When There Is No Remorse It’s very typical for a betrayed spouse to feel as though their spouse is not remorseful at all for what they’ve done. Unfortunately, some just aren’t on the front end. They will justify it and to turn the knife in their spouse, they will only blame their betrayed spouse for their affair. In fact, some are just sorry they got caught. Their private life has been exposed, their secret love affair has been put on stage for all to see, and they feel like all they wanted was to be happy. It’s a sad commentary on the selfishness and utter blindness we unfaithful spouses walk in for weeks, months and yes, unfortunately years. I’d caution any betrayed spouse to have accurate expectations when it comes to remorse, grief or sorrow at what their spouse has done. Remember, if their affair has been any sort of extended period of time, they have been living a double life. They have justified their affair to themselves time after time, day after day, sexual encounter after sexual encounter. They have built up a wall between them and the truth, and very seldom does that wall come down in an instant. If it appears to come crashing down, I would still be cautious about believing they truly have absorbed the enormity and accurate reality of what they have done to you and quite honestly to themselves. More times than not, remorse usually comes through a process and by revelation and understanding over time. It usually does not come in an instant. There is usually a timeline to them absorbing the reality and severity of their choices. To think they will comprehend how they have violated the marriage covenant, jeopardized their family, possibly their employment and reputation, in a few counseling sessions is ambitious at best. It’s not uncommon for an unfaithful to communicate initial remorse, although usually not genuine, simply to get the betrayed spouse to be satisfied, move on and not keep rehashing the event. The most beneficial approach is on the unfaithful side is to communicate a feeling of “Let’s take all the time you need to heal. I want to make sure you are healed and whole, and I’m healed and whole and however long it takes, and whatever it costs, I’m in.” Remorse will not come over time alone. Remorse will not come by simply reading a book or two or ten. Remorse will not come haphazardly. From personal experience, as well as through helping several people walk down this road, remorse is no easy task. It will take a strategy and will require expert help to get your spouse (or yourself) to truly come to grips with what they have done. It is more than possible and it is a vital necessity. How you and how your spouse arrive at this point, is crucial and will not be accomplished by any shortcut of time, financial commitment or convenience. Though it has been several years since my colossal moral failure, I would say that for roughly 5 years I gained more and more insight into my dysfunction, which allowed space for more and more humility, compassion and remorse. Yes, five years. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t safe for those five years, but there was a progression to realizing what I had done and who I had become. I pray it’s shorter for you and your spouse, but remember, the power is in the process you walk through to recovery. But it’s worth every bit of it!