Why A Cheating Person Shows No Remorse (12 Unbelievable Reasons)

by April Maccario

The cat is finally out of the bag, your suspicions have been confirmed, your man’s affair hasn’t only been in your head. 

Unfortunately, the pain and hurt you feel from discovering or confirming this betrayal is nothing compared to the one you feel now. He may have apologized verbally, but his actions show no remorse whatsoever for what he’s done.

It is not uncommon for a betrayed spouse to feel this way even after that initial groveling that most cheating spouses do when they get caught. However, guilt is not to be mistaken for remorse. 

The majority of people who cheat on their partner are only sorry they got caught not because they cheated, therefore, getting true remorse from someone like that is not common. 

In time, their guilt-fueled apologies will fade, along with any form of obligation they commit to because of it. They say the right things, but you can’t help but feel like they might do it again just because sincerity is lacking in their tone. 

So, does your spouse completely lack remorse, or have you just become that irrelevant to him? The following are some reasons why a cheating person shows no remorse.

12 Reasons Why A Man Would Cheat But Show No Remorse

1. They Don’t Rate You

Love, trust, and respect go hand-in-hand in a relationship worth keeping, when any of these three important pillars is missing, your marriage is affected, though maybe one partner more than the other. 

At the risk of sounding cliché, if your spouse is cheating on you, they don’t respect you at all. They may fear you and the implication their actions might have if they ever got caught, but they don’t particularly care about you or your feelings.

Some men have this warped sense of judgment with which they rationalize anything that happens to be in their favor. A typical cheat will have you convinced that he has a compartmentalizing system that allows him to maintain the level of love and respect he has for his spouse while being actively involved with someone else.

However, the simple truth is, he wouldn’t put your relationship in that kind of jeopardy if it meant as much to him as he claims it does. Any man who willingly breaks your trust or love for his satisfaction, knowing what it can do to your union, isn’t one who holds you in high regard.

So, he plays smart and does all he can to make sure you never find out. When you eventually do, the same thinking that drove him to do it in the first place is why he would talk himself out of feeling guilty or remorse. In this kind of situation, they have this irrational feeling that the risk is worth it, they live off the thrill of having a wife or girlfriend, and still being able to get it with someone else. 

2. They Feel The Affair Was Justified

they feel the affair was justified

The lack of remorse from your cheating spouse might be a result of anger or pent up pain from years of internalized hurt. Since a significant percentage of cheaters do it because they were unhappy in their relationship, this isn’t exactly uncommon. If your partner has been stepping out on you because they feel neglected or undesired by you, it is logical that they may have come up with a justification to boot.

No matter how much your spouse loves you, perpetual mistreatment isn’t something even a divine being would take kindly to. Be it sexually, emotionally, physically, or even mentally, a person can feel backed to a wall when their needs are not being met. Infidelity may not be something he would resort to on a norm, but it might be hard to say no to if he’s continually being offered what he lacks in his own home.

Point is, if your significant other started this thing with his affair partner because of lack of attention from you, expecting him to be remorseful might be a long shot. Even more so if he tried all he could to get you to do better and you didn’t. This does not excuse cheating, if your spouse feels unsatisfied, ignored, or unhappy, there are other ways within the marriage to resolve matters instead of having an affair. 

Once you’ve made a commitment, you are obligated to stay faithful to it, I would advise either working on the marriage or deciding to end the relationship before deciding to move forward with another lady. Instead of repressing your hurt, becoming a cheating spouse, or staying married to someone you obviously resent, it’s better to part ways

3. The Affair Was An Exit Strategy

Another reason why a cheating person shows no remorse when caught is that it is a ticket out of the marriage. In my opinion, a lot of people choose to cheat because they don’t want to be in the relationship they are in. They may feel stuck in it for one reason or another, but if it were just up to them, they wouldn’t stay.

You may wonder why he wouldn’t just break up with you and get it over with, I’m sure it has occurred to him too, but cowardice wouldn’t let him. His reluctance to end things outrightly might be because he is afraid of the impact it might have on life as he has come to know it. That, or he is just too lazy to deal with the fallout.

A cheater has a very lazy and muddled mindset, he would rather cheat on his spouse instead of staying true to his commitment and making the marriage work. Instead of putting in the work, he cheats sloppily so his spouse would find out, and then break up with him. The betrayed spouse may feel the break-up was her idea, but that was simply the man’s exit strategy, messed up right?

