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Remorse......how will I recognize it?

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devotedfool68 posted 5/10/2014 18:51 PM

One of the primary tenets of SI and R, is that R is not possible with an unremorseful WS.

Ok, then how do you know your WS is remorseful?
What is "remorseful enough"?

gonnabe2016 posted 5/10/2014 19:18 PM

Remorse is kinda akin to the Supreme Court's *take* on pornography (another un-defined word) -- you'll know it when you see it.

If you have to ask the question, then you are probably not getting the level that you need. It is not black/white and is specific to each person....but I would think that if you were receiving the *proper* amount of remorse that is necessary for you, then you would feel protected and safe. If you aren't having those feelings, then your WS is most likely not remorseful enough for you.

sisoon posted 5/10/2014 22:55 PM

If you have to ask the question, then you are probably not getting the level that you need.

I think that's generally true, but there may be a subset of WSes who actually show remorse but don't realize it. My W, for example, says she only started to feel remorse 5+ months after D-Day - but I think her actions were immediately remorseful.

The things that say remorse to me include:

1) owning what they did, without blameshifting or minimizing
2) answering questions honestly, without defensiveness (or with less and less defensiveness as time goes on)
3) IC with a goal of changing from cheater to good partner
4) accepting confrontations and changing
5) maintaining NC

In other words, listen to the words spoken by a WS, but watch the actions.

devotedfool68 posted 5/10/2014 23:12 PM

Thank you both for responding.
Gonna, you are absolutely right in that I am not receiving a level of remorse that I think is appropriate. I expected
That it could take a while after NC was maintained to see remorse.
I believe NC has been maintained since October with the exception of an evening in December when I was present.
I thought by now I would see something I would recognize as remorse.

Not so much

sisoon posted 5/11/2014 11:34 AM

Do you have requirements for R? Have you talked with your H about them? How has he responded?

It's possible your H is just not thinking well now, and he needs someone to spell out what he needs to do - and you're the best one to do that.

LA44 posted 5/11/2014 16:19 PM

What do you need to see devoted? I sure as heck didn't know back then! I remember wanting to see my H cry that night found out. Well....he was too much in shock from me finding out so he did nothing like that. He said something like, "I am very sorry for the hurt I have caused." The shock wore off after the holidays.

I knew my H was serious when two weeks in he bought a book about infidelity (After the Affair) and read it at home/at work. He answered all my questions for months on end. He wrote me an apology letter. He then started tackling all these projects at home that had been left un-attended. I think he needed something to fix - literally! He was home. Or he was at work. Or he was taking our kids out to give me space. He did not go out with friends. He was always accountable. He made all the MC appointments and he made his IC appointments, which he still attends. I bought a book, "How to Help Your Spouse Heal..." and he read that. Just last week (17 months in) I walked in the bedroom and he was reading, Not Just Friends. I book I had just ordered. The work goes on.

I find that remorse is something you can almost feel. It's certainly something you can see when the words stop.

I hope your H steps up.

[This message edited by LA44 at 4:23 PM, May 11th (Sunday)]

devotedfool68 posted 5/14/2014 15:12 PM

LA,

thank you for posting.........

To answer your question, I am not sure what I need to see. It is more, that the things I have seen keep me paranoid.

For instance:

a few months ago, shortly after I received the timeline and I thought that she was finally out of the fog, we attended a get together in her hometown (OM's town)due to the death of her classmate.

While there, an old guy friend of hers pointed out her OM and began to bitch about him.
How OM "thinks he is god's gift to women", and "any woman that went home with him was stupid".

At his point in the conversation, and with me standing right next to her,
WW blurts out:

"then I must be stupid then".

I was stunned!

WW just announced to another person, one whom we hadn't confided in, and with NO CONCERN for the fact that I was standing RIGHT THERE!.
She did not sound ashamed, if anything it sounded like she was defending the asshole.

Remorse???

devotedfool68 posted 5/14/2014 22:53 PM

Hello?

PollyA posted 5/14/2014 23:11 PM

did you tell your w that you felt uncomfortable that she blurted it out? what did she respond?

To me, when I first read what she said, it seemed like she was responding out of feeling ridiculous, not that she was defending him. almost an admission.

you were there and heard her time, but I really believe there's no way to know unless you ask?

confused615 posted 5/15/2014 05:45 AM

I had an unremorseful(by SI standards)..but sorry...WH for 2.5 years after dday..we were kinda limping along..me trying to get him to do what I need..him being more involved, more loving, and feeling like it was enough. Until he gave me another dday(major TT)...then 6 months later I was told, during an argument, that the TT he gave me was a lie...he made it up...because I wouldn't stop asking what I didn't know.

