An affair can devastate a marriage and a family, and sometimes, the only way that you can move on from the affair is to know that your spouse is truly remorseful for their actions. This is perhaps one of the only ways that the individual who has been cheated on can move on from the affair and start to rebuild the marriage – but if the spouse doesn’t seem particularly sorry or remorseful for their actions, it can be difficult to want to work on the marriage and it can even more difficult to forgive the cheating spouse for their actions.
One of the problems with wanting to see remorse from your spouse is that they may be remorseful, but just not showing it outwardly. Because your spouse is going about their everyday business without moping around the house, you might think that they are not sorry for their actions – but your spouse could simply be working through their emotions internally, rather than externally.
However, there are some key signs that indicate remorse and guilt following an affair.
Here are some signs to watch out for.
When a spouse feels remorseful for cheating or having an affair, they will usually repeatedly apologise for their actions. They may also explain exactly why they are sorry and what they will do in order to show you that they are sorry. However, some spouses will want to show you that they are sorry, rather than actually say the words, and so you may not experience this type of apology.
Equally, some spouses will try to gloss over the affair and move on as quickly as possible, so you may get one or two apologies and then your spouse may try to continue as normal. This does not have to mean that they are any less sorry – it could simply mean that they are coping with the relationship fallout in a different way.
A cheating spouse may try to show you how remorseful they are through the way that they treat you. If they were neglectful of you throughout the affair, they may then want to show you that they are no longer that person by treating you better.
This better treatment may include spending more time with you, doing more things for you such as cooking dinner for you or helping out with the housework, or it could include taking you out to places such as the cinema or for dinner so that you can start to reconnect again. However, some spouses may simply want to get back to normal – but this does not mean that they are not sorry. It could just mean that they don’t want their life to be ruled by the affair.
Support for Your Self-Esteem
If your spouse is truly remorseful for their actions, they will support you in building your self-esteem. An affair can really devastate your self-esteem and it can make you feel like you are unattractive – like you are not enough for your partner. A remorseful partner will help to rebuild your self-esteem, perhaps by telling you that you are attractive or by being supportive when you do things such as get your hair done or get your nails done.
Often, the spouse that cheated can be wary when their partner tries to improve their appearance following the affair, believing that their partner is trying to improve their appearance so that they can go out and cheat in revenge – but this is rarely the case. In fact, the spouse that has been cheated on wants to improve their appearance so that they can feel better about themselves.
A spouse that is truly remorseful for their affair will take full responsibility for it. They won’t try to blame their actions on you. Even though the breakdown of the marriage is the responsibility of both individuals within that marriage, the unfaithful spouse is the one that chose to be unfaithful.
The faithful spouse did not do anything wrong – and so the unfaithful spouse is the one that should take responsibility for their actions. Many spouses who are truly remorseful for their actions will do whatever they can to make their partner feel better about the affair, and often, this will include taking full responsibility for it.
Unfortunately, not all spouses will behave in this way. Instead of looking out for signs that your spouse is remorseful, you need to have a number of frank and open discussions with your spouse to find out their true feelings about their affair and your relationship. Once the channels of communication are open, you can start to move forward in your marriage.