I'm a 24-year-old heterosexual male. I've been dating my girlfriend for about six months. Because we seemed so compatible and shared many of the same goals, we moved across the country together. I went home for Thanksgiving by myself because she had to work. On Black Friday, she got obliterated drunk and had sex with a roommate's brother's roommate—essentially a stranger—who was in town visiting. She says he took advantage of her. From what it sounds like, he was the most creepy douchebag he could be without actually assaulting or raping her. He knew she had a boyfriend. He knew she was too drunk to make any decisions about anything. But he went ahead and had unprotected sex with what amounted to a comatose person—though when confronted, his version was different.

For her part, she admits flirting with him beforehand, allowing him to kiss her, and that eventually she just wasn't in control of the situation and wanted it to end, and tried to end it, but couldn't. She says that part of her felt like I wouldn't care, because she has frequently doubted my commitment to the relationship. But I do care. The worst part is being apart made me realize how much I love her, but coming back to this and seeing this side of her is unattractive, and the thought of her with him makes me furious and disgusted. She says nothing like this will ever happen again, and she realized what she took for granted, and I believe her. But it's not that simple, and part of me doesn't know if I can ever truly forgive and forget, or not see a mental image of her losing control and being violated when I look at her. I'm worried that makes me an insensitive jerk who blames women for when men can't keep it in their pants.

I don't have a clever nickname. I just want advice, because you generally seem to cut through the bullshit, and I am really struggling with this.

Sent From My iPhone

My response after the jump...


There's nothing I can say at this stage that will make you feel any better, SFMiP. Just the opposite, I'm afraid: what I have to say will probably make you feel worse. So let's start with some uplift: There are lots of people out there in stable, loving, lasting LTRs who are only in those stable, loving, lasting LTRs because they were able to forgive a partner for cheating early in the relationship. So it's possible that you will get past this, SFMiP, and be able to forgive (if not quite forget), and that your relationship will thrive.

But it depends on a few things.

It depends on whose characterization of the evening's events comes closest to the truth. Was your girlfriend blackout drunk and nearly-to-completely incapacitated/comatose when this creep [pick one: took advantage of, sexually assaulted, raped] her? Or did she go ahead and fuck this guy—a guy she admits to flirting with and kissing earlier in the evening—because she was just drunk enough to convince herself that her boyfriend wouldn't care? And then, when it turned out that you did care, did she exaggerate how drunk she was to escape/shift blame?

You'll have to use your best judgment on this one, SFMiP: Who do you think is lying? Your girlfriend or the creep? Weigh that answer against the answer to this question: Who deserves the benefit of the doubt here? Your girlfriend or the creep?

Another depends: Was this a rare and completely out-of-character event for your girlfriend? Or is getting hammered, fucking around, and begging forgiveness a pattern for her? Since you haven't been with her long enough to determine whether this is a pattern, SFMiP, there's only one way to find out if this is going to be a regular thing: forgive her, stick around, see what does or doesn't happen.

And a final depends: What are you willing to risk to find out which it is, SFMiP? You may forgive your partner for cheating, never get cheated on again, and one day look back at your choice to give her another chance as the best decision you ever made. Or you could forgive your partner, get cheated on again (and again and again), and one day look back at your decision to give this girl another chance as the worst decision you ever made.

Basically, SFMiP, you have to ask yourself if—at six months—you love this girl enough to give her another chance knowing that might mean you'll have to go through this a second time? Or a third?