M28, F27. Cheating girlfriend. Possible to save relationship?


Hey, this is a throwaway for obvious reasons. I guess I need to write this stuff down for my own sake but I'm also looking for outside input on this nightmare of a situation. So here it goes.


Been together about 9 years, started dating in high school. Minor ups and downs but a very happy and stable relationship for the most part (according to both of us). We were in the talks of marriage, kids, etc. soon and I had planned to propose back in February.

The story.

It's about Christmas time (late December 2022) and suddenly in a single day she gets deeply depressed (clinically diagnosed later on). She doesn't enjoy doing anything, she can't handle being around people, can't sleep etc. It's terrible. I try my best to help her and support her but any attempt at me bringing up the subject or showing her physical or emotional intimacy is being met with total rejection and she shuts down even more. So as time goes by I feel I have nothing left in my arsenal than to distance myself but still be there for her and hope things get better (cooking, house chores etc.)

At this point we're about a month into it and it's only gotten worse and I'm totally out of options and ideas as to how to try and help or manage this. It's clear that if we stay on this path, our relationship will die as we haven't been intimate in any capacity for this whole time. About this time she got a psychiatrist and got on medication. I proposed couple's therapy, the reasoning being that I feel I don't have the necessary tools and maybe there's some perspective I'm missing and outside help definitely wouldn't hurt. She outright denied it, no reasons given. Couldn't touch the subject just like anything else regarding her wellbeing or our relationship or she would just shut down completely.

Now, during this whole time did have a couple talks (that I initiated) during which it was always a mystery why this has suddenly happened and we were both stumped as there wasn't anything that correlated with her sudden mental health decline. Either way, I didn't push too hot and was just there for support as it's only been a couple months in an otherwise happy, almost decade long relationship.

She got on medication and seemingly got better. Improved mood, enjoying activities that she had stopped completely. She also started going to the gym, got a new haircut, bought herself new clothing, some beauty procedures, all stuff one would do to feel better about themselves, so nothing suspicious in itself.

Time goes on, things don't change much, her mood seems improved but at this point we don't even say I love you or goodnight to each other, and the relationship is effectively platonic roommates. This whole time she attributed this lack of intimacy to her being unable to be close to me due to her illness as it gives her anxiety but she assured me she still wants to be with me.

Skip ahead to 3 days ago. I'm about to leave the house and she's going to take a shower. I forget my headphones, so I go back to get them. I take a look at the sofa and see her phone. In that moment I realize I haven't seen her phone unattended ever since the start of this. Suddenly a bunch of little things start connecting in my head. Her going out with her colleagues until 2am (she never did this before), her new hobbies, her improving her looks, her distance from me, her suddenly starting to keep her phone under her pillow instead of the nightstand. I never did this before as I completely trusted her, but I opened her phone and looked. What I found was beyond anything I could ever imagine. But as she was just taking a quick shower I coudn't read it all then and there. So at night I took her phone into the bathroom and started reading all the texts and emails. I'm a pretty fast reader but it took me an hour and a half to skim through everything.

I won't go into explicit detail (of which there was a lot) but the gist of it was that she had been having an affair with her former university classmate since December. The guy is married with 2 kids and they were looking for apartments to move into together, planning on how they're gonna share custody of his kids with the wife and basically planning a life together. According to both of them they've never felt anything like this before in their life, their love is beyond anything imaginable blah blah blah. Eventually the guy started having doubts about the whole arrangement because of his kids and wife and the thing slowly fizzled out from there. Yet the whole time she was still trying to talk him into leaving his wife.

The next day I told her I want her to move out. She didn't ask why as she already figured. The following conversation we had was more like a police interrogation as she didn't have much to say on her own and didn't express much regret beyond saying things like 'I'm sorry this happened' (passive langauge) and 'I'm sorry'. No explanations, and when I bring up factual info from their chats, she just tries to deny everything without further argument. She's basically in denial and it's impossible to have a real discussion with her about this. The next day (yesterday) she says she still loves me and still wants to be with me and says we should give couple's therapy a go. She swears that none of what they discussed about moving in together was final and that she was still loves me and made a mistake.

I'm not actually considering it, but some extra assurance wouldn't hurt. There's nothing to go to couple's therapy here for, right? The way I see it, it's beyond repair and there's no way I could ever trust a person who's capable of doing something like that. All opinions and input welcome though. Sorry for the long post.


Girlfriend suddenly starts having extreme mental health issues. It persists for about 5 months when I find out she's been having an affair this whole time.

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Date: May 25, 2023

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