Guilt is commonly used to depict the state of owning up to some action, for instance a crime, and acknowledging that its effects could have affected some people in a negative way. It describes the conflict of emotional feelings that a person will have after realizing a wrong action. However, accepting guilt doesn’t necessarily mean remorsefulness…Remorse comes from a real awareness of taking full responsibility for acting in a harmful way towards some person or people…One of the key differences between guilt and remorse is that while guilt tends to lead to self destructive tendencies, remorse leads to constructive action.


remorsePerhaps this scenario is in some way a familiar one to you…

You and your unfaithful spouse are several weeks or months out from D-day. Your spouse has maintained no contact with his/her affair partner and is being quite transparent. Your spouse spends almost every moment with you when he/she is not at work. You have a lot of fun together and your sex life has dramatically improved from when it was previously.

So with all of this said, most would think that everything is going great, right?

Well perhaps it is except for one huge thing… Your spouse has not shown any remorse for his/her affair.  He/she hasn’t shed a single tear for the pain that was thrust upon you.  Your spouse says that he/she feels guilty, but that’s not enough for you.

You on the other hand, still think about the affair every day. The pain has eased some, but the things your spouse told you about the affair and his/her affair partner still haunt you.

See also  Open Discussion: Are You Working on YOU After the Affair?

You may feel that if he/she can’t show remorse then you can’t move forward. But he/she won’t talk about it. Rather, he/she minimizes things by saying that it was a mistake that snowballed into this huge mess and that he/she is sorry. That’s it.

If you try to talk about it, you hear something like: “Are you going to always hold this over my head and be bitter about it?” There are no reassurances and all your spouse wants to do is move forward and forget about the past.

You even realize that you can’t make him feel remorse or show remorse, but if he can’t you will always think that the OP was better for him/her than you are. It will seem as though all those things your spouse said about the OP were true…and that you could never live up to what the OP meant to him/her.

No remorse from your spouse is leading to indifference for you.  Your spouse continues on as though nothing happened. Your spouse feels like you are dwelling on the past instead of the wonderful future that we could have.

Getting the wayward spouse to show remorse is causing you to feel stuck. You feel like if I don’t get remorse and he/she continues to sweep things under the rug, then your marriage is doomed.

What do you do?

If this happened to you, what did you do and/or how did you cope?

 Please respond to one another in the comment section below. 


Linda & Doug



    48 replies to "Discussion – Getting the Wayward Spouse to Show Remorse"

    • exercisegrace

      The biggest factor in my decision to stay in the marriage was his show of remorse. I knew that if we were going to rebuild our marriage, he not only had to be genuinely remorseful for what he did, he had to have a plan to figure out WHY he did what he did, and WHAT boundaries/life changes were going to be put into place to insure it never happened again. Unless we know why we do something, unless we genuinely regret it, we are likely to repeat it at some time in the future. If the affair is viewed as a mistake to be swept under the rug, the marriage is not going to go forward on strong footing. Affairs are symptoms of larger problems, usually in the cheating spouse. My husband is now (finally) dealing with years of childhood abuse that left him all but incapable of setting good boundaries.

      Not expressing remorse in my opinion is a failure to take responsibility for what was done, and what needs to be done to protect the BS in the future. This is not a rug-sweeping type of offense.

    • Gizfield

      It’s a nice thought that people who wrong you show remorse, but thats not what I notice in real life. Generally, from what I see, the amount of remorse seems to be directly related to the amount of negative consequences they suffer. Fewer consequences, less remorse.

      Remorse is an emotion, I guess, so if someone doesn’t feel it, you are probably wasting your time, in my opinion. Even if a person says it, and acts it, there is no guarantee they actually FEEL it. About the only actions I trust are the ones people show when they dont know anyone is watching. You just really never know another person or their motives. There is a famous case going on here in Nashville right now. A 72 year old former attorney and his wife were killed in their home by a homemade explosive right before valentines day. Turns out their son in law did it. Mr. Family Man, Sunday School teacher, Mr. nice guy. Everyone is totally shocked. He claims he did not do it. This guy has 3 or 4 kids, and killed both their grandparents. I seriously doubt he has any remorse, outside being caught.

      I dont really get the part on the article about a lack of remorse on your spouses part will make you think the other person is better than you. I just dont think that. Remorse or not, I have formed my own opinion and it’s based on her as a person and her slimy actions that form my opinion, not what anyone else thinks.

      • Jeddy

        I think my h has been blocking every emotion he could. I’ve known him since I was 18, so I know what he’s capable of emotionally. However, his ea, the lack of boundaries and lack of self awareness he has displayed for the last 15 months has brought out a blankness I didn’t know he could possess. He says he doesn’t want to remember details of the ea, and fair enough, she’s a train wreck he still works with, I’d try to forget her too, ew. He has just been unable to show empathy or remorse. When I pointed out to him what he had given up for her – family time, dinners, wonderful everyday things – I told him that enjoying all the mundane was my goal for the year. That I was going to sop it all up with a biscuit and savor what he so carelessly tossed away for a very worn-out mare. And he wouldn’t be able to come and go from our home anymore, that the locks would be changed. The floodgates opened for the first time in 8 years. He then had to sit down with our kids and explain to them what the situation was. Our son 15 is beside himself with anger and disgust. Told him he has no respect for him and that all the hero worship is gone. my daughter is silent and sad. Cue floodgates, scene 2. He’s not able to compartmentalize anymore, the pretty lie looks pretty nasty in the daylight with everyone shaking his/her head at him. What follows remains to be seen, but the bomb was detonated and it’s his job to clean up the mess, we are moving on. If he wants to show us the acts it takes to earn the respect back, it’s on him to do so but the words are useless from now on.

