“So go ahead and get gone,
Call up that chick and see if she’s home,
Oops, I bet you thought that I didn’t know,
What did you think I was putting you out for?”
When Beyoncé sang the above in her famous song ‘Irreplaceable’, she took a stand for being cheated on. She made sure he knows that she found out about the other woman in his life. Beyoncé is not alone. Infidelity deals a severe blow to any relationship.
If you are the one who has been cheated on, you may become too consumed with the sense of having been wronged. But your cheating husband doesn’t have it easy either. There are tell-tale signs of cheating husband guilt that make it clear as day that he too may be struggling to come to terms with his transgression.
If you look closely, you can easily tell that he has anxiety and see the signs he regrets cheating. Undoubtedly, betrayal is one of the most terrible things you can experience in love. Actor-comedian Russell Brand makes an interesting point about betrayal and infidelity, “If someone you love is cheating, then obviously dishonesty has crept in your relationship. It may have been present for a long time but is manifested in cheating,” he says.
What Is Cheating Guilt?
There are various reasons why people cheat – emotional, sexual, or plain physical. While the context of each case is different, the guilt factor is common among the cheaters, and the signs of guilt in a man are often too apparent. This is because marriage or a long-term relationship is all about commitment, trust, and staying loyal.
Cheating is looked down upon in all cultures. When a husband cheats, he is filled with remorse for he knows once he has broken the trust of his partner, it is difficult to rebuild. This, in turn, makes the cheater feel terrible about their actions (even if they may not be able to control them). So, if you’ve ever wondered do cheaters suffer, the answer is yes, almost always.
Unless he is some sort of a sociopath or has completely checked out from the marriage emotionally, there will be emotional signs of guilt in his behavior and demeanor. It is especially true of ‘good’ men – husbands who are generally seen as loyal to their wives and have an image of being ‘family men’.
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Casanovas and commitment-phobes usually escape the scrutiny but a man who is otherwise seen as a role model is judged more harshly (think Bill Clinton). When a cheating husband feels sorry, he shows certain signs that he is guilty of cheating.
To probably escape the punishment, they try to cover up or rationalize their indiscretions. So a man who shows emotional signs of guilt will probably do something completely out of character to assuage it.
Related Reading: Is He Cheating Or Am I Paranoid? 11 Things To Think Over!
11 Signs Of Cheating Husband Guilt
A study quoted in The Journal of Social and Personal Relationship states that people who betray their partners often feel bad about their mistakes but they try to feel better by either cutting down on their guilt, over explaining and justifying it. And these are the obvious signs of guilt in a man when he cheats on his wife.
All these traits result in behaviors that sometimes are a dead giveaway of their misdemeanors (when they are actually trying to hide it). One can even say that first-time offenders and guilt trippers are easier to catch than those to whom cheating comes easy.
So how do you know if your better half is showing signs of cheating husband guilt? Here’s what to watch out for:
1. Lashing out is one of the signs of cheating husband guilt
Weird but true. The man cheating on you might accuse you of being dishonest in the marriage. Coach Adrian, from Love Advice TV, says, “They can’t process their emotions and insecurities, so they project their guilt on you. When someone is constantly insecure about something, it should trigger your radar.”
He uses these attacks to defend himself but actually, he is manipulating you to reduce his anxiety. When you ask him why he comes late, he feels offended. As he is not prepared to face the question, he resorts to deflection. By blaming you, he tries to be relieved of the fact that he has done something he shouldn’t have.
He tries to confuse you by finding faults in you, as it is the easiest thing to do. But it is also one of the guaranteed signs of cheating. So, watch out.
With his efforts to reverse the situation, he feels empowered. This enables him to throw his guilt out of the window and make your suspicion and insecurities bigger issues. Thus, when his infidelity finally comes out in the open, he can partly hold you responsible for the relationship breaking apart.
2. He suddenly showers you with gifts and attention
A very common and the easiest guilt sign to watch for. When a man cheats, he obviously spends less time with his partner. But since he feels guilty about doing so and doesn’t want his recklessness to be exposed, he tries the typical distracting tactic of wooing you with material gifts and comforts.
If you have been receiving attention, compliments, loving gestures, and a lot of gifts, it’s time to get your super vigilant senses active. Your otherwise distant hubby might be on a guilt trip of cheating. He will show you how much he loves and wants you in his life.
He is trying to make up for his betrayal by suddenly showering you with his time, beautiful words, and presents. According to relationship therapist Tracy Ross, this is among the common signs of cheating husband guilt: “They may be considerate or thoughtful in ways that aren’t usually the case, such as doing chores, planning date nights, buying small gifts…”
3. His behavior undergoes a sea change
As he is guilty of playing with the trust and emotions of his partner, he subconsciously undergoes some behavioral changes. These changes are quite evident, so you can easily catch those.
According to counselor and therapist, Dr. Tracey Phillips, hiding things from you on their phone may be a sign of cheating: “They could be trying to avoid receiving any questionable calls or texts in your presence.”
Does he change his passwords often? Or refuses to share his bank details or credit card bills? Does he fumble or refuse to answer about his late nights? Has he been getting too many work-related late-night calls of late? If your answer is affirmative, these are classic, guaranteed signs of cheating.
