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How do you know real remorse/guilt?

(56 Posts)
Humblebee1 Thu 15-Sep-16 15:29:28

How do you recognise true remorse and guilt for cheating on you, and how to tell it's not just self pity and panic at the thought of reaping the responsibility for wrecking the family home life.??? I worry it's the later and therefore giving a second chance will fail only to prolong all our agony. Confused! Help.

Humblebee1 Thu 15-Sep-16 16:56:54

Really struggling to sort through this, any advice from anyone whose given a cheating spouse second chance?

Kr1stina Thu 15-Sep-16 17:10:56

He tells you the whole story
He takes full responsibioty for what he did, doesn't blame you
He ends it with OW
He allows you to check up on him, phone, email
He allows you to have your own feelings about what happened and get over it in your own time
He's willing to move out and work on your marriage while living apart
He goes for counselling himself to work on his issues

Kr1stina Thu 15-Sep-16 17:13:50

He accepts that you will need support to deal with it, from friends / family etc

He accepts that HE is the one who needs to do the work hard to clean up the mess he has created , he will need to give up time and every to invest in the marriage eg give up a hobby or sport to spend with you and kids , watch less TV,

Begging, pleading and sobbing , arguing , means nothing. Only actions count

ITCouldBeWorse Thu 15-Sep-16 17:15:55

You cannot tell on the spot. It requires sustained effort from him. Ou will probably tell for sure in 18 months or so.

reddotmum Thu 15-Sep-16 17:20:33

Make sure he allows you to talk about it as much as you need to to get over it. And do not rush this. Please don't allow it to make u totally cynical as I have done where 8 yrs down the line I still have the odd night when he's working away and I wonder what he's doing and did I do the right thing. Thankfully these are few and far between but they still happen.

Humblebee1 Thu 15-Sep-16 22:44:48

Thanks for the kind responses. It's a tough long road. Can't help but feeling sometimes that by giving him a second chance is me cheating myself since I always said I wouldn't tolerate cheating. But I think I owe it to my kids to try, but just worry I won't get decision right.

Humblebee1 Thu 15-Sep-16 22:49:21

He is trying most of the above but I just don't think he realises the pain he has caused me and thaty feelings for him are now very different and I don't want to find out in 18 months time I made wrong decision.confused

Humblebee1 Thu 15-Sep-16 22:55:07

Why do they do this? Cheating cowardly arseholes. I suppose I should be grateful he's here at all, Humph. Really resenting the bastard, and grieving for my old world.

TheNaze73 Thu 15-Sep-16 22:59:32

There are a million & one reasons people cheat OP, none of which make it right. If he had relationship issues, he should have addressed them with you rather than look elsewhere. I think you can only take it a day at a time & you call this. You're more forgiving than most. One final thing though, he's the one who should be grateful, not you

reddotmum Fri 16-Sep-16 07:52:24

OP like TheNaze has said. He is the one who should be grateful! It's a more difficult decision to stay because the implications of that decision are very personal for you. Be strong and just know that in 6 months if u feel you can't go on then at least you know you tried to make it work and you will have no regrets. Xx

VeryFoolishFay Fri 16-Sep-16 08:07:41

Well, I did stay, or rather I let him stay, and on the whole it's good. He knows he is extremely lucky and our relationship is better on a day to day basis. It's 3 years down the line and I have the occasional wobbly moment but I think it was the right decision. I don't talk about it too much on MN as I feel I broke every single rule! Time does help but it will never be quite the same, I suppose.

VeryFoolishFay Fri 16-Sep-16 08:08:46

I think that's absolutely right about actions. Talk is very cheap. I have seen actions and I suppose that's why he's still here.

Humblebee1 Fri 16-Sep-16 09:47:48

Thank you all so much, it so good to hear neutral people's opinions. I have't told many people all the details, other than his parents.
It's really difficult because after weeks of lies it turned out he cheated on me with a single mum he found on a dating site, and lied he was separated. So it's the nature of the cheating. I actually feel so sad he could have it in him since he knows my mum was treated this way and how much I despise this behaviour. He is the last person I thought could have his head turned drunk, never mind go looking and then to use a vulnerable single mum sickens me. Still in shock. Am pregnant so just want to forgive him but I'm so angry. I know if I end it, the grief for what we could have been will be soooo tough. That's what I mean when I say lucky he is wanting to work things out, but I don't know if I can do it. I know I will have to forgive him, together or not. So scared of being left biiter. So thanks again for all replies, as this helps to vent and keep perspective.