Having an affair feels easier because, however it turns out, it would be a win for him, especially if the only thing keeping him in the relationship is not having the liver to end it. If you don’t find out, he tunes you out and gets his satisfaction from the other woman, and if you do, hopefully, you get so mad and pack your stuff.

A man like this will feel no remorse or guilt whatsoever, no matter how the betrayed spouse cries, shouts, and throws insults, he’ll still have that nonchalant feeling. He took a step towards moving on emotionally when he began the affair, and you should probably move forward too instead of waiting for him to show remorse he doesn’t feel.

4. They Are Living In Denial

Contrary to popular opinion, cheaters feel guilty more often than not, I know it’s easy to assume your spouse wasn’t thinking about you while he was getting it on with someone else, but the truth is he was probably thinking of you the whole time. I will explain, many times, cheating is a conscious decision that may or may not even lead to sex.

Constantly choosing to flirt with that co-worker, meeting an ex you still have chemistry with for drinks in their hotel room, and so on, simply put, an affair doesn’t just happen in a vacuum; it starts somewhere. From its inception to execution, a significant part of it occurs in the cheater’s head before the actual act.

At every stop, a little voice reminds them that what they are doing isn’t right and should probably stop before it goes too far, but the other voice whispers things they want to hear, like “it’ll only be this one time,” and “what she doesn’t know can’t hurt her.” The cheating guilt might weigh-in, but that feeling of guilt rarely stops men from making bad decisions. 

Carrying on with the affair despite hitting those crossroads means he somehow talked himself out of the guilt. And if he’s done it for a while, he probably believes his justifications by now too. Therefore, he’ll go ahead with his affair partner until the feeling of guilt no longer even comes up, it’s sad, but it’s true. 

5. He Doesn’t Want To Rehash The Event

he doesn't want to rehash the event

Sometimes, he actually feels remorse, he just wouldn’t admit it because he thinks you are better not knowing too much. Perhaps he is hoping if you both ignore the elephant in the room for long enough, it will go away, (spoiler alert: It never does.) People react differently when they find out their spouse has been cheating, but after the dust has settled, it is not uncommon to want to know the details.

How deep it went, what she did better, and many other details about the affair we know won’t do us any good, but we ask anyway. When a man feels remorse for cheating, all he wants is for the whole thing to blow over so everyone can move on. You are holding him accountable (rightly so), his mistress is probably somewhere calling him names; at the same time, his guilt is making him beat himself up. 

No one likes getting grilled on both sides, so he may choose to clam up instead of showing how deep his remorse runs. You may think supplying the answer to every question you ask about the affair means he’s willing to open up and get on the road to reconciliation, but he may not see it that way. 

To him, giving you those gory details could open your wounds afresh, and he would have to endure being a bad person all over again. Remorse might mean being open to you, while he just wants to keep his mouth shut and jump right to showing you that he’s genuinely over that phase, especially if it was just a one-time thing.

6. He Doesn’t Think What He Did Counts As Cheating

What does infidelity mean to you? Does your spouse think the same? We all agree that having a sexual relationship with another person outside marriage is cheating, do we? I once dated a guy who thought I was having an affair with any guy other than him I dared to visit. Then another, who feels having sex with someone apart from him, isn’t necessarily infidelity. To each, his own.

This might seem ridiculous if you are of the opinion that what counts as an affair is black and white, but it really isn’t. To one guy, anything remotely sexual with another human being is considered cheating, whereas, a different guy can let sex go, but draws the line at emotional affair.

This shows a fundamental difference in the way people view acceptable and unacceptable behaviors in a relationship. You might consider cheating as any type of relations with another lady, while your spouse thinks that having sex with someone without investing any emotional feeling is totally okay. The best thing to do is to have a conversation about deal breakers and topics like cheating before you get serious.

If you and your spouse skipped this conversation before marriage, then he can well hide under the naivety blanket. He could claim he didn’t think sleeping with his secretary counted as an affair since it was really just sex. Even worse, he could actually believe it; hence you get no remorse from him because he doesn’t think it was wrong. This article sheds some light on the subject, but the bottom line is, if it feels like cheating, then it is.

