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GF of 5 years emotionally cheated on me, but it gets weirder

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arghument posted 2/8/2020 12:25 PM

She is 28, I just turned 30 yesterday. D-Day was 10 days ago.

She met this classmate when she began her master's degree a year and a half ago. For at least the past year, they've had an emotional and abusive relationship. He tells her how to feel and what to do, and she obliges. And she gives him hope that they might be together someday. But it gets a lot worse, and a lot weirder.

He's a high-functioning autist, and suggested she is an autist too. In fact, he informally diagnosed her, despite not being a doctor at all, and she apparently believed this quite quickly. They became closer and closer as they searched together for an official diagnosis of autism for her. He'd tell her which doctors to go to, and even went with her and kept constant contact with her psychiatrist throughout her tests. He and the psychiatrist would talk for hours about her case, and he constantly tried to push this diagnosis onto her and the psychiatrist.

He calls her "little rat". She says she didn't like this nickname at first, but she never stopped him. He kept using it and eventually she started calling him "little rat" too, and together they were "little rats" who do things like "have little rat coffee", which was meeting at a coffee shop to talk. There were some common phrases they used like "little rats help each other" to keep them together. He also called her a "silly little rat" when she did things he didn't like, or a "runaway little rat" if she distanced herself from him even a little bit. She never complained about this name calling. If she behaved how he wanted, she was a “smart little rat” or an “assertive little rat”. He would talk about Behaviorism sometimes. That's a psychological approach that started with experiments on rats.

I know all this because I have all their texts between March 2019 and now. She gave them to me (reluctantly) after I confronted her with a few questions. It began with me asking how she’d get to the psychiatrist for her final diagnosis, and she answered it was by boat (it's unusual to take boats here, but there's a town across the river). I asked her how she went there last time, and she said her autistic friend took her. I said I felt upset that she hadn’t asked me to go and support her instead. Later, I asked why the autistic friend hadn’t been at an important academic event for her that I had gone to. She confessed that it was because he liked her and didn’t want to be in the same place as her boyfriend. I asked her if she liked him, and she said no.

I asked a lot of questions. I got partial truths or outright lies at first, but as I kept asking, she revealed more and more. She thought of leaving me to be with him. She thought about what it’d be like to kiss him, and to have sex with him. She admitted that she emotionally cheated on me. After this admission, I asked her “did you cheat on me?” and she said no. I explained that she had just admitted emotionally cheating, and asked again. She said “I don’t know”. I explained more and tried once again, and she said yes. This is how a lot of the questioning would go. She says they never kissed or had sex, but this is irrelevant to me at this point.

She had her part in this too. She let herself into that relationship, and kept it going. She invited him to do a Psychology undergrad together for 5 years after they finish their master's, which hasn't happened yet. This was so they could follow their master plan of diagnosing her, working and researching together, creating apps and games for autistic children and having a successful company in the autism space, particularly in diagnosing. He promised her a job and a MacBook Air. She played him just as much as he played her, promising a future together. He'd tell her he liked her and they had to find a solution to their problem (me), but she led him on, always telling him they’d figure something out eventually.

This past year, she’s been depressed a lot of the time and suicidal for a few weeks. I was her suicide watcher for several days, as she had she had a fantasy of jumping out of my bedroom window. This was a terrible time for us. She was adjusting her medication, and, meanwhile and unknown to me, he was telling her how her depression wasn’t that bad, her suicidal thoughts were nothing, her suicide watch was unnecessary, and telling her which medications she could and couldn’t take.

Initially, I told her we’d work through this together. I asked her not to contact him ever again, and to be completely honest with me from now on, and hide nothing. The next day, she hid something else from me. She threw a little piece of paper he had given her in the toilet trash, along with a rat origami he had given her (called Sam). That day, I was reading their texts (over 20k messages total) and happened to stumble upon them talking about a “Certification” he had given her, and one she had given him. I asked her about this, and she told me she had trashed it earlier. I started going through the trash and she came over to help me. She found it – it was carefully wrapped in toilet paper so that I wouldn’t find it – and I read it. It said:

“The Federal Council of Little Rats confers this certification to [her name], in recognition of her constant effort, intervention and kindness throughout the year of 2019.”

She had given him one too. It was about how he was the first person to recognize her potential. This stung very deep, because I was always extremely supportive of her and worked so hard to help her reach her potential.

After a few days of asking questions and gathering material, I asked her to leave our apartment, which we just rented together. I asked her to give me time to think, but she’s been messaging me. I thought she was showing interest in keeping our relationship together, but now I fear that she’s just trying to manipulate me into staying. He has been messaging her too, and, while she hasn’t replied, his messages to her are very similar to her messages to me. They both apologize, show impatience, make subtle criticisms, offer distance but admit they weren’t able to give space, say they didn’t mean to do this, invoke good memories, mention their own suffering to appear as a victim, impose feelings onto the other person, and magnify their problems.

