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"Remorse can't be faked"

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RunningBlind posted 7/25/2013 01:36 AM

I read these words in a separate thread somewhere here.. sorry I can't remember just where at the moment. Do you guys think it's true?

What does true remorse look like? Can it really not be faked? WH shows signs.. but I feel like it's not enough. He tells me he's trying. But, I'm not feeling it.. it's like he's just being nice and a little more open than he has been. Not sure how much of my doubt is due to him faking it, or just my inability to trust.

Even as I lean towards D--and WH knows my decision--part of me wishes he'd fight for us. Trying hard to let go of that.

Just having a hard time this week.

jb3199 posted 7/25/2013 05:53 AM

Although you are still fairly close to D-day, and still unsure of many things, the easiest way to interpret remorse is:

What does true remorse look like? Can it really not be faked? WH shows signs.. but I feel like it's not enough. He tells me he's trying. But, I'm not feeling it.. it's like he's just being nice and a little more open than he has been. Not sure how much of my doubt is due to him faking it, or just my inability to trust.

You don't feel true remorse, because you are not getting true remorse.

We can fill pages and pages of what remorse feels like to both the betrayed and the wayward, but the truth is that remorse takes time. One of the moderators here on SI stated a long time ago that "once the wayward finds real remorse, it is with them forever."

I do believe that, and I also believe that finding one's own remorse is a journey. It doesn't happen overnight, because you can't correct all that fuckedupness in that short of a time. For a person to recognize the damage that they have wrought, to search deeper than ever into themselves to discover their faults, and start the processes of repairing themselves is an arduous task. To literally feel the pain that they have caused to their loved ones, and to help them through it...along with themselves is just one more aspect that will be their daily thoughts for a long time to come.

As many times as I hear a betrayed person here state that their partner is remorseful....especially after a short time....I ask myself if they really do believe this to be true, or are they so desperate to get through this pain, that they convince themselves otherwise.

I think that this is a question that can only be answered from a distance of emotional safety and time. My beliefs(or misbeliefs) of my WW's remorse is a whole lot different today at 4 years than at 6 months. Because I am through the processing stages---which take time. And you will get there too.

And at that point, you will see, and understand, if your WH ever "got it". But that doesn't me that you shouldn't be feeling his efforts right now. The simplest way to gauge that is to keep asking yourself---what is he DOING right now?

cancuncrushed posted 7/25/2013 09:26 AM

I needed this. I have learned and watched for all the stages. I have never read this stage. Or how long it may take. I have been wondering about this very thing. After 5 years, my H seems more remorseful now then ever. He has been trying at R. It started out not being enough. He still denies so much. But he does try harder, when he relizes what he needs to do. I thought I was crazy to think he is more remorseful now. Hes a slow learner. He lives in denial at all times. Thanks for making me feel sane today.

Lonelygirl10 posted 7/25/2013 12:39 PM

Is true remorse shown by the WS feeling worthless? And if so, how does the BS deal with that? Sometimes I want to comfort him, but then I know that his actions are what caused all this. So it's hard to comfort him. Just curious on other's thoughts about how to deal with the WS's remorse.

Darkness Falls posted 7/25/2013 13:20 PM

Is true remorse shown by the WS feeling worthless?

WS here. IMO, "feeling worthless" does not necessarily indicate remorse, and remorse does not necessarily mean the WS feels worthless. I have remorse for my adultery... I do not feel worthless.

IMO, I think the WS needs to not feel worthless or get beyond their feelings of such in order to get about the business of healing themselves, fixing their shit, and helping to heal the marriage. Oftentimes staying mired in feelings of worthlessness and toxic shame prevents us from doing the work required and in some cases provides a mechanism to keep from owning their choices.

NewMom0220 posted 7/25/2013 13:28 PM

I have never felt true remorse from my WS. That is why when he started being nice, agreeing to go to MC, and seemed to be showing signs...it didn't work and we are still in limbo.

