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Lack of remorse is crushing me...advice please WS welcome

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LiedtoLucy posted 2/23/2014 13:19 PM

My FWH and I are 10 months from D-day. He has maintained NC with his former OW for the last 7 months. He is transparent. He spends almost every moment with me when he is not at work. We have a lot of fun together. Our sex life is dramatically improved from when he was in the A.

So with all of this said, seems like everything is going great, right? Well it is except for one HUGE thing IMO. He has not shown remorse for his 4 year LTA.

I still think about it every day. The pain has eased some. But it he things that he told me about OW and his reasons for the A still haunt me. FWH said his connection with OW WAS STRONGER THAN ANY CONNECTION HE HAS EVER HAD. He could talk about anything with OW. She listened to him...understood him in ways that I never have. And so on...

He still chose to stay and work on the M. I feel like if he can't take back all of the glorious things that he said about her that I can't move forward. But he won't talk about it. Just says it was a mistake that snowballed into this huge mess and that he is sorry. That's it. Sorry for his mistake. If I try to talk about it he asks, "are you going to always hold this over my head and be bitter about it? He hasn't shed a single tear for the pain that he has caused me. Doesn't try to reassure me that he made the right choice. He says he wants to move forward and forget about the past.

I am beginning to see that if he isn't remorseful that I can't move forward. Will he eventually get it? I realize that I can't MAKE him feel it or show it. But if he can't I will always think that OW was better for him than me and that all those things he said about her on D-day were true...and that I could never live up to what she meant to him.

No remorse from him is leading to indifference for me. He acts like nothing happened. He is talking about me quitting my job and us moving to another state, but I don't feel comfortable doing this without something more from him. He feels like I am dwelling on the past instead of the wonderful future that we could have. I feel like if I don't get remorse and he continues to rugsweep, then our marriage is doomed.

Any thoughts....advice?

steadfast1973 posted 2/23/2014 13:26 PM

Of course his connection was strong she helped him justify being an asshole, and even feel good about it. I think he knows that... but he needs to show you that. Tell him that's what you need. Tell him you feel like a second choice, and you can't move forward until you know that you aren't. That he doesn't seem to get that and you need to talk about it until you know he does. Be sure to tell him the things he's been doing right, too... And how much you appreciate it, but you still need a little more...

Have him read "How to help your spouse heal from your affair".

HotMessInTX posted 2/23/2014 13:44 PM

My BH said nearly the same thing directly to me early on...called me out on the fact I had not yet shed a tear and did not appear remorseful. I apologized several times, but that first day especially, I struggled to find the emotions within myself that he was looking to see from me.

It did come out within the next couple of days however..literally hit me like a ton of bricks. It took a little time for the enormity of the destruction I caused to really hit me. Then I was consumed with so many raw emotions of guilt, shame, disgust, hurt, etc over this mess I created.

Three weeks later...the hurt and anger are still there but I know it was that visual evidence of remorse he saw that allowed him to stay and attempt R. Without it, I'm certain he would have left and rightfully so.

I continually show him how remorseful I am, do my very best to give him everything he needs and attempt to lessen his pain and anxiety as much as I can within my power.

The remorse has to be evident I believe, and your BH needs to understand how critical that is for R to work.

LiedtoLucy posted 2/23/2014 14:03 PM

I have told him several times that I feel like second choice and that I need more reassurance that all of those things that he felt about her were just a fantasy and that he didn't really love her. He says he got "caught up" in all of the drama in her life and that he thought he loved her. But there is no remorse or reassurance in his statement..l more like defensiveness and aggravation that I am bringing this up yet again.

I should add that he gets frustrated with me about really little things like this weekend we were out of town for a funeral and he was driving, I was navigating which is not one of my strongpoints. He knows this. I caused him to miss a couple of turns but realized it right away and had him turn around to get back on track. He gets really aggravated and goes silent for a while...eye rolling...loud breathing...ignoring me. This is a huge trigger for me.

All I can think when this is going on is OW would not have gotten him lost. She understands him and can read his mind. Which obviously isn't true, but is that what he thinks?

BAB61 posted 2/23/2014 14:07 PM

Are you in IC, is he? What about MC? I think having counseling for each individually and then later as you are both healing to go to MC. The book How to Help your Spouse Heal from Your Affair is one I bought for my STBX. However he never showed me true remorse, kept up the TT, the gaslighting and the rugsweeping. So the second D-Day I was done. If he had told me before I found out about the LTA I may have been able to R. The lack of remorse and continual lying were anathema to me.

HotMessInTX posted 2/23/2014 14:10 PM

Do you let him know that his outward displays of frustration are difficult for you?

About a week ago BH was venting his pain and anger (which is almost nightly since D-day) and I let out a sigh of frustration without thinking. He immediately let me know how that made him feel and I apologized for it. This process is difficult under the best of circumstances and emotions run so high.

I work daily to have patience and compassion and not get frustrated with the process.

Keep communicating with him on where you are

Morhurt posted 2/23/2014 15:21 PM

"All I can think when this is going on is OW would not have gotten him lost. She understands him and can read his mind. Which obviously isn't true, but is that what he thinks?"

She's a nonentity. She's an immoral dirt bag. If that's what he's thinking then he needs to stop the car, get out and walk back to his disgusting AP. You on the other hand, are his beautiful, loving and betrayed wife. He needs to pull his head out of his ass and start acting like a real husband. How he dare he sigh when you're navigating!
I get the feeling that you're walking on eggshells, trying not to upset him so he doesn't "change his mind". No! YOU are the prize! He needs to win you back, not the other way around.