It’s hard to see all this from a person I’ve been with for 5 years, and whom I’ve loved so much. I knew she was talking to this guy, and that he had suggested she had autism, and that she was taking tests, but that’s all I knew. I had an intuition something was wrong, but I trusted her. I went back to therapy yesterday to figure out what to do.

I'd also like to say that I have nothing against autists, and what happened has little to do with autism in my opinion. It's actually about abusive and emotionally sick people. I think he might not be an autist at all, but a sociopath who found a convenient diagnosis to hide behind and gain power over people.

He'd tell her what to expect from the autism tests, and they'd discuss strategies on how to bypass the "bias detection" that might catch her in *wanting* to be diagnosed with autism. This is one of their conversation after she finished a test:

Him: Were you “good”?

Her: I think I was a little rat

Him: Then great 🐭

When I asked her about this, she admitted that "good" meant displaying autistic traits.

If this was "normal cheating" (if such a thing exists), I'd like to think that my decision would be easier. I despise cheating and she knew this. But sometimes I think that she might've been a victim in all this. Other times I think she was responsible for the affair too. Most of the time, I just don't know.

Marz posted 2/8/2020 12:44 PM

She knew what she was doing. It takes 2.

She’s a gf and dating is a tryout.

She failed. Let her go and move on.

TimSC posted 2/8/2020 12:57 PM

This has been going on for a long time behind your back. The hiding and the lies.

She had fantasies of leaving you for him.

Kissing him and having sex with him.

If she remains in contact with him she will eventually fulfill her fantasies.

Run. Now. Save yourself. She is much too invested in him to stop.

sorryforeverythi posted 2/8/2020 12:57 PM


If this was "normal cheating" (if such a thing exists), I'd like to think that my decision would be easier. I despise cheating and she knew this. But sometimes I think that she might've been a victim in all this. Other times I think she was responsible for the affair too. Most of the time, I just don't know.

This is normal cheating, you got yourself an honest to goodness, just like all the others.
The cheaters have a handbook and she is following all the normal steps.
You are the issue, you are living in the fantasy of what you thought it was. You are trying to blame it on yourself.

Firstly, This isn't your fault. Other than the inconsistent spelling of autistic, you are trying to make this about something that you did. You didn't do anything.
Maybe you are the second worst partner in the world behind me, maybe you truly suck as a partner, I don't know. I don't know you.
She CHOOSE to do this, it's all on her.

Quit trying to make it about you, you did nothing wrong.

If she is on the spectrum, she needs counseling.

You week of hell under the suicide watch, SHE NEEDS FUCKING COUNSELING.

You seem like a good dude, you came here, which is a great first step, but you need to be honest. My suggestion, which is consistent on any post I reply to, start journallying, write this shit down and clear your head.

This doesn't seem like a good relationship and if she wants to be treated like a rat, well then treat her like a rat, get a trap and get rid of it,

If she wants help, I am assuming she is a grown ass adult, and she has a phone, she can get some help.

It's not your job to fix her, it's her job.

Tell her it's over and start packing your shit, see what her reaction is.

People don't change unless faced with the precipice, so show her the precipice and be ready to walk.

[This message edited by sorryforeverythi at 12:58 PM, February 8th (Saturday)]

Jeaniegirl posted 2/8/2020 13:05 PM

Let the Little Rat go and move on. You will find happiness elsewhere. I'm sorry.

ShutterHappy posted 2/8/2020 13:30 PM

She let herself into that relationship

That’s the most important part of your story.

The whole thing about being autistic is just to make her feel special. If she passes the test she’s special. She likes that. She needs the ego kibble. And henceforth, she let herself have a second relationship for the ego kibble.

Even if she breaks up with her 2nd boyfriend and never talk to him ever again, there will be some other guy who will feed her ego kibbles in the future (he will tell her she is special in some other way), and you’ll find yourself in the same situation.

So the problem is not the other guy, the problem is that your GF has no boundaries and seeks validation wherever she can find it, hurting you in the process.

If she recognizes this, she could go to therapy and fix herself but it might be best for you to cut your losses and move on...

Buster123 posted 2/8/2020 14:05 PM

Cheating on you for a long time, autistic wannabe, suicial, she's still in contact with AP, she chose to cheat and thinks about leaving you for him, etc..., she's got way too many issues and like someone else said, dating is a test and she failed miserably, please get tested for STDs (just in case), cheaters lie a lot and she's now a proven cheater and a liar.