Here is a list I grabbed from another site:

INDICATORS OF REMORSE
* Actions match words.
* Accepts full responsibility for the affair without blaming the BS, a bad marriage, or other outside factors.
* Expresses sorrow for hurting the BS and the M.
* Shows compassion and actively assists the BS with handling triggers.
* Does not become defensive or shut down when BS brings up affair-related emotions, issues, or questions.
* Answers questions honestly and completely.
* Does not avoid the BS or become frustrated that the BS is not healing fast enough.
* Contributes at least 60% of the joint effort at rebuilding the marriage.
* Actively works to understand why he or she made the choice to have an affair and shares insights with BS.
* Does not think solely about himself or herself. Considers how actions impact the BS.

Remorse is so important to R. Its the conerstone that everything else is built on. Without it, the M can not heal.

Remorse involves far more than just saying Im sorry. Its conveyed through consistent actions. The above list is not comprehensive, but it is meant to be an example that the FWSs behavior should be clear sign that he or she understands the pain the A caused and is committed to healing the M. Simply hanging around the house is not remorse. And it is not R

.

Link: http://affaircare.com/articles/reconciliation-v-rugsweeping/

noescape posted 7/25/2013 13:41 PM

^^^* THAT is a very good list, I was going to state something to that effect.

get beyond their feelings of such in order to get about the business of healing themselves,

I think this is important, that the WS gets beyond feeling for themselves and shows feeling for others. Up until that point it's regret, guilt and shame and not all of that for the A or the hurt caused to others, rather more about themselves and to some extent (in many cases) at being caught.

mchercheur posted 7/25/2013 13:48 PM

These are questions that are going thru my mind every day.

WH has done many of the things that are necessary, however, he would like to pretend his A never happened. He never talks about it. So, as far as I know, he is not thinking about it.
The last few times he did mention it, he blameshifted, saying how bad our marriage was at the time. So to me it seems that he has not completely owned it.

Actively works to understand why he or she made the choice to have an affair and shares insights with BS.

Nope, not as far as I can tell.

Jennifer99 posted 7/25/2013 13:49 PM

I have to print and post NewMom's list.

WH has finally done all that except

* Actively works to understand why he or she made the choice to have an affair and shares insights with BS.
* Does not think solely about himself or herself. Considers how actions impact the BS.

I don't know if he ever did or could ever do the last one. I've missed what a selfish B he is for almost 20 years.

I often feel like he isn't remorseful.

I wonder if it is because those last 2 steps are missing - do ALL have to be complete?

Sometimes I wonder if I just don't want him to hurt more? Then I feel kinda twisted.

noescape posted 7/25/2013 13:54 PM

It's less about him hurting and more about him feeling for you and the impact/damage of his betrayal.

Lonelygirl10 posted 7/25/2013 14:18 PM

WS here. IMO, "feeling worthless" does not necessarily indicate remorse, and remorse does not necessarily mean the WS feels worthless. I have remorse for my adultery... I do not feel worthless.

How did you get past the feeling worthless stage into the remorse stage? Is there anything that a BS can do to help?

Jennifer99 posted 7/25/2013 14:18 PM

That is exactly it noescape.

But if he never "felt" for me? I used to chalk it up to guy vs. girl differences. Until he could feel a whole lot for someone else, enough to cry, get depressed, etc - never like he did for me.

Was I happy when he was hurting over his unrequited EA? No. But am I happy he is now over it and happy? No.

WTH is wrong with me?

Rebreather posted 7/25/2013 14:21 PM

Lonelygirl, no. He must do that himself. And you must step back and let him do it. He is likely not remorseful due to your helping him too much. It is counterintuitive, but if you want a wayward to grow, get out of his way and stop helping. That need to help is generally a BS's codependancy at play.

I always see it this way; a wayward that is "trying" isn't remorseful. A wayward that is "doing" just might be.

RunningBlind posted 7/25/2013 17:56 PM

Thank you all. I'm so happy to have a more concrete idea of what remorse looks like... unfortunately I'm also sad because my WH is so NOT there at all.

And I sit here wishing he was. That only adds to the pain. Having a rough week.

180 it is even though I royally screwed that up over the past week! Please give me strength!!!

noescape posted 7/25/2013 19:55 PM

Sending strength your way. I can see classic coda tendencies just like I have. Start reading up on codependency and get the book codependent no more.

