I’m worried my cheating partner will hurt herself if I leave

DEAR DEIDRE: MY girlfriend is a serial cheater, but I can’t dump her – not now anyway.

She has mental health problems, so although I know I deserve better, I do love her and I’m scared of what she might do if I leave.

We’ve been together for five years. I’m 32 and she’s 30.

During that time she’s had several affairs and one-night stands. She even slept with my (ex) best friend at a party when they were drunk.

And, worse, she tried it on with my dad! He told me she tried to kiss him.

She is a terrible flirt and seems unable to control herself if a guy is interested.

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Once, she had sex with a guy downstairs in our lounge while I was asleep in bed.

I always forgive her because she becomes distraught about how much she’s hurt me.

She is always so angry with herself afterwards, and says it’s because she hates herself and the way she looks, and needs to feel wanted by men.

But I go out of my way to make her feel loved, wanted and supported. It hurts that all my love and attention isn’t enough.

I’m sick of being treated like this.

My mates say I’m being taken for a mug. However, my girlfriend has tried to harm herself in the past and I’m not sure she could cope if I walked out on her.

I couldn’t bear to be responsible for anything bad happening to her.

I know she does really love me but I want a future and kids with someone I can rely on.

Even if she got help, I’m not sure I would be able to trust her again.

Should I end the relationship now?

DEIDRE SAYS: You can’t stay with someone because you’re worried about what they might do if you leave.

Your girlfriend is an adult and she is responsible for her own actions.

Having mental health problems is not an excuse for repeatedly hurting other people. She’s abdicating responsibility.

She may love you, but if she doesn’t want to hurt you, she needs to get help to stop cheating.

Give her my support packs on Sex Addiction and Understanding Self-harm, which will direct her to organisations that can counsel her.

You need to think about yourself. If you’re unhappy and can’t trust her, then leaving might be the best option.

Perhaps if you left she would finally get the help she needs.