7. Arrogance AKA Toxic Masculinity

He can’t say sorry, he would rather do anything else but express remorse because a man can’t be seen being a chicken. That’s what women do, and he’s not a woman, this is toxic masculinity, and the above is just one of many forms in which this harmful trait rears its ugly head. No one knows better than a man who thinks like this, and unfortunately, there are a lot of them in our society.

It is a distorted way of thinking that has been edified by years of enabling just because they are male. “Men will be men”, “Men cheat, it’s just the way they are,” and other variants of this misogynist discourse. Someone who basically grew up drinking this kool-aid and has done nothing in the way of unlearning and relearning will, in fact, show no guilt from cheating.

You might expect him to show remorse because it’s what a reasonable individual who cares about their spouse should do. Whereas, he thinks you should accept what he did and move on because it is well within his right as a man to cheat when he pleases. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t feel bad for causing you pain. It’s just that years of the whole ‘hard guy training’ wouldn’t let him any remorse, even if it’s tearing him apart inside.

This arrogance (often mistaken for pride) usually takes priority in the minds of people like this, and so they are unable to show remorse to the betrayed spouse, at least, not the way you want them to.

8. They Aren’t Ready To Quit Cheating

they aren't ready to quit cheating

What’s the point of showing remorse when I plan to keep doing it, eh? I can’t say for sure, but that’s probably how a chronic cheat rationalizes his refusal to feel remorse. ’Thedatemix’s Ashley Papa’lists a few traits of a serial cheater here, but these two particularly stood out to me. “They show a lack of remorse and empathy, and they downplay the seriousness of infidelity.”

Your spouse might not even be moving from affair to affair; he could be hung up on just one woman. As long as he is still into that person, he cannot fully grasp the extent of the pain he’s causing you or even stop to consider how you are feeling. 

He’s so deep into the affair with this other lady, he doesn’t deem his action wrong enough to warrant remorse. It’s like the inhibitive part of his brain has been suppressed, and he’s running on nothing but infatuation.

He might tell you it’s over, even put on an act to convince you that it is, but the reason his remorse doesn’t feel genuine is probably that the affair is far from over. When a man feels guilty for cheating, he won’t be thinking of anyone or anything else but fixing his wrongs. However, there’s a chance he might be unable to express remorse because he doesn’t regret his time with her.

As a matter of fact, he could still be smitten by the other person but choose to end the affair for the sake of your marriage or children. If this is the case, and God help you, you have cheated on him one time in the past or done something equally grievous; he probably thinks ending it is the ultimate sacrifice, and that you are unreasonable for even expecting him to feel remorse.

9. Their Feelings For You Isn’t What It Used To Be

I understand this is stating the obvious, but the lack of remorse might be because he doesn’t love you anymore. Depending on the kind of relationship you have or had, he probably never has. Maybe it’s a marriage of convenience to him at this point, where his interest in you is purely for what you bring to the table.

He doesn’t want to end the relationship, he’s already used to the status quo, but he can’t keep his desires buried either, so the affair happened. While he would try his best not to get caught, once the secret is out in the open, it can go either two ways. If what you offer him outweighs the satisfaction of being with the other woman, he’d feel bad and want you to see that. Mind you that is not sincere remorse.

If he thinks he can live with losing you completely, he drops the pretense and shows his true color/feelings. Either way, a man who loves you will not be able to stand seeing you hurt, much less when he is the reason behind it. 

So, even if one thing led to another and the cheating was inadvertent, if love is still present, he will show true remorse. The absence of sincere regret in itself should tell you plenty about where you currently stand with your spouse.

10. He Thinks The Affair Was A Noble Move

I have heard and read about cases of those who step out on their partner to sleep around because there are some things they just wouldn’t do with their spouse. Due to factors like religion, moral standards, or personal experience, there are some boundaries that some people just wouldn’t cross, even on their marital bed.

To avoid stories (like infidelity or sexual dissatisfaction) in the future, the right move is to bring this into the light before marriage, so both parties are on the same page. However, in many cases, especially religious; courting couples feel shy to bring this vital subject up for fear of being labeled a brute.

Others who are more open, maybe met with an understanding nod or something similar because the fiancé truly believes he can cope. Only to realize a few years in that a basic sex life isn’t what he wants for the rest of his life. Nevertheless, he has made a commitment and understands he can’t throw all that you’ve built together away because of sex.