        I am curious though: because this ow is an employee at the family business, my MiL is now aware. Otherwise she wouldn’t have been told. She loves the ow. She also runs a business and her life with horrific boundary issues and serious judgment lapses. She has not reached out to me once since this news happened 8 weeks ago. Her daughter did, the “I love you and support you” email that touched me very very much. But MiL? Nothing. How have other family members dealt with all this news? I did send her a note saying I was a bit hurt, also acknowledging that I’m pretty threadbare and easily hurt these days, but still. All I got back was dead air. Oh, and she’s a therapist. Seriously.

    • Karen

      I do not believe it is possible to move on without remorse from the cheating spouse. We are now 14 months from confrontation. When I confronted him about the texts I saw on his work cell, he immediately deleted all texts, pics of her, and his cell phones. I begged him for 3 months to get the texts back so we could sit down and talk about them, since he claimed that he and she were “just friends”. He would never do it. As the year progressed I did my own detective work, and found 53 pages of calls and texts on his personal cell, many were after work hours, many wee past 10 pm and one month had 91 texts and 41 calls… Some of those were from 2 am through 5 am. He got verbally emotionally and physically abusive when I continued to ask questions and even spit in my face, something I will probably never be able to forgive him of. He has told me to ” get over it”. This is the second EA with the same coworker, so I had forgiven the first one 18 years ago and moved on. Now all he will admit to is ” texting and calling too much”. I have found other evidence of lies, etc. I moved out from our home last September due to the abuse and we are still separated. I am now getting flowers, promises to make our life great, promises of respect and working on his anger — he is now seeing a second anger management therapist–attempts to reconnect with date nights etc, but it is now ME who is not wanting to put the effort into reconnecting. I feel so used, he has only really given me words, not actions, and I still see no remorse. I think he is sorry he got caught but I have yet to see proof he has truly given up the AP. Since they work in the same office and I cannot police his emails or work cell, they may still be together– who knows? We have gone through marriage weekends, I have taken betrayed spouse classes, we even have weekly teleconferences with other couples who have gone through infidelity. The husbands have all come clean… I do of feel my H has done so. I asked him to do a polygraph and he won’t, I suggested a meeting between the AP, her husband, and ourselves since, according to my H, all is so innocent, and he won’t do that either. So bottom line is I have a husband who had 2 EA’s with the same woman, who makes it all seem innocent in spite of his actions and the phone evidence I have, other evidence including a date which he denies was a date but lied to me about when he went, texting her from all places and hours, abused me terribly in just about every way when I kept asking questions, and told me to get over it. I just don’t see any remorse in anything he shows, nomatter how many “sorries” he says, how many flowers or dates he asks for, etc. actions speak louder . So remorse is important for moving on. I have not moved on and may never be able to. 14 months later the hurt, mental anguish, and distrust is still there. I don’t think even after all the therapy, marriage weekend, couples talk, etc that he feels he did anything wrong, since it was not sexual ( don’t have proof of that either… Maybe it was). So no remorse = no healing for me. He could give me the moon and say all the right things, but until he “gets it” it all means nothing to me. I don’t feel safe. Don’t know how much longer to give him to straighten up come clean. I thought a polygraph might set my mind at ease but since he refuses that tells me he is hiding something. I think divorce is on the horizon for us, sadly. I can’t live with his lack of remorse and feelings that he did nothing wrong, not to mention the abuse, and still maintain any self respect. The one good thing from all this is that I am a much stronger person and I have learned to set boundaries.

      • Nmounce

        A suggestion if you are interested in reconnecting, since he chooses not to discuss or provide any info let the OW spouse know about it. Everyone and everything should be out in the open. Honestly, though with out remorse and amends it will never improve and IT WILL CONTINUE OR HAPPEN AGAIN. Sorry, been there, done that.

    • tryinghard

      I am so sorry you are going through this. Sounds to me like he is dealing with a lot of embarrassment too.

      Sometimes when these men get caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar they regress back to little boys knowing that “Mommy” is mad. They strike out to preserve their ego. They can’t stand being called down. Will NOT humble themselves into admitting they acted like total assholes. Deny, deny, deny is the second cousin to “Just get over it. I said I was sorry.” Doesn’t cut it though, right?

      You are right in your assessment of the relationship. His actions need to reflect his words. It’s funny because even though we see the big things they do, it’s the little things they do that means more. My H lavished me with gifts and attention and words of regret and love, but I was constantly aware of his body language and small caring gestures. I’ve learned to read him like a book. I acknowledged his grand gestures and remained aware of the small gestures that are the REAL tellings of remorse. Little things like catching him looking at me while I was doing something, laughing at my jokes, small touches, how he greeted me when he walked in the door, etc. You know what I’m saying.

      There are so many twists and turns on this road to recovery and realizations about our relationships. I would hate to see you give up too fast on him and your marriage. But if your husband won’t even jump the first hurdle for you and your marriage I can certainly understand you coming to this conclusion.

      You sound like a very bright person that will be just fine on her own. You didn’t deserve this and you’ve done your best. You’ve given him more than enough chances now it’s his opportunity to make things right.

      My heart goes out to you.

      • TakeControl

        Rather than men regressing to act like little boys, it’s actually a guilty person who is frightened and still staving off “full reveal”.

        My wife has been the same when I verbally target the sections of the story and elements that she still tries to hide. Quick fear and alarm manifest, which immediately hits her ‘fight or flight’ part of the brain, and she is angrily responding , as if from out of nowhere, to what sounds like a simple question. I took notes, so I know areas of knowledge she dodges.

        “Stop! You’re getting too close to the secret!”, they may as well say.

        I’ve given her three more conversation chances before my things begin leaving the house. Each time I detect one of her tactics or any deception, that conversation will stop. She has two left then, and so on. It took me a LOT of my being way too nice, and her lying, to get me to this point. I know the gist through research, and I’d be reluctant to talk about it too. This will be one bad story to hear, but if there is something there to know on the subject, it’s too important for me to ignore or avoid.

