My girlfriend insists she didn’t cheat on me when she went to bed with another guy

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My girlfriend and I have been together for a little over 2.5 years. About a year and a half ago, we celebrated our one-year anniversary. A month after, my girlfriend took a trip with her girl friends out of state. One night during her trip, she and her friends hung out at a guy’s house with several other guys. That night, she texted me, saying she was sober, just killing time and hanging out in the living room with another guy who was in a relationship, and everything was fine. When she came home, her behavior was suspicious. She hid her phone from me, even when I tried to look for it, suspecting something was off, and I asked to see her phone. She had deleted texts and hid it from me, refusing to show me anything. At that time, she claimed her friends were involved with some of the other guys and that there were videos in a group chat of those girls being intimate with those guys. She said she didn’t want me to see that, which was her excuse for having deleted the texts and hiding her phone. Because I trusted her and had no other evidence to believe otherwise, I believed her and let it go.

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For the next year and a half, I consistently wondered what happened. I recently came across some information that may have potentially revealed what actually happened that night. A few weeks ago (a year and a half after the event), I confronted her with information that she had been with a guy that night. She denied it incessantly. After about three hours on the phone, I got her to first admit that she and this guy just went into a room together for a few minutes where he confessed his feelings for her while sitting on the edge of the bed. She alleged that she shut it down and walked out immediately.

I knew this was a lie. I continued to press her. She eventually admits that she got tired, and while they were sitting on the edge of the bed, she crawled into the bed to lay down. At which point, the guy tried to cuddle her. She insists that nothing happened and that he tried to put his hands on her. She immediately turned it down and walked away. Naturally, because this was a piecemeal admission, where the story changed several times, and each time a new admission came out it was completely different and contradicted the last, I was suspicious. When I threatened to reach out to one of the guys who was there, she threatened to retaliate against me and attempt to ruin my life. I believe her exact words were “you will regret this.” She claimed that all of these guys hated her now, and that they would make things up about her.

She is still adamant to this day that nothing happened. She says what she did was messed up and that she shouldn’t have lied about it over the last year and a half.

Not wanting to lose her, I decided to forgive her. Deep down, I do believe that more happened. It’s very difficult to believe that two people would’ve gone into a room drunk, while all of her friends were hooking up with other guys there that night, and she just laid there and did nothing at all.

While I took her back, we took a few weeks apart, while I decided what I wanted to do after discovering the underlying issue and the dishonesty that followed. During this time, I confided in some of my friends about the situation, letting them know that she had essentially betrayed me and breached my trust. But frankly, I felt too embarrassed to reveal to them the full details first because I knew that the details she had admitted to were embarrassing enough. I felt embarrassed that this girl had picked another guy over me and laid in bed with him. Second, was because I knew that if I told anyone, they would not believe and have the same suspicions that I had. Essentially thinking that I am a fool for taking her back.

Nevertheless, here we are. I’m still dealing with some of the repercussions from her dishonesty. Despite having taken her back, I’m still not ready to tell my friends who I disclosed the betrayal to, because I’m nervous that they will judge me. At times, I don’t want to spend time with my girlfriend out of fear of having to reveal to my friends where I am. My girlfriend gets frustrated by this, saying that I’m not putting enough effort into the relationship and I should be prioritizing her more. I explained to her that these are repercussions of her wrongdoings. However, whenever I do so, she incessantly claims that her actions were not cheating. Even worse, at times she’ll even say things like “I think you cheated on me too”; however, when I ask her why she believes that and what evidence she has, she cannot produce anything. I believe she is manipulating me, and I believe she actually cheated on me. I’m not sure what to do. Any advice?

Henry’s answer: First off, let’s acknowledge that being in a relationship shouldn’t feel like you’re playing detective. Trust is the foundation of any solid partnership, and once that’s shaken, everything else starts to crumble. It sounds like you’ve been doing mental gymnastics trying to reconcile what happened, what you believe, and how you feel about your girlfriend. That’s exhausting, man.

Your situation is a classic case of trust vs. truth. She’s admitted to things bit by bit, only after you’ve pushed, and each time the story changes. That’s unsettling. It’s like trying to stand on shifting sand. The threat she made when you considered reaching out for more information? That’s a huge red flag waving in a storm of doubt and manipulation.

Now, taking her back was your choice, and it’s clear you care about her a lot to even consider it. But forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting, nor does it mean you can instantly rebuild what’s been broken. That takes time, honesty, and a heck of a lot of effort from both sides. It sounds like you’re trying, but are you both truly moving forward, or are you just circling the same issues?

The part where she deflects by accusing you of cheating? Classic deflection. It’s easier to turn the spotlight elsewhere than face the music. This isn’t about whether her actions technically count as cheating; it’s about her breaking your trust by hiding the truth and then manipulating the situation to avoid accountability.

Here’s some straight-up advice:

  1. Communication is key: You’ve probably heard it a million times, but it’s true. You need an open, honest talk about everything—not just the incident but where you both see this relationship going. If there’s more concern about being right than being happy, you’ve got to question if this is what you both really want.
  2. Consider couples counseling: Sometimes, you need a referee to help navigate these conversations. A neutral third party can help unearth deeper issues and guide you toward understanding or closure, whichever way it goes.
  3. Reflect on your own needs and boundaries: What do you need from a relationship? Respect, honesty, trust? Are your boundaries being respected? It’s not just about forgiving her; it’s about whether you can trust her (and she, you) moving forward.
  4. Don’t let fear of judgment isolate you: Your friends care about you, and while yes, they might have strong opinions, isolating yourself won’t help in the long run. You need support, not just from your partner but from those around you who have your back.
  5. Trust your gut: Deep down, you have a sense of what’s right for you. It might be tangled in a web of emotions right now, but it’s there. Listen to it.

Remember, you’re not a fool for caring or wanting to believe in someone you love. But love shouldn’t leave you feeling trapped or second-guessing your worth. You deserve someone who brings peace, not constant turmoil. Take care of yourself, mate.

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