I have a kinda similar problem on xubuntu 18.04. And had that problem on
xubuntu 16.04.

After I type the password, there is only desktop wallpaper and mouse
pointer (it moves). Then I press Ctr-Alt-Del and go back to password
screen again (screen resolution changes to low), then I enter password
and suddenly all works, everything is upsie-daisy.

I believe it somehow connected to nvidia drivers. Under nvidia-384 it
problem doesn't existed, but on nvidia-390 and 396 it does.

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  [regression] Password accepted but login fails (blank purple screen
  and mouse pointer only)

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