        Please, since some guy did do something, let’s focus on the individual who wronged us. I swear, this modern sexism against men is out of control as it is.

    • Strength required

      Great reply to Karen, th. I was just thinking though Karen, maybe the remorse your looking for, is really what your h is giving, maybe that is him. Like a lot of men, it is hard to show yourself as weak, which is probably why they get themselves into this type of mess to begin with. Proving to themselves, they are the man, they still have it even though they are a mess inside.
      Just wondering if that makes sense?
      There are so many things I would love to see my h do, ohh so many, but given time these things will most probably come.
      Now as for whether he is still seeing her or not, that there is a risk I face everyday. Yet I know if he is, he will revert back to his selfish ways, like he always did, when she was in the picture. I could always tell, because he was different, in a bad way. The guilt makes them defensive. I think maybe if you see how he was behaving when she was around, and compare it to now, maybe that will give you a clue. I believe what we find hard, is giving our heart completely back to this person who hurt us more than anyone has, they betrayed that trust, so of course we are going to be wary, and not even so giving. We want reassurances that we are safe, and rightly so. I doubt anyone here will put their hand up saying they want to go through that torture again, and I’m sure if it did, it would be the deal breaker for most of us. I have to admit, he does seem to be trying, yet only you can tell if it is enough, and the biggest question that needs to be answered for yourself is ” is he worth it?” I think if you can answer that truthfully to yourself, you will know what you are willing to do, or not do?
      My heart goes out to you too

      • Strengthrequired

        What I should just say too, is those of us that stay in our marriages, with the hopes of making it work ,we do so at our own risk, it would be very rare no doubt that any of us can say that there is no chance it will happen again. Honestly, we held onto that belief before and look where it got us, here. So it really is about whether we are able to put our heart in the line again, some of us will say they are worth the chance, some of us will say, they don’t get another chance. Whatever you choose to do, you have to make sure it is really what you want, and however it turns out, there are no regrets, for trying or walking away.

    • 2redhorses

      My husband has made a recommitment to our marriage and family after a lengthy period of maritial problems and a subquent affair on his end. He played the deny game for a long time then finally the novelty of the affair wore off and he saw it in a new light and and saw clearly what he was close to loosing. He hit his rock bottom and had to eat his pride and admit his wrong doings and we began to move forward to recommitting our marriage.
      We are 3 months out from D day and he is a different man. It’s been a slow process but every day is better.
      We have had emotional, raw, frank, painful discussions that have opened the lines of communication and increase intimacy. We’ve never talked like this before in our 11 yrs of marriage.
      I think often about remorse, guilt, forgiveness etc. It’s difficult to put labels on these feelings and put pressure on myself to deconstruct each feeling and wonder if if he’s “remorseful” or if I’ve “forgiven too easily” etc

      What I’ve learned through trial and error is that we women have an amazing sense of intuition. Always listen to your gut. Don’t box in each emotion, just think about it and ask your gut how you feel about it?

      When you ask yourself if your husband is remorseful, does it feel like he is? Does he treat you in a way that he shows his love and comittment in small ways ? It’s the small things that count. I think the larger tokens of love (lavish gifts, trips, etc) are short lived and come from guilt and are used to win you over. It’s offering to pour you a glass of wine or offering to clean up from dinner or bath the kids after a long day that will show you his love and comittment to the marriage.

      Remorse and guilt are HIS feelings that he needs to work through. At the end of the day you just need to know and FEEL that he is committed to you. If you don’t feel it, I can guarantee that he’s not, or together you need to figure out what you need to feel committed to.
      Our therapist recommended a great book called “5 languages of love” by Gary chapman. It helped us tune into our individual love language and what we can do for each other to show our true committed and love. It also helped us navigate the different types of love, and why we choose “real/long lasting love”

      It may seem odd but I actually am thankful of my husbands indiscretion. I think both him and I were too proud, embarrassed, lazy, tired, and overwhelmed to really face our marital problems (pre affair)
      This was the jolt we needed to get things sorted out. He has said he does not regret what happened ONLY because it has helped us. He wishes it didn’t get to that point, but with both of our busy lives and our stubborn personalities, unfortunately it was the only way to get our attention.

      I’ve learned so much through out this process and continue to learn and grow with my husband

    • Tiredofitall

      I have been married 21 years. Early in my marriage there was porn, next were inappropriate chat rooms I caught my husband in, after that I guess you would call it an ea but I didnt have a name for it at the time. I swept each of those betrayals under the rug so to speak because our children were young and I only wanted to keep my family together. I guess I wanted my illusion to stay the same. After the EA 10-11 years ago, I thought all the lying and cheating had stopped. My husband became involved in men’s ministry and I thought we were in the best place possible. I was SO happy. Then I discovered the EA (for the first time) in October of 2012. It had gone on since July. I thought it stopped but then discovered it hadn’t in December.

      So, yes, my husband shows remorse. I also thinks he knows that I have hit rock bottom and there will not be another chance. If he lies/cheats and I catch him, this marriage is over. I am struggling now because I just don’t believe his remorse. I don’t feel safe. He was just so good at living two lives that I don’t trust him. I HATE her and I am not a hater. I know I hate her because I am displacing the anger I have for him. Any suggestions how I get past this hurdle that is currently holding me back. I am down because I thought we were doing well, but then life happens and all these negative feelings come crashing back.

      • moregooddays


        Every word you wrote – even your ‘name’ resonates with me. I have also been married for 21 years and suffer through all sorts of the same stuff many of the people responding here are dealing with.

        I am grateful to have found this forum where I can speak my truth without the inevitable judgement that has come when I have confided to friends of my husbands multiple affairs. Sympathy is quickly replaced with judgement when friends learn that this has happened before. So I don’t share. And that is hard. It feels very soothing to ‘speak’ with others who have been through similar situations.