I started packing. I was done. I had called mom and made plans to live there...I called the school and told them the kids would be transferring. I saw a lawyer. I was DONE.

Once he saw that I was serious, he changed. It's not that I don't think he was remorseful...it's just that his shame and embarrassment was greater than the remorse. Once he saw all he was going to lose, he set his shame aside and things became very different. That change in him was the difference between night and day. I FELT it.

And a year later? I still feel it. Those changes have stuck. He is a different man.

If you have to ask if your WS is remorseful...then they're not. Remorse is something you can feel.

devotedfool68 posted 5/15/2014 07:32 AM

Polly,

did you tell your w that you felt uncomfortable that she blurted it out? what did she respond?

When asked, all she can say is " I don't know, that was what was going through my mind and it just came out"

She actually sounded glib when she said it.
I had to walk away. She never bothered to see if I was ok.

@confused
Your post makes a lot of sense to me. My problem is that I don't FEEL IT. WW says she is sorry, she is transparent. But I don't feel it.
The big difference, I think, is she is not embarrassed. If anything I think she is proud.
The morning they fucked, she told him "I"m not pretty or skinny enough for a guy like you."

tushnurse posted 5/15/2014 08:24 AM

Personally my take on this, and I think the easiest way to see it is a bit different from previous posters.

I had a spouse that was willing to attempt R from the get go. He was willing to play along with all my requirements, and was sorry. But it was more regret than remorse.

They get that they have hurt you, but are still more worried about their shame, pain, and selves. The regret is sure I will play along and go through the actions that you demand, but the feeling and understanding behind it just isn't there, and is manifested with frustration over questions, anger and "Lack of Privacy", and can result in mean snippy remarks as you grieve the loss of what you had previously.

True remorse means they really get it, and the anger, frustration, mean words, and hurtful behaviors stop. They get it, they know that you don't trust, and accept that because they created that. They are forthcoming with information on whereabouts, activities, and feelings. They share openly when attempts at contact are made by their partner. They do the work on themselves, and really mean it. It's real work, not just actions. They can answer questions and offer support.

For me it took multiple broken episodes of NC for me to have enough, and throw him out. For him that was when he really got it. He knew I was done. I was no longer going to tolerate one ounce less than what I deserved as far as honesty, support, love, and respect went.

devotedfool68 posted 5/15/2014 12:50 PM

Thank you tushnurse.

The thing that keeps jumping out at me from everyone including reading in JFO.....
You see, I was 7 months in before I found SI. I had already done everything wrong. Begged, pleaded etc.

My biggest regret...........not throwing her out from the get go. She wanted me to.......

I showed her SI very shortly after I found it, and now, any attempt to throw her out will appear contrived.

I am afraid that the only thing that seems to make it "sink in" is being DONE.

I am not there and I don't want to try to "Bluff".

ugh

[This message edited by devotedfool68 at 12:52 PM, May 15th (Thursday)]

tushnurse posted 5/15/2014 15:06 PM

I showed her SI very shortly after I found it, and now, any attempt to throw her out will appear contrived.

Not if you mean it. Hey we all reach our limit in our own time. I'm just telling you, and others can too, that I sure wished I would have reached that limit sooner.

Each time I discovered NC had been broken, was exponentially destructive. I couldn't get why he couldn't just be honest about it. It was fear, fear that he would be alone, fear that I would never forgive, fear that it would end. When it did end. When I handed him my rings and said go. That was when he got it. He was going to loose his wife, his dream home that he and his wife built together, and worked on together for years, his kids would have to be shared, his job was already gone, his dogs, his cat all of it. It was pretty much losing everything he loved.

That's when he realized he was the one killing our relationship, he was responsible, and he was the one that could save it.

I think the same is true for many many WS's.

You will pull the trigger when ready. Or you will continue to live in the soul sucking limbo land you are in now, and she will do it again.

Gman1 posted 5/15/2014 15:53 PM

The things that say remorse to me include:

1) owning what they did, without blameshifting or minimizing
2) answering questions honestly, without defensiveness (or with less and less defensiveness as time goes on)
3) IC with a goal of changing from cheater to good partner
4) accepting confrontations and changing
5) maintaining NC
This ^^^

Plus I think it is important that the WS communicates the enormity of their mistake, explains and understands that their decision was the most selfish act possible and that their actions jeopardized every single thing in the marriage. I think they should expect divorce as the result of their A but be extremely grateful for the BS to even attempt R. They should be very sorry and it express their sorrow often. They should be ashamed of what they did and be completely supportive and understanding, always be honest and answer all questions without hesitation. Fortunately for me, my FWW has done all this and we have healed together. We now talk about things like boundaries and everything is on the table for discussion.

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