RUN for the hills and don't look back, life's too short.

hansvoleman posted 2/8/2020 14:30 PM

Arghument, so sorry to see you here. My father and sister's teenage kids are fairly far along the autistic spectrum. The behaviour you describe in both your GF and the OM aren't ones I recognize however high functioning they decide they are. Again I'm not a doctor but after 58 years around my dad and 15 around my niecE and nephew i can tell you for sure you would be very aware that your GF was on the autistic spectrum after only a few months together. You may not have realised she had ASD but the diagnosis would have been a welcome explanation for behaviours she displayed.

Whether or not your is futher along the autistic spectrum than you or I is not that issue. My dad grew up in an era when he was politely described as eccentric or "one of a kind" because his behaviour could be odd. Where he was solid and consistent was that he loved my mother dearly and unwaveringly from the age of 9 until she passed at 84. Your GF is capable of doing the same. I rather think your suspicion is correct that this diagnosis is being used as a smokescreen.

I do hope you can extricate yourself painful though it is.

[This message edited by hansvoleman at 2:34 PM, February 8th (Saturday)]

toughtotrust posted 2/8/2020 14:51 PM

I'm not sure what to make of this. yes I suppose it is an Emotional affair, but also quite a bit more than that.

It's like it was a one person cult, or some really strange psychology experiment on human manipulation. Your GF believed she was a willing partner, but in reality, she was the only experimental rat. It almost seems that this type of manipulation needs to be reported. To convince someone that they are autistic and coach them how to pass an autism test is unbelievable.

Regardless; Without a marriage, or children to bind you, your choice is simple. You are better off without her. Someday, you will look back and realize that you were lucky to leave.

I wish you Luck.

[This message edited by toughtotrust at 2:52 PM, February 8th (Saturday)]

Thumos posted 2/8/2020 15:12 PM

The main thing I got from this is that your girlfriend is a little rat.

So treat her like the vermin and disease vector she thinks she is — leave and never look back.

That’s it.

[This message edited by Thumos at 3:12 PM, February 8th (Saturday)]

Robert22205https posted 2/8/2020 15:51 PM

Why stay unless you'd marry her someday.

Why marry her with her issues: infidelity, suicidal tendencies and depression.

It'll take many years to fix her so she can be safe for herself as well as a safe spouse (or maybe she will fail).

Among other things, her behavior with the OM was driven by: selfishness, entitlement, deceitfulness and a huge lack of empathy for you.

You and your future children deserve a better partner/mother than this broken and unreliable person.

WontBeFooledAgai posted 2/8/2020 16:28 PM

Run. As in Don't Walk, Run.

Her boundaries are poor but even on top of that: If she responds to that type of mistreatment e.g., Dom/sub then even though I am not a medical professional, I can say that she has some very serious deep issues in addition to those that caused her to cheat.

And yes that she was on a suicide watch...she really needs professional help.

[This message edited by WontBeFooledAgai at 9:46 PM, February 8th (Saturday)]

Cooley2here posted 2/8/2020 16:44 PM

I’m one of those that thinks there might be some danger here. He is manipulating and gaslighting her like crazy. It seems to me he was just a friend to her at first but it sounds like he’s got sociopathic tendencies. This is a dangerous game he’s playing with her mind. I don’t know how far he would take this if he thought you were interfering with his relationship with her but he sounds dangerous to me. I suggest you go talk to a psychiatrist and get the skinny on just how to manage this. I’m with the others here, I think this relationship is not good for you at all!

oldtruck posted 2/8/2020 16:44 PM

dump her there is nothing to salvage here

rshadursky posted 2/8/2020 16:56 PM

Emotional cheating is cheating. And emotional cheating can only lead to physical cheating. While it does seem odd the way he talks to her, and perhaps he is preying on her a little like you think, it also seems pretty evident that she is just as willing a participant too. This is a major red flag. She was not being honest with you. When they break that trust, it almost seems easier to go even further. I don't know if she will stop at this.

I am sorry you are going through this. While it sounds difficult to manage, I hope you are able to stay strong.

Smillie posted 2/8/2020 17:10 PM

Maybe it is a bit sub/dom. Well, whatever it is, it sounds like a total ball-ache. Time for you to move on.

[This message edited by Smillie at 5:11 PM, February 8th (Saturday)]

pearlamici posted 2/8/2020 20:09 PM

Could you call the psychiatrist yourself and show him these exchanges? I agree this is very strange and I think the psychiatrist might have a different view on her results after seeing how she was being coached. This guy may also be playing some sort of game with his psychiatrist ...

Mene posted 2/9/2020 00:59 AM


Not married, no kids and you’re young.


Newlifeisgreat posted 2/9/2020 03:36 AM

If after what she has been doing isn’t enough for you to run as far and and as fast away from her, what I would it take?

Westway posted 2/9/2020 10:29 AM


Dump her clean, lick your wounds, learn from this and move on.

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