LiedtoLucy posted 2/23/2014 16:13 PM


We are in MC. Our MC has acted as my IC as needed during this process. Our MC has referred FWH to an IC, which he agreed to make an appointment on several occasions, but never actually did. Page reason that he hasn't is because I haven't MADE him. When he realizes that he has no choice he will do it. We have MC Friday and I am thinking of providing FWH a list of things that I need him to do in order to stay in the M.

Hot Mess

I do let him know that his displays of frustration are hard for me. This was also an issue with us Pre-A. I will say that I do see him trying to control it more and it does occur a lot less than before, but it still triggers me hard when it does happen.

Thank you.... You just pointed out exactly what I needed to hear. I AM walking on egg shells out of fear of him becoming frustrated and triggering me, but if that means keeping a poker face when I need to discuss something it is not very useful. He is getting what he wants by keeping me silent. Then if I bring it up he thinks it am dredging up the past. Only for me it isn't the past but recent am I supposed to forget the past and move forward when the greatest indicator of the future IS the past?

NikkiD posted 2/23/2014 16:55 PM

You said he told you he got caught up in the drama.

He didn't love her. He was addicted to the mess. Addicted to the drama and the insecurities they shared.

JustDesserts posted 2/23/2014 18:49 PM

WH here. All I hear is what he, he, he, he wants. He pursued his selfish needs during the affair. And his selfishness continues. No remorse. No change. No work. And no REASON to change.

Do you accept this "new world order"? That he has implemented.

Stop the fun. Stop the sex. Stop accepting the selfish mediocre him he is disdainfully and grudgingly giving you. Set parameters and expectations which feel right for YOU.

And clear and severe consequences for him if he doesn't start doing "the work". Be willing to end the relationship and his cake eating selfish and dooshy current self will finally be staring at reality.

Tell him he better become willing to talk about "it", and not huff and not huff and puff at you due to map reading skills, or anything else. What is he, four years old? Next time he huffs and puffs say something like "Gosh, sweetie. I'm wondering if you huffed and puffed the same way when we're banging the one who SOOOO gets you?"

He needs to be taken behind the woodshed. If he doesn't come back willing to change, put him and his hefty bagged shit on the next Greyhound to...anywhere.

Be strong. Be assertive. Be firm. You deserve his very best. Not table scraps meted out with a smirk.

Good luck to you.


futurehoper posted 2/24/2014 11:22 AM

I read somewhere a really good differentiation of guilt vs remorse; Guilt is more for the wayward spouse to feel better-they say/do things to make themselves feel less guilty. However, remorse is when the wayward has understanding and empathy towards the betrayed and tries to fix that. So, guilt is selfish; empathy is selfless...if that makes any sense? I have seen my husband do a lot to ease his own guilt, but only little blips of remorse. I don't know if I'll every see true remorse, as he still works with his AP and does not seem interested in losing her as a 'friend'.

NikkiD posted 2/24/2014 11:53 AM

I was wathing Oprah's life class yesterday and this is what Iyanla Vanzant had to say about guilt. Its a useless emotion. The remorse starts when when a person actively and deliberately makes better choices regarding the situation.

LiedtoLucy posted 2/24/2014 13:20 PM

NikkiD -

Both of your posts ring so true with me. Thank you for your feedback. I am working on how to make my FWH see that being unremorseful because he is unwilling to face the "man in the mirror" and understand that what he did to me and our kids was selfish and disgusting is not acceptable.


Thank you...10,000 times over. I know that I need to be firm and resolute in what I ask from FWH and whatever it is that I ask for is for MY healing at this point even if it makes him feel horrible and ashamed. He is desperately fighting having these feelings about what HE has done. I think I have been scared of the outcome. I have read so many threads here where folks say that sometimes you have to be willing to lose the marriage in order to save it and I am finally realizing that this is exactly the case here. Previously I was too afraid to say to FWH you MUST do this, this, and this OR our marriage is over. At this point, it seems I have nothing left to lose.... I would rather leave the M than rugs weep and feel the way I do forever, with a broken FWH that is very likely to repeat what he has done to me.

We have MC on Friday and I am working on how I will present this to him... I am very nervous. If you have any ideas on how to make him see that he is an unremorseful douche at this point I would love to hear them. In his eyes, he is showing me that he is sorry by doing the bare minimum and I should be thankful for NC, spending time with me, and his transparency. But just because this is all he feels like he needs to do doesn't mean that these are all that I need in order to heal.

tushnurse posted 2/24/2014 15:12 PM

We have MC on Friday and I am working on how I will present this to him... I am very nervous. If you have any ideas on how to make him see that he is an unremorseful douche at this point I would love to hear them. In his eyes, he is showing me that he is sorry by doing the bare minimum and I should be thankful for NC, spending time with me, and his transparency. But just because this is all he feels like he needs to do doesn't mean that these are all that I need in order to heal.

Honestly this is the hardest part, and for many of us here, our WS's didn't get it until they were given the boot out the door, or until we finally found ourselves again, and demanded the respect we deserve.

I can tell you the naviguessing (as we call it) scenario would have been my H prior to Dday. Now very rarely does that douche make his presence known, and now, when he does, he gets called out on it immediately, and not, in that's mean, you made me trigger, and hurt my feelings kind of way, but more in a You're behaving like a disrespectful asshole, and if I don't deserve it, and will not tolerate it, so please stop kind of way. You absolutely have to stop walking on eggshells.

What are you afraid of? That he's gonna leave if you make him behave the way he should? That he will walk when you tell him to give you the respect you deserve? Great there's the door. No ONE, and I mean NO ONE deserves to be treated with such disdain. You are only hurting you. He has no consequence. It took a bit, but I had to get to the point where I realized I was no longer going to be a doormat, or a poor role model for my kids. That's when he started owning his shit.

((((and strength))))

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