My Spouse Is Showing No Signs Of Remorse For Their Cheating. Is It Even Worth It To Try To Save My Marriage?
By: Katie Lersch: I often hear from people who wonder if their marriage even stands a chance after their spouse has been caught cheating or having an affair. Often, they are not seeing the behaviors and the remorse that they were hoping for. And they wonder if this omission is going to mean that they are just wasting their time trying to save something that their spouse chose to let go the second that he cheated.
I heard from a wife who said: “the other woman who my husband was cheating with actually called me and told me about the affair. I was waiting by the door as soon as my husband got home from work and told him everything that I knew. He was clearly embarrassed that I knew all the sorted details. But, much to my surprise and disappointment, he didn’t seem to be the least bit remorseful. Sure, he owned up to the cheating once he was forced to do so. But he seemed very matter of fact and direct about it. He just sort of shrugged and said that yes, he cheated because he just wasn’t happy He said that I can either chose to continue on with the marriage or not. He acted as if he could care less either way. I get so discouraged when he acts like this. I wouldn’t hesitate to stand behind him and try to save my marriage if he was showing even a little remorse, but he isn’t. Does my even stand a chance? Is it even worth it to try to save it?” I’ll try to answer these questions in the following article.
Although Remorse Is Desirable (And You Should Continue To Demand It) Seeing It Immediately Isn’t Always Necessary To Save Your Marriage: I absolutely understand why you want and need to see some remorse. If he isn’t sorry for the cheating and even feels justified about it, then he may just repeat it. And no one wants to go through this kind of humiliation and pain again.
But it may be important for you to understand that much of the time, a lack of remorse is actually just posturing. He knows that he is in the wrong, but he doesn’t want to place himself in a situation where he feels that he is in a position of weakness. He doesn’t want you to ask too much of him. He doesn’t want to have to endlessly explain himself. And he doesn’t want to have to make amends for the rest of his life. I’m not telling you these things to be nasty or mean. I am sharing these things with you because these are the types of comments that I hear on a very regular basis.
These same men may feel quite remorseful and guilty, but they don’t want to let their wives see this because they worry about what this sort of vulnerability will mean going forward.
I’d like to make one more point. Often, this type of posturing is an extension of the self talk that has been going on inside of their own head. They often have to quiet down their guilt and their remorse in order to justify and then to carry out their cheating. I’m not saying that their thought process is right or even justified, but I do want to make you aware of it.
And, by explaining their thinking, I don’t mean to imply that you do not deserve this remorse or that you should not continue to press for it. You do deserve it and you should continue to ask for it. But, not seeing it immediately is not an indication that you can’t save your marriage or that your marriage isn’t worth saving. Actually, some of the most indignant and seemingly non caring spouses can be rehabilitated, can eventually coaxed to release their remorse once they feel safe to do so.
How To Talk To Your Spouse When They Are Showing No Remorse For Their Cheating Or For The Affair: I understand why you are so discouraged and concerned by this. As a wife who has been cheated on, I know that remorse is something that you feel that you deserve. Sometimes, your spouse thinks that if they keep up the indignant and defensive act, you will eventually cave and drop your need for remorse. I don’t think that you should drop it, but you have to learn how to talk to them to get what you really want.
Here’s an example. The next time your husband is indignant or not showing any remorse you might say something like: “it’s very frustrating to me when you act as if you don’t care how I respond to your cheating. I know that you are not the type of person who has no conscience. I also know that if the roles were reversed, you would want to know how sorry I was so that you could be secure that I wouldn’t cheat again. Don’t I deserve the same? I don’t expect for you to fall over yourself with apologies, to shed tears of guilt, or to beg for my forgiveness. But it would really help me to know that you are sorry for and regret what you did. Because knowing this would help me to begin to trust you again and it would give me some reassurance that I’m not just wasting my time by trying to save our marriage. I need to know that you are still invested in me enough to be sorry for hurting me. Can we talk about how you really feel? It would help me if we could.”
Sometimes, it is all in the way you say things. I know that it can feel unfair that you have to approach him in roundabout and gentle ways when this is all his fault anyway. But at the end of the day, does it really matter how you get what you want? If certain words, phrases, or approaches will get the remorse that you want, then to me, the end justifies the means.
My own husband showed some remorse early on, but I didn’t really believe him. Often, the passage of time makes the truth much more clear. We did save our marriage after his affair but not without a lot of hard work. In the end, it was worth it though. If it helps, you can read the whole story at http://surviving-the-affair.com
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