I often hear from wives who wonder if their husband’s apparent sorrow for his cheating is truly genuine. I often hear comments like: “my husband keeps repeating that he’s so sorry that he cheated on me. And he seems to be genuine, but I’m not sure if I can believe all of his words. He lied to me when he was cheating. Who’s to say he’s not lying to me now?” Another example is: “are most men genuinely sorry that they cheated on their spouse? Do they understand what a huge mistake they’ve made? And, if they are truly sorry, does this mean they are less likely to cheat again?” I’ll do my best to explore and answer these questions in the following article.
Whether A Man Is Truly Sorry For His Cheating Often Depends On A Few Different Factors: Generally speaking, most men that I dialogue with are remorseful for their cheating. But, I typically write about saving marriages following infidelity, so it only makes sense that the men who seek me out are going to be those who are very sincere in making things right again. The indignant husbands who blame their wives for cheating or who feel justified in it are typically silent on this issue (at least where I’m concerned.)
A man’s reaction and sorrow over his cheating is going to vary from person to person. Things like the reasons for his cheating, his personality, his maturity level, his moral compass, his perception of your reaction to the cheating, and many other factors come into play.
Typically, the husbands who aren’t sorry are those who justified the cheating in their own minds by blaming someone else. These are the guys who will tell you that their wives never made time for them, didn’t understand them, or who didn’t make the effort to keep things exciting in the relationship. (Interestingly, these same men rarely look at the role they played or what type of spouse they were within the marriage. It’s easy to suspect that they certainly were not the perfect spouse either.)
Sometimes, there are cultural issues and social norms at play. In some extended families, it’s considered perfectly acceptable and natural to cheat, so there’s less likely to be remorse and sorrow. In other words, the husband’s grandfather likely also cheated on his grandmother, and his father likely cheated on his mother, and so on. Also, sometimes a man’s friends will play a huge role in whether he cheats and in whether he’s sorry. (And honestly, sometimes the men in these situations are sorry somewhere deep down, but they aren’t about to put this on display because they feel it helps their cause to continue to be indignant.)
On the flip side, the men who typically are sorry for cheating are those men who have been dependable and faithful in the past. These are the guys who never intended to cheat but who made a one time mistake that they never intend to repeat. You can generally see their sincerity in their quick and decisive action and their willingness to take full responsibility for their actions. And many of them are very clear on the fact that they’ve learned their lesson and will never cheat again.
Signs Which Indicate A Husband Is Truly Sorry For Cheating On His Spouse: As I alluded to before, some men will think that if they immediately show their remorse, this is going to make things worse for them. Their reasoning is that as soon as you see them acting dramatic and in a way that isn’t typical of them, you’ll immediately know that the situation is a dire one.
So, they posture and see if they can convince you that they were justified in their actions. Many will try this at first to see if you’re buying it. This doesn’t always mean that he isn’t sorry. It just means that he’s going to see if he can mitigate the damage and he’s experimenting with the most effective way to do this. Sometimes, you will just have to be very direct and insist that you will take no responsibility for his actions. As soon as he believes this, you’ll typically start to see more remorse.
Some men will show their genuine remorse right out of the gate because it is truly heartfelt and they really aren’t worrying about damage control. Communicating that they are fully aware of their mistake is more important to them. These are the men who are willing to go to counseling or do “whatever it takes” to repair their marriage, make this up to their wife, and to rebuild the trust. They know that this was all their mistake and they have no problem admitting this. They also mostly know that your trust and faith in them is going to be restored through a series of actions rather than words. So most of them will intuitively get to work rather than continuing to talk without any decisive action.
And sometimes, you’ll get a mix of these two responses depending on your husband’s personality and situation at the time. Sometimes, I’ll have wives who tell me that they aren’t seeing the response or the remorse that they had hoped for and they therefore just assume that their husband isn’t really all that sorry. However, when I touch base with that same husband, he will be quite shocked and will insist that he’s more sorry than words can possibly express.
This is why it’s advisable to not make assumptions so that you should down and stop communicating. If you need something which you aren’t seeing, the best thing to do is to approach your husband directly and give him the chance to do better. That way, at least you’ll know that any shortcomings on his part are not misunderstandings.