        Here is the good news I can tell you… Marriage can be better than ever before – regardless of what has happened in it –

        …. as long as both of you want it

        …. as long as both of you are willing to do some bloody hard work

        …. as long as both of you don’t get angry or defensive at the same time too often

        … it can get better can get better and better

        …. you just have to accept that your relationship has changed. And thats ok.

        Accept that there will be hellish lows. From what I have experienced, those lows have also come with the feelings of failure when I thought the marriage was ‘actually over’.

        Peace and love always return, after every fight, after every trigger and hurt… peace and love always return.

        I believe my husband has learned the value of his marriage this time. I could give all the reasons why, but they ring shallow even to me when I say them out loud:) But I have seen the difference in his life, in his becoming grounded. I believe him.

        I believe we can all make our marriages work if we chose to – and as long as they are being honest. It just doesn’t seem like that necessarily makes it hurt less.

        I do try to talk about it less. Which is hard. He had a 14 year online affair with his cheerleader high school crush. It hurts like a mother!)#($*! We are closing in on the 1 year anniversary of finding that out, and also that he was addicted to craigslist sexting. For over a decade. And yes, they are the tip of the iceberg.

        Have I lost all credibility yet??

        His world fell apart last year when I found everything out. I think he had to deal with reality for the first time in his entire life. It has been a hard road. He was stripped bare emotionally this year. All his secrets were brought to light and his bubble was burst. He does not do well with reality! God bless him even I felt sorry for him having to deal with every harshest reality at once!

        I believe we will make it. He is seeing a clinical psychologist. He has several disorders and i think addiction issues. He is doing the hardest work of his life, and so am I.

        I think thats what it is going to take, but i think the rewards are worth it.

        And… for all I have just said, i don’t feel that confident every day! But I strive to remind myself what it is that I want before I flare up in anger these days,. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. It is definitely dwindling down to a more managable feeling though…. I do feel as though I have control over my emotions 99 percent of the time these days. But boy, that 1 percent of the time is a very dark place:(

        i know this is rambling…. it is almost midnight here and i am exhausted!

        Stay strong. You are surrounded by a lot of love, and I am sending you more. I feel your pain and confusion and I carry it with you.


        • Gabrielle

          I’m in a dark place 11.5 months from d-day. Husband still seeing affair partner…..I would like to rebuild our marriage. Thanks for your encouraging words. I pray to God each day for him to have a change of heart – I think he has addiction problems from childhood emotional abuse by his mother.

    • 2redhorses


      You have to make a conscious effort to work to forgive and choose love. Love will foster love, and you just have to choose love. It’s hard and it gets easier as the more you love the more love you receive in return.

      I totally understand how life causes bumps in recovery. When you hit a bump you should just identify it as that. A bump. Focus on the grander picture of what you’re trying to achieve. Will this bump matter in 6 months from now? Probably not.
      Try not to ruin progress already made because of a bump.
      I’ve also learned that it’s not the bump that is the issue, but how you choose to deal with the bump. Are you reacting the way you would in the past? Are you able to talk and work to through and forgive the bump and move on to the next day ?

      How you deal with the little every day bumps in the road will ultimately heal you as well it may show you the true identity of the realationship.

      • moregooddays

        Can I retract everything I said in response to Tiredofitall, and just site your opening paragraph! It is exactly what I am coming to terms with and learning through all of the pain of his multiple affairs and multiple betrayals.

        Love is the answer. Sigh.

    • Tiredofitall

      Thank you. That is a good way to look at it, as a bump–and will it matter in 6 months. I do want to give it my all. I guess I need affirmation that I’m not an idiot for thinking things could really change this time.

    • 2redhorses

      If the loving marriage is what you want then you have to foster an environment that makes him feel safe and cared for so he can be honest with you always.

      It will change, but not over night. Remember that it took years for your marriage to unravel, so it will take time to reconstruct it.
      It won’t be perfect every day, just stay focused. It will get better. And if it doesn’t, then at least you know that you’ve done absolutly everything in your power.
      You can only control your feelings and actions. You can’t control his.

    • Tiredofitall

      But see…that is the problem -we did and do have a loving marriage. He does all those little things and I do too. We always have which is why it is so hard to see something different in him. Everyone else says we should have “known” BUT I DIDN’T! Until the last month b4 I caught him our life in my mind was perfect.

    • 2redhorses

      It may be time to do some work to uncover why it happened. You may learn something’s from him you never knew about. (Childhood issues, issues surrounding marriage, fatherhood, work, etc). Men have a great way of burying issues that they don’t think are important but these issues could be unknowingly sabotaging your marriage.

      I can only imagine the amount of shock and betrayal you must feel. If the marriage was great once I truly believe it will be again!
      Try not to focus on the negative of your husband. Try to focus on the wonderful partner he was for all those years before the EA.

    • Tiredofitall

      Do you have a recommendation for tackling the “why”?? That is definitely something I need and want an answer to and my husband so far has been unable to provide.

    • 2redhorses

      Everyone does things for a reason. Perhaps he just hasn’t figured it out yet.
      Make sure he knows he’s not off the hook, but also that you do need to know why. Foster a loving environment and contuine to move forward with the notion that he does have to figure out the why, eventually.

      It’s hard sitting around waiting for the why. I highly recommend this book.

      I read it in a weekend and it really helped me see his side of things, and helped me get to the “why” by asking specific questions.

      He may know but not be ready to tell you or he may not know himself.
      My advise would be to be patient. The dust is still settling on his reveal. He probably feels guilty, eembarassed and disappointed in himself.

      Don’t let him off the hook, but do give him time.

    • Tiredofitall

      Thank you. I will order that book. He definitely feels guilty and embarrassed. At least he says so. It has been 14 months since DDay for me and I have been waiting for the why to be answered with no luck….I pray this book could help me to ask the right questions.