So, instead of addressing what you both failed to at the beginning, he resorts to cheating and convinces himself it’s just sex every step of the way. He tells himself he is only doing it to keep the relationship together, so there is no need to feel bad. Similarly, those who cheat because they can’t reconcile their sexual taste with the standards they believe a wife should have will probably not feel remorse for it either.

11. He’s A Narcissist

he's a narcissist

He is probably unable to show remorse because he doesn’t recognize the extent of betrayal his actions caused since he only thinks about himself. Research shows that people with narcissistic personalities are more prone to infidelity. A discovery that makes sense seeing as an inflated sense of self, is the very definition of this trait.

Apparently, there is an official term for those suffering from the condition, it’s called Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). This goes beyond an obsession with their physical appearance, it is an attitude that is visible in every aspect of their being. 

A narcissist not only believes he looks better than everyone, he thinks he is better than most in every way too, no one seems good enough for such people. This superiority complex makes them believe they are above normal rules like a person shouldn’t cheat in a relationship. To them, satisfying their wants/needs is the most important thing; everyone else’s feelings are damned, a man like this knows no remorse.

If your partner is someone like this, experts say you will most likely experience serial cheating often, unless you do something about it. Even worse, you can’t expect sincere remorse from a narcissistic cheater because asides from the belief that they can do no wrong, he has no regard for your feelings.

12. He Doesn’t Want To Take Responsibility

By definition, remorse is a deep regret for a wrong committed, anyone who is empathetic and human enough feels remorse for bad actions committed. Expressing remorse means accepting he was wrong, that he regrets his actions and the toll it’s had on you and your marriage.

A cheating spouse might want to hold on going that deep because the natural progression after an admission of guilt is to take responsibility. While he truly might not intend to go down the path of infidelity again, taking full responsibility for what he has done might not be something he is ready for, so he keeps his feelings locked up in the bid to move forward.

That kind of person would rather resort to literally anything else, just to take the spotlight off himself, than to show remorse. Heck, he probably lied his way through the length of the affair every time you suspected something until the truth finally came out. Admitting contrition would mean all that period of gaslighting you comes back to slap him in the face.

So instead, he turns it around, makes it your fault, or puts it on the person he cheated with, anything that shifts the blame away from him. Getting cheated on is gut-wrenching and feels downright terrible, but what tops that in marriage is when your cheating spouse is as deeply manipulative as this and refuses to show any remorse.

FAQs

Does a cheater ever feel remorse about their actions?

On some level, most people who cheat feel remorse, especially after they are caught. However, not many feel remorse because they cheated, but because their spouse now knows their dirty little secret. Not that they don’t see that it is wrong to cheat, but they somehow convince themselves otherwise, and that veil sometimes doesn’t drop until they get caught.

Do cheaters lack empathy?

Narcissists lack empathy, and research has shown that people with this personality trait tend to cheat more than those who don’t. This is not to say that only people suffering from NPD have affairs. When a person cheats often enough, they gradually shed the cloak of empathy until there’s nothing left to feel.

Do cheaters always cheat?

The saying ’once a cheater always a cheater doesn’t apply to every individual who has ever had an affair, but there are those who cannot let go of this bad habit once they’ve had a taste. Also, people who cheat and get away with it might continue because of something called cheater’s high.

How do I know if my husband is remorseful about cheating?

You can tell if your spouse is genuinely remorseful for cheating by how he chooses to handle the situation after you’ve found out. If he distances himself or only tries making up for the affair with no regard for the pain he caused you, he probably doesn’t regret his action. If he did, he would consider your hurt and truly be ashamed for doing that to you.

How does being cheated on affect you?

Being cheated on can make you deem yourself not enough for your spouse, and that is not a good place to be. It hurts when your partner betrays your confidence by getting with another person, and this can make you develop trust issues. Sadly, this disappointment can also spill over to your other relationships outside of marriage.

To Wrap It Up,

It hurts when your spouse not only cheats on you but doesn’t even have the decency to express remorse after being discovered. The reasons for this are as subjective as they are vast, but I hope the list above captures a good image.

If some of the points above resonate with you, feel free to engage by leaving a comment. You can also share it with anyone out there that might need this.

April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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