AnyFucker Fri 16-Sep-16 10:01:01

Ask yourself this : do you really want to share your precious life with someone capable of such despicable behaviour ?

What he did was no mistake. No drunken ONS. He cold bloodedly planned to shag someone else. Every step he took to facilitate that he justified himself as deserving it.

Anything he said or did after this would be ashes to me.

bigbumbrunette Fri 16-Sep-16 10:10:40

He tells you the whole story
He takes full responsibioty for what he did, doesn't blame you
He ends it with OW
He allows you to check up on him, phone, email
He allows you to have your own feelings about what happened and get over it in your own time
He's willing to move out and work on your marriage while living apart
He goes for counselling himself to work on his issues

Exactly this. We're 17 months on from discovery and I can tell you its not been an easy ride. I decided we weren't making our marriage work, we were starting a new one. If he does do it again there is really no way back again. I gave him a chance because we have a child (not for her but because of her) and I know I could walk away at any point now knowing I did my best. I'll warn you now, sometimes I think it would've been easier to just leave but we're getting there.

TheStoic Fri 16-Sep-16 10:12:53

He signed up to a dating site, communicated with a woman, dated her, had sex with her...and now he's sorry?

painbadger Fri 16-Sep-16 10:24:48

Agree with AnyFucker this was pre meditated in a very cold and calculating way. No wonder you are so upset by the nature of the cheating and to do this while you are pregnant and should be enjoying this special time. What a total swine. How dare he put you under such stress and cause such unhappiness.

How did you find out - did he confess? Why did he do it? - did he want to reclaim his youth, does he feel resentful of the pregnancy, overwhelmed by imminent fatherhood? Whatever, he has put his "wants" above yours. You and your children are not his primary concern - which they should be. Wow - you have a tough call. Has he form for cheating when you were dating?

Other MN on similar threads have recommended this book:

My heart goes out to you.

ImperialBlether Fri 16-Sep-16 10:31:26

I think anyone can fall for someone at work or that they meet by chance, but to deliberately go onto a dating site and then to write to women (she won't have been the only one he wrote to) with an eye to having sex with her, then picking someone who (in my opinion) is a bit more vulnerable, is really awful. It's pre-meditated and, frankly, it's the action of a creep.

Iamdobby63 Fri 16-Sep-16 10:31:52

I'm so sorry. It's horrible this affair was actively sought out.

We can only ever make decisions based on what feels right at the time, if it turns out to be the wrong one then at least you will know for sure. See how it goes and then see how you feel about him.

I hope he realises how much pain he has caused, to you and possibly this unsuspecting other woman.

I will stop typing as the more I think about it the more I want to say LTB!

tristramshandysclock Fri 16-Sep-16 10:38:53

Humblebee1, I feel for you. Men can be so cruel and selfish. And they get away with it way too often. I have pretty much the same dilemma. I hope you make the best possible decision for yourself and are happy with it.
bigbumbrunette, I agree with every item you put above and will demand the same. However, I would appreciate some more details on what I could expect if I decide to go down that path. What is it that you find hard and did he agree easily to your demands? how is he coping with all that's demanded of him? My husband is pretty hard core and I tbh I fail to see him making any significant changes.

I agree with PPs - this kind of premeditation is unforgivable.

Get thee hence to - go find your anger.

Buzzardbird Fri 16-Sep-16 11:16:58

He had so many chances to not do it.
He could have stopped before he searched for a dating site,
He could have stopped before he signed up,
He could have stopped before he started searching,
He could have stopped before he started wooing his lover,
He could have stopped before he met her...

He is just sorry he got caught. He doesn't feel bad about what he did, he had too many chances to not do it.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Fri 16-Sep-16 12:37:13

You owe it to your kids to try. Oh, you've pressed my special angry button!

You are afraid of splitting up. It will be hard.

Don't hide behind your children.

Unless you plan to move to Alaska upon divorce, he can still be a fully active co-parent.

What he did is totally unforgivable. What would younger you say about this situation, you know this you I always said I wouldn't tolerate cheating

How bad does the cheating have to be before your DC can't be used as an excuse? Because they are going to be around for at least 18 years and he's already been pretty fucking awful.

He effectively sexually abused the OW, he knew she wouldn't touch him if he told her the truth, so he lied. I bet she feels like shit, angry, used and abused.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Fri 16-Sep-16 12:41:02

He sounds like cake eater: The Unified Theory of Cake

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