    • 2redhorses

      I’m sorry, I thought D day was more
      Recent for you. He really owes you an explanation, perhaps his own therapy could help.
      The scary part is that if you don’t uncover the Why, then you’re endanger of it happening again. 🙁

      Be brave. Read the book. I’ve read lots on the subject, and this by far was the best.
      Chin up!

    • Tiredofitall

      Thank you for all of your suggestions. I hope to talk to you more. You are exactly right that if we do not uncover the “why” that it will happen again—his track record proves it. It is not an option this time. He just has to dig deep and find out why so that he can be the man that he pretends to be to the whole world. He wants to be that man, I believe, but doesn’t know how. Thanks again! Anxious to read that book.

    • 2redhorses

      Feel free to email me anytime

      [email protected]

      Tracey 🙂

    • Mitch

      It’s great to read the beginning topic description and know that is where I stand at this moment. Thank you to all that have participated and I have been helped by all the comments on this topic and others.

      7 weeks from D-day and my wife of 29 years is not at all remorseful of her almost 4 year EA with a former college boyfriend that was rekindled via a social websiste. Her excuses for persueing and keep this EA going was everything from she has helped him in his relationship with his wife, she gets from him what she was unable to get from me, he has been there for her when she has been lonely, etc, etc.

      Her low self esteem, as she describes, throughout our marriage is now gone or better, so she is a much stronger person today, much happier person today, and is basically not going to take any more crap from me or anyone else. So she is unapologetic and certainly not remorseful.

      I, of course, was unaware of her low self esteem issues or any of the issues / excuses that she would throw up in my face to justify her actions. Its just excuses and deflections to her being unhappy in our marriage.

      Unfortunately, my reserve of love for her and our marriage is getting low and really don’t know how much more I can stand. We tried therepy. But she bamboozed the therapist into thinking that this was just a friendship that went a little too far. The therapist gave her the green light to keep seeing the AP as long as they kept it on a platonic level. (I was not present at this session (only the second session and first one alone with my wife). The bad or incompetent therapy sessions could be the topic of another discussion…

      Anyway, I feel like a train wreck is coming, with the therapist waving the signal flag to proceed down this track of destruction. I am like a third person (omniscient view) watching all this unfold. I am trying to love my wife but its getting harder and harder each day. Like I mentioned, my tank of love gets lower every day – but hey, the sex is fantastic.

      She is unapologetic, not remorseful and proud of it.

      I am waiting for these two love birds to get together one more time, then it will be time to call it quits.

      Thanks for listening and keep up the great work. This site has be very helpful to me.

    • Tiredofitall

      So sorry to hear this Mitch. I hate that any type of affair could happen after 20+ years of marriage. It just doesn’t seem right—seems like we should have worked out the kinks by now. Good luck.

    • Tabs

      Hey 2redhorses,

      Thanks for the tip on the book. I just downloaded it yesterday and am now half way throught it. So far, it’s been quite helpful, perhaps more than my therapist. My therapist is convinced I will never get a valid reason for the affair. Now I believe I should.

    • 2redhorses

      Glad you are enjoying the book. It helped me in ways therapy misses.

      I think everyone deserves to know why. It’s matter of how long you’re willing to wait for it and wether or not the relationship is important enough for the wayward partner to take it seriously enough and figure it out.

      We all do what we do for survival and to fill needs that are not met. I believe the wayward spouse owes it to you all to figure it out.

    • Tiredofitall

      I got the book last night. Both my husband and I are anxious to read it!

    • 2redhorses

      I’m anxious to see what you think tiredofitall……

    • Elaynia

      Do some men show remorse by actions, with no apology or admitting wrong doing?

      • Blue

        Yes Elaynia, the cowards and/or the narcissists. Maybe you could tell him (nicely barf) that you are stuck in healing because your needs of him to give you an authentic verbal and written apology have not happened. Maybe ask him if he is able to do that.

        My CH was both for a long time. He seems to have really changed (5 yrs after DD) I had/have to block some things out so I don’t leave and how I didn’t leave. Looking back, I felt a hot mess, and I was, but I carried on with a goal in mind. I felt I owed it to my children if nothing else.

        If he reverts back to AP Sociopath I’m willing to give up that goal of staying together. If I’m going to have a man in my life, he’s got to be worth it.

        • Blue

          OOPS! sorry about the ‘nice barf’ it’s just that it makes me pissed off sometimes that we have to be nice when they’ve been such arseholes.

    • Mitch

      As a follow up to my March 4, 2014 post, regarding my wife’s lack of remorse, this is where we are.

      We tried another therapist and in front of her and me, the wife swore that she would abide by the “no contact rule” with her affair partner. But she was hooked. I would find out about an email she sent him or a card she sent him or a text message, etc.

      Each time she violated the “no contact rule”, it would feel like you get hit over the head with a sledge hammer. Each time the trust goes down to zero and you start over. After several months of this (5 to 6 times), finally the relationship is unrecoverable. I imagine it’s like living with an addict. They just can’t stop.

      It was fully explained to her, by me and the therapist that a line is now drawn in the sand and if you put one toenail over the line (meaning break the no contact rule) our marriage would be over.

      She called him and I found out via cell phone records.

      So I left and never went back. We are in the process of dissolving the marriage as we speak.

      Regarding her lack of remorse, she would intelligently argue that she loves me but also loves her affair partner as well. She had no remorse for her actions. She felt bad for the hurt she caused me and the children. But in her mind, what she did, in cranking up an old relationship with a college boyfriend, was something she needed to do.

      It came down to this; was she willing to keep contacting her AP, knowing full well what the consequences would be? She was. And our marriage is in the process of being dissolved.

      My wife still does not want to get divorced. And why would she? She gets her financial and physical support from me and gets her emotional support from her affair partner.

