My Husband Initially Refused To Show Any Remorse For The Affair. It’s Been Months And Now He’s Claiming To Be Sorry. Is This Genuine?

By: Katie Lersch:  Many wives whose husband has had an affair notice a severe change in attitude from their husband immediately after the affair and then a few months later.  Sometimes, a husband is loving and apologetic at first and then loses patience with always being the “bad guy” or being questioned, so he takes a harder stance later.

On the other extreme, you have the husbands who are indignant and unapologetic at first, but who soften and become more apologetic over time.  And although wives do tend to prefer the softer version even if it comes later, they often wonder if it is to be trusted.  The fear is that he saw that his hard, unapologetic act wasn’t going to work and now he’s trying another, insincere tactic.  Make no mistake. True remorse is EXTREMELY important to wives.  Because it indicates that he knows that he is wrong, which might be a good indicator that he is less likely to cheat again.

A wife might describe the skepticism this way: “the day I caught my husband cheating on me, I do not know who was more angry – him or me.  I was angry at what he did.  He was angry that I had been spying on him.  And he was adamant that he was not sorry.  He said that our marriage wasn’t a good one.  He said that he’d tried to tell me, but I never listened to him.  He said that he didn’t care what I did or how I wanted to proceed because our marriage is no longer important to him.  I moved out that very same day.  I didn’t want to see or hear from him again.  I am pretty sure that we both went to attorneys shortly after that.  Imagine my shock when a couple of days ago, he called to tell me that he had something that he wanted to tell me.  He asked me to just listen for a second.  He said that he had been in therapy and that this made him realize that he had been holding onto anger that had nothing to do with me and that he owed me a sincere apology.  He said our marriage wasn’t bad.  He said that it had some flaws, but that all marriages have flaws and that he overreacted.  He told me that he knows he can never ask me to forgive him.  But he wanted me to know that he was truly, deeply, and genuinely sorry.  He then asked me to lunch.  I admit that my curiosity got the better of me.  I went to lunch and he seemed sincere.  And we have gone out a couple of times.  Part of me is relieved and intrigued.  The other part of me wonders if the other woman dumped him or if he’s just lonely.  I can’t forget the mean things he said to me.  Can I believe in his sincerity? Maybe he found out from an attorney how expensive a divorce would be.  As far as I know, neither of us have started divorce proceedings. I am torn.  I want to believe that he’s sorry, but it’s hard.”

I can speculate as to his motivations, as you already are.  And I can tell you that a man changing his mind, his perceptions, and his reactions is normal. People lash out in the heat of the moment.  In a sense, he had a reaction that was similar to yours, although yours was more justified.   People tend to have strong reactions in the beginning and then calm down.  They also tend to do some posturing in the hopes that their strong reaction will scare you off of having high expectations from them.

The fact that the husband is in counseling makes his change in perception even more likely and is a good sign.  That is one major objective of counseling – to help you see and accept things that you may be missing because you are too close to the situation.

As far as the other woman, you would not be out of line to ask about her status.  Frankly, if I were in this situation, I would move slowly.  Right now, I think that it would be smart to take things day by day.  Maybe just continue on with the lunches and see if more information presents itself.

A reconciliation after an affair is something that shouldn’t be rushed and ideally happens only once you are absolutely sure that total and complete rehabilitation has taken place, the trust is restored, and both people truly want to be in the marriage again.

It’s too soon for all of these things to be present. But it may not be too late for him to start expressing remorse.  It’s not at all uncommon and it’s certainly better than him continuing to be unapologetic.  People tend to need time to process the full extent of their mistake and the true devastation that it has caused.   It is good that he realizes this and is sorry for it.  In the days to come, you can watch closely and continue to evaluate how you feel.  No one says you have to make any immediate decisions.  For now, focus on the fact that you’ve made progress and that he’s feeling the remorse that you deserve.

Frankly, I viewed almost all of my husband’s claims after his affair with a good degree of skepticism.  But over time, he proved himself to be sincere. There’s more about that journey on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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