My Husband Keeps Repeatedly Apologizing For His Affair. But I Don’t Want His Apologies. I Want This Never To Have Happened

By: Katie Lersch:  When you first find out that your spouse has been cheating on you, an apology is expected – to say the least.  But after a while, you can begin to grow tired of all of these apologies.  It can start to feel like the same old thing over and over again.  And you can start to realize that it is only words. And anyone can mutter words.  You can start to believe that your husband thinks that all he has to do is say that he is sorry and then you will just let him off the hook.  It’s an understatement to say that most wives feel that sorry just isn’t good enough.  In fact, sometimes apologies just become downright irritating.

A wife might explain: “some of my friends actually tell me that I am lucky that my husband is basically falling over himself to apologize to me again and again for cheating.  The first words out of his mouth when I caught him was ‘oh my God, I am so very sorry.  You will never know how sorry I am.’  Well, apparently he WANTS me to know how sorry he is because he tells me every single day. Multiple times.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am glad that he is sorry. And I am glad that he doesn’t hesitate to let me know.  I am even glad that he is thinking about this so often.  I don’t want him to get complacent.  I don’t want him to relax and think that he doesn’t have to be conscious of this.  But I get so sick of his whiny voice telling me that he’s sorry.  Because every time he repeats this over and over, I have to be reminded of this horrible thing that he did.  Why does he keep repeating himself? Frankly, I don’t want his sorrow.  I want for this never to have happened in the first place.  And I can thank him that this isn’t possible.”

I can tell you my theory on this.  And it’s only a theory.  Because I’m not a man who has cheated.  But I believe that they repeat this because they want to make absolutely sure that you believe that they are sincere in their remorse.  Also, they know that they can not change things.  They know that they can not erase the affair.  They can’t give you a reality in which this never happened.  So they think that they will give you what they can – their genuine sorrow.

Getting Real Action Instead Of Repetitive Words: I know that it can feel as if sorry just doesn’t cut it anymore.  And there is a level beyond sorry.  And that is action.  Yes, it’s good that your husband is sorry.  But words are only that.  And they mean nothing unless they lead to action.

I understand that you’re getting tired of the same, boring words.  And there is nothing wrong with trying to redirect your husband.  The next time he tries to apologize yet again, you might try something like: “I hear you.  I am glad that you are sorry and I appreciate that you want to tell me how you feel.  But I’m worried that we are going to get stuck on the ‘I’m sorry’ tract.  I want to move forward and we need more than words to do that.  Because words are a great start, but it is not words that are going to heal us.  I’d like for us to go to counseling or get some help that is going to guide us toward what we need to do in order to move past this.  Because what I really want is for it to eventually feel like this is in the past.  I know that we can’t turn back time so that this never happened.  But moving past it is the next best thing.  I don’t want to relive this every day.  But I don’t want to just forget about it either.  I want to heal it.”

Moving Apologies Toward The Bottom Line: With these words, you have taken the ‘I’m sorry”s a little bit further and you are closer to getting what you actually want.  I think that one of the major reasons that we get so frustrated with the apologies is that they do not really give us anything.  They’re nice, of course.  But they do nothing for our bottom line.  That is why it’s advisable to use them only as a stepping stone or a springboard toward the next step. As an added bonus, if he has way to channel his sorrow, he may not feel as compelled to keep repeating himself.

Right now, he’s likely desperately trying to express how he feels, but he’s not being very successful.  Because of this, he continues to try.  And as a result, the whole thing is repetitive.  Moving forward will take away some of this helplessness so that repeating himself won’t be as necessary.

I too got pretty tired of my husband’s apologies pretty quickly.  And looking back, if that was all I had, I am not sure we would still be married today.  We needed help and guidance about what to do with all of that sorrow. There’s more about the process on my blog at

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