      After 35 years of marriage, I struggle sometimes with the thought of not having someone in my life and sharing family experiences together. She lives now in the Midwest and I in Florida, so I don’t have to or need to see her ever again, except at family functions involving our children.

      And don’t worry about me. I have moved on and have quite a busy life.

      Whether or not she will or has come out of the “fog”, is anyone’s guess. I don’t know because I am not in her geographic area. I don’t talk to the children (all grown) about her or ask them “how is she doing?”

      The lessons that I want to pass along are twofold:
      1. If your partner / spouse does not show remorse, any hope of having a new or meaningful relationship with them is lost.
      2. If your partner / spouse does not honor the “no contact rule”, once again, any hope of having a new or meaningful relationship is lost.

      I went through the “thousand steps” in trying to repair and make new again a relationship with my wife. So I feel good that I did everything I could to make it work. And now I am moving on.

    • TryingHard

      I’m sorry to hear that your reconciliation did not work out for you and your wife. Wow 33 years is a long time. I hope she realizes what she’s doing. But probably not.

      It’s hard to reconcile when it’s a one way street. And it sounds like you did everything in your power to try to make the marriage right with her. Too bad she wasn’t as committed to doing that as you were it sounds like 🙁

      I guess you can go forward with your life and divorce with the knowledge that you gave her every chance to do the right thing and in the end she just couldn’t do it. Well you know what, her loss. I wish you all the happiness you deserve. I know a good person like you will find somebody worth of his love. Good Luck

    • Art

      My wife of 36 years had an affair for 2 years. When I confronted her about it she said that she “needed time alone to think” I gave her a week. That was 3 years ago.

      We talked that Friday and she said that she decided that she wanted to stay married. She has said very little about the whole thing. She told me that she had emailed him, told him it was over, that he didn’t have to worry about me taking any actions against him or telling his boss. Other that she didn’t revealed any other details of her communication with him.

      While our marriage is better. I still have my doubts.

    • Jupiter

      So … when exactly should this remorse show up? I’m the wayward spouse, and we are 7, almost 8 months out, and I don’t FEEL the remorse. Not from lack of doing things right. We are in therapy, no contact, reading books, talking about it, being transparent and accountable, accepting the blame, being together.

      Although I know I made a mistake, I would not take back EA/PA. I don’t feel remorse for my actions, and that is not sitting well with anybody.

      So, when? What more can I do?

    • Tiredofitall

      Can you clarify the “no remorse” statement? I can possibly understand that you enjoyed the ea/pa and don’t have remorse for that relationship. However, I do not understand how you cannot feel remorse for causing such pain to the person you had promised to love and cherish. Do you understand what I mean?

      • Tryinghard

        Well then don’t worry about it. Some people have no empathy. You must be one of them. I feel sorry for your husband. You’ll do it again. You are what you are. I hope your husband has a plan B in place. Good luck.

    • RemorsefulBehindClosedDoors


      I’m looking for some guidance before my therapy session this weekend and hoping someone can offer anything. I’m the one who cheated on my significant other of 4 years. Although, I’m not married, it was certainly moving in that direction. I cheated on him with a random man I met through a game app. No sex was involved, but it’s been going on about a month before I was caught. He decided to stay after all we’ve been through. I disclosed everything…he demanded everything-my car, my phone, my passwords, just so he could feel secure again and I gave them all up to him willingly to gain his trust again. I try to show him I care by cooking and cleaning or offering to help him get ready in the mornings or staying next to him so he doesn’t have to worry where I’ll be. But it’s difficult for me to show remorse when I’m next to him because he is constantly yelling at me, asking why- Which I have no answers for, tells me everything is my fault and this is the worst thing I have possibly done to hurt him, and he calls what I did evil. And when he does this…sometimes I bring up the fact that he’s hit me, abused me physically, emotionally, and verbally before ‘this’ incident happened then compares the two saying cheating is far worse than abuse. I know cheating is 100% at will, but sometimes I feel like I’m putting the blame on him that his abuse caused me to go this way and I justify it in this sense, which causes me not to feel sorry, sadly, I feel revengeful. However, when I’m alone and he isn’t bothering me, I hate myself for what I did, I feel awful, ugly, hurtful because this isn’t the person I am or thought I’d be. I start to cry, get really emotional, but he doesn’t know that and I feel like I can’t tell him that because he will see it as excuses. We are working on trying to work things out, but he blames all issues that’s happened in the past as all my fault, is this right? Should I bear ALL that blame? I’ve tried to tell him he can’t compare the two-cheating and abuse-Because they are separate issues, but he says all I’m doing is justifying what I did which he could be right, but I can’t accept. Now I’m overwhelmed with guilt and shame and so much remorse, but I can’t bring myself to disclose this to him to his face. I do plan on telling my therapist that I cheated, but I cannot talk about the abuse because I fear she will call the cops on him and we were working on that-he was coming to terms with what he did. But after what I’ve done, I feel like he justifies that I deserve the abuse that happened before all this and I don’t find it right. Please help.

    • Tired BS

      No remorse from my CS. He doesn’t get it. He deflects any questions…… Thinks if we don’t discuss it everything is fine. CS still in denial……..says all the right things in a flat tone then gets frustrated when I don’t believe him. I have to praise him when he does something he thinks is positive( like a child). After couples therapy, I get the silent treatment and have to apologize first to be talked to…. Doesn’t get it. Still getting blamed for everything after 20 years of marriage and an affair.

