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Regret V. Remorse

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hexed posted 8/25/2013 20:06 PM

I had a session with IC yesterday.

Discussing regret versus remorse, she pointed out that regret is feeling bad about something because of the consequences to you (the perpetrator). ie. "I'm sorry I got caught driving drunk and lost my license"

Remorse is feeling badly (empathizing) for what the victim suffered. "I'm so sorry you're hurting after the accident caused by my drunk driving"

I liked it because it was so much simpler than many of the discussions we have here about what is regret and what is remorse. Internal v. External caring. Thought I'd share.

[This message edited by hexed at 8:07 PM, August 25th (Sunday)]

caregiver9000 posted 8/25/2013 20:11 PM

Very good definition. I never struggled with this. My ex was sorry you were stupid enough to be in his way while he was driving. And damn you for ruining the good "drunk vibe" he had going!

hexed posted 8/25/2013 20:14 PM


I did struggle with this b/c my X was always sorry he got caught. Sometimes he was remorseful but it usually didn't last. It was VERY confusing.

Williesmom posted 8/25/2013 20:40 PM

That IS a good definition. I don't think my ex felt true remorse for a very long period. Mostly it was just self- pity.

SBB posted 8/26/2013 07:24 AM

I think True Remorse also has to have a significant amount of remorse/empathy towards oneself too - not just towards the BS.

Or I could put up a photo of the sad clown with just one of his moronic comments during False R in a speech bubble and also and arrow pointing to his face that says:

<<<<<NO. NOT THIS.

People like picture examples too, no?

jjct posted 8/26/2013 07:46 AM

SBB & cg crack me up!

I had a friend tell me (when I was questioning the difference);
"You know what remorse is!"

Me; huh? I do?

Him; "Yes - you do, because you've felt it yourself!"


7yrsflushed posted 8/26/2013 13:53 PM

I think True Remorse also has to have a significant amount of remorse/empathy towards oneself too - not just towards the BS.
^^^This. My STBX truly felt sorry for what she did but not sorry enough to own her shit. Which means i walk off in the sunset and she is very likely doomed to repeat this shit over and over because she doesn't care enough about herself to actually resolve her issues.

But hexed that was a very good way of putting it. I was more in the camp of knowing it when I saw it and I never saw true remorse just guilt and regret but hey not my problem anymore.

uncertainone posted 8/26/2013 15:16 PM

I think True Remorse also has to have a significant amount of remorse/empathy towards oneself too - not just towards the BS.

Yep, right on. I'm so often reminded of P.G. Wodehouse's quote..."It's the bungled crime that brings remorse". Even then I sometimes wonder if it's not the sting of failure and recognition of stupidity, sloppiness, carelessness rather than true sorrow of what committing that crime did to "you".

I know there are some on this site who have been guilty of the same exact crime and have never confessed but are here as a victim now. They've admited in PM's.

Still no remorse for their actions and now almost a sense of validation that they had taken that pre-emptive strike.

I think true remorse is quite rare. Counting on another's pain to be the nexus doesn't work. It only exists if you have fondness for that other person. When they cease to be "sympathetic" there goes any vestiges of what was once labeled "remorse".

Whalers11 posted 8/26/2013 15:37 PM

This is close to my definition as well - I've always said regret is being sorry for what happened to yourself, remorse is being sorry for what you put the other person through.

I don't think I've seen much remorse from my ex. He is plenty sorry for how he fucked up his own life, but I don't believe he cares much what he did to mine...

click4it posted 8/26/2013 16:07 PM

I think regret and remorse can follow in line with one another. Example: I regret ever driving drunk and hurting someone. I feel bad for hurting someone else and I regret that. So, in that sense I regret my actions and also have remorse.

So, I guess I see regret having two sides.. regret for your own self (no remorse for the other person), and regret for doing what you did to hurt someone else.

dindy posted 8/26/2013 16:09 PM

Perfect definitions.

My ex was full of regret and always used the word regret. I know he regretted being caught.

He was never remorseful, the guy is delusional and has no idea about the damage he has caused me and my children.

SBB posted 8/26/2013 19:37 PM

I think WS remorse/empathy for themselves is so important because most seem to be sorry for what it did to their BS and what it did to them ONLY in regards to the consequences of being exposed. Its the exposing they regret - not the actions/choices.

I regret my actions not the exposing - I regret what they did to me, not what they did to the sad clown.

That might be a kind of remorse but not the kind that leads to successful R. Just as regret for the consequences of being exposed (pain to BS, pain to WS) is not what leads to successful R.

ISPIFFD posted 8/27/2013 11:09 AM

My XH was very good at acting remorseful (he could even tear up on command if he realized the situation warranted it). But when it came right down to the Divorce, he still says it's all on me, that (in a nutshell) if I would've just put out more and done whatever he wanted, he would never have had to look elsewhere and we'd be happy.

So I think he just really really regrets getting caught, because otherwise he'd still be having affairs and happily letting me do the laundry and manage the homestead for him all the while...

Housefulloflove posted 8/27/2013 21:13 PM

Those definitions make the difference very clear.

Gosh I don't think ex ever has expressed either in most situations. How can you regret an action you take no responsibility for? Ex actually did drive drunk home one day (thank God he didn't get into an accident) but that wasn't his fault! His excuse was that the drinks he had were stronger than he thought but it's the creators fault for making the drink taste deceivingly tame and that he's an awesome driver so no one could have possibly been hurt! Oh and my favorite excuse..."_____ followed behind me all the way home and said I wasn't swerving that much considering how much I had to drink!" Yeah..because if Ex swerved off the road or into someone that person trailing him in another car was going to do what exactly?! I was disgusted when I found out. Years went by and he still wasn't sorry and maintains that he did nothing wrong.

If he had hit someone it would have been the other person's fault. I'm sure there would be all kinds of excuses for why it wasn't his fault. It's the victims fault for being out on the road late (if it happened at night). The sun would have been shining in his eyes if it were daytime. The breathalyzer would have been wrong because he couldn't possibly have been as drunk as it said. etc..etc...

There is no reason for regret or remorse when you never do anything wrong.

But then again, maybe he regrets having to deal with all the inferior people who cause problems for him.

[This message edited by Housefulloflove at 9:14 PM, August 27th (Tuesday)]

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