Darkness Falls posted 7/25/2013 20:34 PM

How did you get past the feeling worthless stage into the remorse stage? Is there anything that a BS can do to help?

No, I don't think a BS can help with this. It must come from within.

I did used to feel worthless in many respects---before my A, during my A, and after I was caught. I did go through that stage. But I didn't stay in it because SI, IC, some books, my mom, and my newly-awakened, previously dormant common sense showed me a different way. I used to look to others to tell me my worth. I was consumed with seeking validation and approval from others. Now, I find it from within. I got past it by changing my life. Where I used to lie, I chose the truth. Where I used to be bitchy, I tried to be kind. Where I used to be lazy, I began to be a "doer" rather than simply a "talker." And so forth. Where I was selfish, I tried to be a "giver" rather than a "taker." Some of these are still works in progress. But they're on an upward trend.

If I focused solely on myself as The Cheater, I probably would still be stuck in the feeling-worthless shame cycle. But I bring more to the table than that. I'm an animal lover and volunteer at the shelter. I have a great work ethic and always give 100% to my job. I persevere through medical issues. I'm smart and loving and passionate about life. Others form their own opinions about my worth to them, and that's their call. My feelings about what I contribute, whether it be positive or negative, form my sense of self-worth and it comes from within.

[This message edited by heartbroken0903 at 8:37 PM, July 25th (Thursday)]

sodamnlost posted 7/26/2013 20:18 PM

I often feel like he isn't remorseful.

I wonder if it is because those last 2 steps are missing - do ALL have to be complete?

Sometimes I wonder if I just don't want him to hurt more? Then I feel kinda twisted.

Yup. Me too. I *WANT* him to hurt more. Then I feel guilty. My Wh is missing these last two as well. It hasn't really hit him for HIM. He *DOES* feel the impact of what this has done to me/us in the now but doesn't so much have the "holy shit I *DID* this" for himself.

myperfectlife posted 7/27/2013 09:51 AM

That need to help is generally a BS's codependancy at play.

This ^^^
Huge issue for me and part of why I believe R may not work for us.
Yes, I have to work on that part of me, but I honestly believe that at this point in our lives he is too reliant on me to be his therapist.
He is going to start IC this week, but I am coming to the realization that the A was a dealbreaker for me and my appt with the attorney is Monday.
I know he feels remorse and has pretty much all the things on the list going for him. I just don't think I can stay healthy in R.
That's something he will have to live with forever, I guess.

LA44 posted 7/27/2013 10:06 AM

What newmom posted is what I received from H. In the beginning he was coming more from a place of fear and desperation - trying to hold on to me. He was reading, crying, saying sorry. At four months his head was that much clearer in all matters - not just the A. And now he is having more and more "aha" moments. it is wonderful to see! In fact, just yesterday after a call from my Dad he had another and sat down and cried. I don't reach out to him when he cries in therapy (which hasn't happened much) bc I think it is important that he goes through the feelings. But I did reach out to him yesterday after the call. I hugged him and told him everything would be okay. And it was.

If I did not feel remorse from H, our marriage would not be healing as it has been and we will continue on this path towards a marriage that is stronger, secure, honest and genuine.

Also, in terms of a WS feeling worthless. I would never want that for my H. Guilt. Okay. Great. Glad you feel the guilt. You should. Deal with your guilt, figure out why and do better each and every day. But shame? No thank you. It's devastating and I think would only lead to more bad shit. H was feeling shame in the first couple months and we worked on that together and he talked about it in IC. So glad he did not get stuck in shame.

LA

JustWow posted 7/27/2013 10:09 AM

EMPATHY

Real, genuine empathy.

It is a component of everything on that list.

IMO - it is the key. Remorse has a thousand definitions depending who you ask, but empathy is pretty simple.

It needs to be backed by appropriate actions, of course, and that would depend on the nature of the betrayal and the feelings of the betrayed. But, again IMO, when one has genuine empathy, a lot of those actions are pretty clear and simple.

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