    • StillStrugglingButLearning

      Hey guys, I’m a BS, my wife of 8 years had an EA with a guy that actually worked for me and is 10 years younger. Hit me pretty hard below the belt. Almost 6 months from discovery. Our marriage wasn’t perfect and needs/needed some work but I’m slowly gripping that affairs are not justifiable, even in the wake of a mediocre marriage. They are just never, never, never OK. It completely undermines the commitment and safety of the marriage relationship. I say all that in that it’s taken me time to accept that. I’m a peacemaker and a conflict avoider and my first instinct was to think through everything that I’d done wrong to cause the affair, all the needs I didn’t meet that allowed her to look for someone else to meet them. I’m still struggling but I’m starting to even out and get angry. Starting to see my wife as a broken 30 year-old woman going through a mid-life crisis, scared of having more kids and growing up, going through a faith crisis as well… and she didn’t know how to express any of this to me and instead chose to relive her youth with a really young guy that did fun things with her and made her feel 18 again. And to help with perspective (and I say this with as little ego as possible), I’m a really in-shape 33 year-old guy that is attractive enough to where I’m confident that this wasn’t about just basic looks or attractiveness.

      Anyway. A few things I’d offer on remorse as I think we are rounding the corner. Can’t say for certain, but there have definitely been some things that have helped push our situation toward this milestone. First of all, it’s taken some time as it should take any person coming out of an affair to emotionally separate (especially a woman whose emotions can be very strong and tough to process). I’d tell anyone trying to recover that this time is just part of the sacrifice you make when you decide to stick it out with someone. I think this separation process is very much “the fog” that people refer to. They are still looking at their lives with affair-colored glasses is all I can say. Everything they say is usually some level of BS that makes you sick because they are like a completely different person. Their brain is sending them those fresh puppy dog love signals that make them do and say completely irrational things. The good part is, with ‘no contact’, it should eventually start to fade. When it begins to fade is when progress can finally be made. Anything done before that is just fake progress and I’d also tell someone not to go too far early on as you might not allow your CS to really go through this emotional separation (you don’t want them to just repress it and become bitter toward you later on, they need to really separate from their lover and see it as a failed relationship). Good and bad thing for me, my wife is super stubborn and honest and she wasn’t going to repress her feelings just to make me feel better. Sucked at the time (and still does when she mentions him), but at least I know she’s not feeding me BS just to avoid the pain. However, here’s another tip that really helped me over the past few days and seems to be moving our train down the tracks. Be angry. Seriously, especially those of you that are typically conflict avoiders or peacemakers. Don’t be afraid to tell your spouse how small they made you feel with their affair and lack of affection or affirmation afterwards. I had to be blunt and honest with my wife and tell her that her lack of respect and affection for me really pisses me off and makes me feel like a fool to still be hanging around her. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’m leaving her, but I’m definitely not happy with her decisions and I’m not going to get walked on while she “finds herself”. What I’m saying is, STAND UP FOR YOURSELF. It’s hard because you don’t want to lose your CS (especially if in your mind, you really want to fight for marriage), but you also want a future relationship with the balance of power restored. At the end of the day, I’ve realized if I’m going to get my wife’s respect back, I need to be a little bit of an asshole so her attention is on me and not just her puppy dog love lost. Not a vindictive, cruel asshole…but someone who isn’t afraid to say “I deserve better than what you have put me through” and “you need to get your s—t in one sock”. It’s tough love, basically. there are affair recovery books that advocate tough love and there is a lot of merit in it although some can be extreme 🙂

      The idea of a balance of power is the single greatest metaphor that’s helped me work through recovery on my end. It’s something I can finally control and help give me a gameplan on how to convey my hurt in a way that my spouse can hear it. Think of your future marriage (at least the ideal one). You want a balanced relationship, with neither spouse having power over the other, but rather a shared union in which you both have respect and deep love for one another. I think a true equal is the sexiest thing on Earth, you don’t want to dominate or be dominated in a lifelong relationship. If you are the type of person that lords over your spouse or doesn’t really respect them (and deep down, you know it) and they had an affair, a more tender approach is probably your best bet. I don’t speak from any experience, but it seems that most affair recovery websites aimed at men favor this approach — because most men probably are more aggressive in nature or disrespectful of their wives or dominant in conflict. Some tenderness can be all their wives need to see to open up to remorse, and most of their wives got in to EAs or PAs because the other guy was so tender and sensitive and caring. In my case, however, I’m on the other end of the spectrum. I’m much too passive, as hard as this is to admit in the mirror. I’m great at saying the right thing, for empathizing, and for taking the blame on my shoulders in every situation I can. I’m a champion at this. But deep down, my wife finds this horribly unattractive, at least at the current phase of our relationship. I’m the Mr. Nice Guy that didn’t understand why my wife wouldn’t show any appreciation. So my challenge is to actually be a little bit of a jerk. Or at least to be honest in my feelings and to let her know that I’m pissed at her for being a little girl. To not be afraid of opening up a conflict and letting it sit unresolved for a while. This is deeply uncomfortable for her (and me!), but it’s triggered the first signs of remorse in our entire recovery. It’s like she finally had to look in the mirror and realize how screwed up she is because I wasn’t willing to put up with her messed up behavior anymore. It’s like she finally got my attention in the way she was actually craving. Again, I caution you that this must be very straight-forward language (“I” statements are crucial) and not the typical accusatory language that follows an affair. It must purely describe the depth of your feeling and outline the insensitivity of your spouse for basically crapping all over you so they could be “happy”.

      I can’t really speak to the women here that are dealing with BS because men may be a little different. But for the men out there that are hanging on with unfaithful wives, I’d challenge you to figure out what type of man and husband you are. Are you too aggressive or always the one pushing conflict on your wife? Then maybe it’s time to be a little more tender and less confrontational. It will surprise her to see you lowering your guard. But if you are like me and willing to shoulder all the problems and not confront her when she’s acting like a baby, then it’s time to kick your own ass and be much more assertive and aggressive. Make sure she knows she’s acting like a teenager and that you aren’t going to be nice to her while she has her tantrum + affair. I’ve had to rationalize this approach with the fact that I’m hanging in there and not filing for divorce, but I am going to make sure that she knows exactly how much she hurt me without fear of driving her off. I’m putting her in to a really tight spot that is exactly the pain she needs to feel to start to drive any feelings of remorse. For the first time in months, there are signs of life. Hopefully this can help someone here.

