Love this article. By this definition, my WS has never once been "contrite." He's remorseful but has taken no actions that would line up with contrition.
In contrast, I have a great example of someone being contrite in a relationship with me. My mom was an alcoholic. She started going to AA and sobered up when I was in college, but our relationship was still not great and later she blew it all up when I was 29 by standing on my doorstep and screaming at me about what a "bitch" I was. (She was very upset about stuff in her OWN life and took it out on me, which is a pattern from my childhood with her--she was emotionally abusive and occasionally physically abusive.)
We were then estranged for a few years. But I didn't stop her from having a relationship with my kids, if she wanted to do that. So she poured herself into having a great relationship with them. It softened my heart toward her (quickest way to a mom's heart is by treating her kids well!). Later she asked me to give her singing lessons, which she paid for (and I really needed the money at the time!), and we started spending time together each week on Sundays doing that, and visiting over a cup of coffee. We grew closer and I was really grateful for our new relationship.
At some point she revealed to me that this was all due to her AA Step 8 & 9 work: "8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others." She made her amends to me at first by loving on my kids, because she knew I didn't trust her or want a relationship with her at that point. Later she was able to make direct amends to me by loving on me in ways that I enjoyed and were helpful to me. She was not naturally a patient person but this process must have taken a lot of patience and hope.
And that's what contrition looks like. So I know what it is, and what it is not. Unfortunately, my WH is not contrite. But I'm so thankful that my mom was and that before she died we had a restored relationship. She loved me and I have the proof of that. I will ALWAYS have that now.
The day before she died, we were gathered around her death bed in her home. It was a Sunday. She was not fully conscious anymore and hadn't eaten or drunk anything for days. I said to my mom, "Hey Mom, it's a beautiful Sunday morning, and I'm having coffee here with you." And she spoke her last words then, in response to me: "Just a little bit."
That's what contrition creates.