If My Husband Is Sorry For His Cheating, Does This Mean He Won’t Cheat Again?

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who are trying very hard to save their marriage or move on after their husband’s affair. One thing that stands in the way of true healing is the worry that he will cheat again. So many wives are searching high and low for signs that offer some reassurance that he won’t cheat again.

To that end, many wives ask me if sorrow or guilt are positive signs that might mean he won’t cheat again. I heard from a wife who said: “my husband admitted to his affair. I didn’t even suspect that anything was wrong. So he didn’t have to tell me, but he did, partly because he felt so guilty and awful for his actions. He has told me how sorry he is a million times. He literally cries and pleads on a repeated basis. I still love my husband. Words can not express how badly I hurt. But I still love him and want to save my marriage. However, the main thing that I know is going to keep me from doing this is the worry that he will cheat again. He swears he won’t. But I have a lot of fear because I don’t intend to ever go through this again. My question is whether his being so sorry and remorseful is a good indication that he will not cheat again?” I will address this in the following article.

Guilt And Sorrow Can Be A Good Sign, But It Can Also Be Deceiving: Let’s be clear. You want to see guilt and sorrow from your husband after his affair or his cheating. There is simply no question about this. Men who feel justified in their cheating are more likely to cheat again.

Another important point is that men know you want to see their sorrow. It can be faked. I’m certainly not saying that was the case here. But men know that it is in their best interest to appear as sorry and as remorseful as possible. And plenty of men who were genuinely sorry for cheating end up cheating again.

With all of this said, none of it negates the sorrow that this wife was seeing. The sorrow seemed to be genuine and you would certainly rather see it than not. But it is only one good sign. And a good sign without any action or rehabilitation might leave you falling short of true rehabilitation.

Understand That Sorrow Is Not The Same As Rehabilitation: As important as guilt and sorrow is, if this is all that is present, you are still vulnerable. I have to tell you that in my experience and observation, many men are genuinely and completely sorry that they cheated. They vow to never do it again and, at the time, they are probably being completely truthful and sincere.

But, because they haven’t done any rehabilitation or uncovered what issues lead up to their cheating in the first place, they are still vulnerable to cheat again.  For example, let’s say a man had poor impulse control and low self esteem. He may well be 100% sorry that he cheated on his wife and he may have no intention whatsoever to cheat again. And, many years might pass while he remains happily and faithfully married. But, there is every chance that at some point in the future, his lack of self esteem and poor impulse control are going to come into play again and he will find himself cheating when he never intended to do so.

I am not telling you this to upset or scare you. I am telling you this because I want you to take one more step and go beyond the sorrow. Yes, him being sorry about the cheating is a very positive sign.  You absolutely want to see it and should ask for it if you don’t.  But don’t allow him to stop there. Be committed enough to follow through. Support him as he explores what might have left him vulnerable or lead up to the cheating. Because it is not until you find out what was wrong and then fix it that you will truly have the peace of mind that the chances are as good as they can possibly be that he will not cheat again.

Hoping for the best just isn’t good enough in this case. Because healing from an affair and restoring the trust are both very challenging. And when you are trying so hard to save your marriage but that little voice in the back of your mind is telling you he could well cheat again, your heart is broken and recovery is more difficult. One way to avoid this is to know that you have done every single thing in your power to remove any vulnerabilities that exist. Anything less is stopping short, in my opinion and experience.

My husband was full of apologies immediately after his cheating.  But this didn’t mean a whole lot to me.  I wanted to see action in addition to words.  Once my husband realized this and took real action, then I felt much more comfortable in believing his claims of sorrow.  We worked very hard to rebuild the trust after his affair and we haven’t dealt with infidelity again.  I am confident that he won’t cheat again.  If it helps, you’re welcome to read the whole story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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