Could Derek Really Cheat On Meredith On 'Grey's'?

For the past decade, Grey's Anatomy has been one of my all time favorite shows, and I've seen it through some pretty ridiculous times. Ghost Denny, terrible plot twists, that stupid plane crash — not once in 11 seasons have I given up, even when my other Grey's-watching friends have. But this season, Shonda Rhimes seems determined to put all of us who have hung in there through the wringer. Not only did she essentially put Jackson and April through a devastating trauma, but now it looks like she's going to split Meredith and Derek up, too. Is nothing sacred to you, Rhimes? And since I've been stressing out about a relationship that is fictional since the moment that dreadful phone call happened last Thursday night, I decided to dig a little deeper to find out what's going on. Although spoilers are sparse, the info I did find leads me to the awful truth that Derek may actually be cheating on Meredith.

No actual spoilers are available, so I had to turn to the synopsis for this week's episode and the upcoming ones. The most troubling statement wasn't in the synopsis for this week's episode, but next week's — which is quite unfortunately titled "With or Without You." The part that worries me? "Meredith, rattled by the latest events, tries to figure out what to do about Derek." Um, yeah, that doesn't sound good. And in clips from this week's episode ("Don't Dream It's Over"), Meredith can be seen obsessing about the situation, not that I blame her.

With such a small amount of info to go by, it's hard to say exactly what's going on here. The woman who answered the phone could've been anyone, but being that she didn't speak when Meredith tried to find out who she is, it really isn't looking good. For years, Grey's has maintained two relatively stable couples while all other relationships were in a constant state of turmoil: Meredith and Derek and Callie and Arizona. Now that both of those couples are on shaky ground, I don't know what to think. And if Derek couldn't make it through a couple of months in D.C. without cheating, that's disappointing to say the least.

I've always thought it was a great thing that Derek went to D.C. and Meredith had the space to focus on being the great surgeon she is without his guilt trips clouding her vision. It seemed like a win/win situation: Derek gets the once in a lifetime opportunity he's always wanted, and Meredith can finally, freely become her own person and feel like herself again. If Derek took advantage of the situation to cheat on his wife while they were both working on their marriage, I don't know if that's something they can come back from after all that's happened. Maybe Thursday's episode will offer some clarity, but I'm going into this with very low expectations.

In the meantime, I'll be over here curled up in a ball, crying. How are any of us supposed to believe in love if Mer/Der can't even stay together?

Image: Richard Cartwright/ABC