      Reading your stories has helped me a ton and I only hope to offer my experience as a means of helping someone else.

    • Rob

      There are two reasons affairs happen
      There is either a physical or emotional attraction of both
      Prepare yourself for the truth
      Receive the truth
      Verify the truth

      Disengage from the cheater mentally, physically and emotionally
      Cheaters never trust cheaters
      Verbal arguments do not accomplish anything
      I suggest you grieve, that relationship is over
      Do things you love to do
      Find new friends
      Make yourself look good, and feel good about yourself
      Perhaps take a girl or guy to lunch, go see a movie with them
      If it leads to sex, do it
      This is about you not the cheater
      One day the cheater will contact you
      If they have no remorse, and can not see you as a equal partner hang up and disengage yourself from them, and remember, their intent the cheater, is to engage you into a argument
      Cheaters love intense relationships, its a flaw in their dna or mental make up

      Bottom line there is no solution for you and the cheater unless their is remorse and a no contact rule is enforced.

      Remember this cheaters when caught get violent lol.
      They also do stupid thing, and throw away something that they know for something that they do not know

      Let them go, you can do better, if they do not want you, I want you

    • Rob

      One other thought
      If you do get back with the cheater, the old relationship is gone forever
      You will be surprised how much you have changed
      Over the long term, their will always be a piece of you you will never let them have
      Human nature is that way, self preservation is everything
      Men, do not place a value on what the cheater has to offer, you can get that anywhere
      Realize this, by the time the affair is discovered is was going on for 7 to 9 weeks already
      You may think shes a tramp, but trust me, she waited to have sex with him
      Its part of her head game, she the cheater does not want to be perceived as a slut, but they are
      As for guys, I have to say I am loyal, cheating sucks, do not lower yourself, leave your spouse before you cheat, take the high road, do it with honor
      end the relationship before you bang another woman
      Women are needy and they are clingy
      The psychology of the person who the cheater is involved with is to start showing everyone they have a relationship with you. When they do that, you will get caught and like all fools go running to them. There is a clear line in the road that has been worn their by thousands of cheaters before you. The result is always the same, the grass is not greener, cheaters do not trust cheaters, cheaters are liars, cheaters will defend the other partner they are involved with so do not call them names, its a waste of time

      Cheating is free will all the time, they did it because they can. Look at it like a destruction button, they will keep hitting it, again and again because they can

      Just let them go, they need a therapist

    • Confused

      My partner of 28years still won’t talk of his EA . He has denied a lot of what I found out for myself but I know that he is minimising the affair and still lying and withholding. , He is trying hard with practical things, and says he loves me (which I’m finding difficult to believe ,as during our recovery, he admitted that he had NEVER loved me, which I’m finding even harder than processing the affair)Does the change in him and seemingly genuine words of love mean that he’s remorseful?

    • Brandon

      My D-Day with my wife was nearly 4 years ago. When I discovered my wife was having a long term romantic affair with someone who lived in our neighborhood it hit me like a silent freight train in the dark. Never in my life have I felt a more saddening discusting pain. She never has shown any remorse, guilt or shame. She has played dumb and pretends it never happened. I have delicately, humbly approached her in a loving way many times in an attempt to discuss what happened and why. The only words she ever spoke to me regarding that were “you didn’t give me enough attention” This hurt me even deeper because at no point in time did I ever want my wife to feel ignored or forgotten. I took the opportunity at that moment to earnestly, whole heartedly ask for her forgiveness and that I would dedicate my life to make sure she never felt that away again. As for me, I was a wreck inside, I was having triggers, and intrusive thoughts, still to this day I have i trusive thoughts and infidelity ghosts flying around in my head. All trust was lost when I discovered her affair. My self esteem plummeted. I detached myself from my wife and daughter for about a month. I told my wife I wasn’t leaving her and that I needed time to think and search in my soul about what my next step was going to be. She said nothing. I spent a month praying, crying, crying, crying, crying, begging God to give me an answer of what I should do about my marriage. In my belief, an extra-marital indiscretion is a deal breaker, but we have a young daughter together. I love my daughter beyond words and did not want to uproot her or have her live in a split home. Everyone around me, family, friends were screaming at me, LEAVE HER! I thought about it for a very long time. I came to the conclusion I was absolutely not ready to leave her, financially, emotionally, etc I was scared and totally unprepared. I was angry at myself for not having money saved, or a private place to retreat to. I decided to stay for now. I believed that perhaps one day she would come to me and talk to me about it, but she hasn’t. She hasn’t given me a single grain of hope, and she has picked up and left off right where she was emotionally, it didn’t seem to phase her at all. I have a long term plan to leave her. Its going to take careful planning, patience and strategic financial planning but it can be done. I also decided that leaving her the good old fashioned way wouldn’t fly, I was going to have to abandon her. I know, its not what I would ideally want to do, but I am left with no other option. She has known me any hope that thus won’t happen again, she has not shed a single tear, and accuses me of wanting to start a fight if I bring it up. I fully plan on leaving her

      • Ben

        I would leave her. Similar crap with my wife and I’m in the middle of trying to be bought out of everything we had. I want no part in the business, house, nothing. Pay me out and it’s all hers. She keeps saying she’s now wiling to try. But it’s Al way too little, way too late! I tried for long enough and when I was trying, she couldn’t be bothered to try. These people are just too stupid and insecure to do what’s needed when it was needed. Chose to believe she wasn’t at fault. That I was at fault since I was trying and since I had apologised for letting our marriage deteriorate to the point it had. Pity they’re too defensive to admit that they were also at fault until it was too late. I have no feelings for her. I couldn’t care less what happens to her. Luckily there’s no kids involved so it’s a bit easier than other marriages.

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