wrongdoing
"While she knew Liam hadn’t done anything wrong, she was upset and took out her frustrations on him as she was still reeling from having to publicly defend their relationship yet again."
According to the source, it took Cheryl a few days to calm down and enjoy her surroundings – helped in no small part by the luxurious £2,000-a-night five-star villa they stayed in, complete with an infinity pool, private chef and their own dedicated butler.
But she couldn’t shake off the reports, feeling "frustrated because once again the rumour mill was just adding to their relationship problems".
- Liam Payne gives fans sneak peek inside sizzling holiday with Cheryl Tweedy – where they’re busy ‘making memories’
Liam has been sharing snaps from the couple’s luxury villa
They reportedly booked three ‘decoy’ trips to throw people off the scent
While Liam was more open about sharing pictures of their sun-drenched getaway, Cheryl chose not to post any snaps on her Instagram or Twitter – although she sparked concern when she ‘liked’ a cyptic post on Rochelle Humes Instagram that read: "Let go of whatever is stealing your happiness… sometimes you just need to breathe, trust and let go."
A separate source tells Now magazine that the couple booked three separate decoy trips to throw curious fans off the scent "as they were determined to get some much-needed privacy in order to work through their issues".
- Liam Payne gets down with THAT backing dancer as they perform sexy moves after Cheryl defended cosy pictures of them chatting
Liam admitted to relationship problems last month
(Image: Laim payne/Instagram)
"Cheryl and Liam are always arguing, meaning he often avoids conversation as he knows how it’ll likely end," said the Now insider.
But while the start of their holiday was overshadowed by the backing dancer pictures, pals close to the pair believe Cheryl is determined to make her relationship work.
- Cheryl DEFENDS boyfriend Liam Payne and ‘innocent’ dancer in rare rant after cosy pictures emerge of them chatting
He missed son Bear’s first birthday because he was touring in Japan
Cheryl is said to be determined to get their relationship back on track
(Image: Internet Unknown)
"She’s doing her best to ensure they’re never apart for more than two weeks and scheduling in date nights and holidays," Closer’s source added.
"Cheryl’s hoping it will help them continue on a more positive path."
Things have been tough for the pair since baby Bear was born in March 2017, and Liam admitted last month that they’ve had their "struggles".
"The funniest thing was a week before we were getting married. The next week we’re splitting up," he told the Evening Standard’s ES magazine .
- Liam Payne admits relationship problems with Cheryl for first time and says he doesn’t know if they’ll ‘make it through’
Liam confessed he didn’t know if they would ‘make it through’
(Image: Lia Toby/WENN.com)
Click to play
Tap to play
The video will start in 8Cancel
"And the thing for me is, I just like to think we’re somewhere in the middle. You know, we have our struggles — like of course I’m not gonna sit here and say that everything’s absolutely fine and dandy, because of course you go through different things, and that’s what a relationship is."
He went on: "But we go through them together as a family and that’s the most important thing for me.
"This part of our relationship was never not going to happen, there was always going to be a little bit of tenseness in the way we sort ourselves out, but tell me a relationship in the world that doesn’t go through a spot like that?"
Liam then added: "It’s about whether you make it through or not, together, is the main point there I guess."
Mirror Online has contacted Cheryl and Liam’s reps for comment.