When people change their behavior drastically, it can be one of the ominous signs of guilt in a man, says Adrian. “But trust your gut and first make sure that you are not feeding your insecurities. Give yourself time to observe the behavior and ensure you are prepared to have a conversation with him,” he adds.
Related Reading: How To Survive Betrayal In A Relationship? 8 Ways To Figure It Out!
4. He tries to be the perfect husband and father
A guilt-riddled man will try to be a doting father and the perfect husband a woman can desire. He will spend more time with the kids, helping them with their homework or sports coaching. You will also be given a helping hand at household chores.
Your wants will be taken care of and your rants will be carefully listened to. Here, you have to be vigilant if this behavior is not usually typical of your husband. If he has started with such things all of a sudden, these could be emotional signs of guilt of cheating.
These could also be seen as signs he regrets cheating. On the other hand, these could simply be manipulation techniques he is using to keep your suspicions under check. Whatever be his motivation, if your husband becomes too good and perfect to be true, then it’s time to smell a rat. Suddenly, your late-night TV viewing habits or endless shopping trips do not bother him.
On the contrary, he laughs them off. You might feel he has changed for the better but these could well be just signs of cheating husband guilt.
5. Mood swings and irritability are signs of cheating husband guilt
The famous psychologist Guy Winch says, “Even mild guilt can make you hesitant to embrace the joys of life.” So, if you find your man feeling low and refraining from basking in the happiness the way he used to, the reason might be his guilt.
In some cases of extramarital affairs, obvious signs of guilt in a man might not be present. Instead, his guilt and worry about what he’d say upon getting caught might result in his anxiety and irritable behavior. He might panic over the smallest of things, look lost and sad, or might be unable to meet your eye when you want to have a conversation.
These may be reflections of how cheaters feel about themselves. They are often unable to express their unease. “If it happens too frequently, it’s time for a sit down with your significant other to find out what’s going on,” says Adrian. “Do not attack or blame them, but make it known in a kind way that you are concerned.”
In other words, open channels of communication. If a cheater husband feels cornered, he might slip further into his shell and become more distant from you. So, irrespective of how hard it might be for you, empathy and compassion are your biggest allies in drawing him out and perhaps even getting him to come clean about his transgressions.
6. He stays away and excludes you from his plans
According to Guy Winch, “Guilt can make you avoid the person you’ve wronged.” In fact, this emotion can make people become distant from those they are cheating on. They may even go to the extent of maintaining distance or steering clear of things and places that can trigger anxiety and signs he regrets cheating.
So, if your husband is cheating, he will be reluctant to spend time with you. Suddenly his weekends might get busier. He will start spending more time at work and is often unreachable to avoid being confronted about his absence, weird behavior, and coming home late. Worst of all, he subtly excludes you from his social plans.
Needless to say, he has an excuse every single time he can’t take you out or have you join his office parties. The desire to spend time with one’s partner should come organically. If he is indeed having an affair, he will find it difficult to juggle time between home and his lover. Hence, the excuses to hide the other side of the story.
7. He constantly talks about leaving, separation, and divorce
Guilt is a pretty powerful emotion, right? No matter how hard your husband tries to suppress these feelings of regret and remorse, they will find an outlet, one way or the other.
Among the most common manifestations of this are constant, albeit veiled, threats about ending the marriage. If he often alludes to the marriage having run its course, consider it one of the guaranteed signs of cheating. In the middle of an argument, he will bring up parting ways out of nowhere.
Don’t dismiss it as something said in the heat of the moment, for it counts among the most telling signs of cheating husband guilt. He may be subtly planting the idea of the possibility of separation in your head.
As he is living two relationships at a time, he might find himself torn between the two women in his life and maybe even considering choosing the other woman over you. For a person who has someone else, the breakdown of marriage might not be such a big deal.
8. Your sex life sees an upswing
“I’m sexy and I know it.” Your man will be sexier and hotter than ever, and you will be surprised by the novelty he brings to making love. This is a way to compensate for his extramarital affair, and a renewed hunger for sex could well be among the signs of guilt in a man.
Suddenly, there are new moves in the bed, your sex life is spiced up, and he has turned more sexually attentive. You might feel loved passionately because of his increased sex drive. Watch out. All this might be the result of being sexually adventurous with someone else.
It could also be one of the signs he regrets cheating and wants to atone for his guilt. Or it could be that he doesn’t want to raise any suspicions in your mind. There is no real way of knowing, so it’s best to combine this behavior with other signs and observe.
9. He develops new interests and hobbies
This is a great thing, isn’t it? But when these are outcomes of his cheating guilt, no hobby is cool. His new hobby interest might be an outcome of his new love interest.
Developing new hobbies or tastes is always good but only if it is organic and keeping in tune with his personality. If your gym-hating husband hits the treadmill with a vengeance, it is odd. This might indicate that he is shaping up his body for someone.
Or if your non-smoker beau suddenly finds it cool to swing a ciggie, it’s more than odd. Possibly, his side chick smokes and that’s where he picked up the habit from.
People change and can pick up new habits, good and bad, from friends or outsiders. But sometimes, these new interests might be a smokescreen to hide what’s really going on. The guilt may lead him to try and go away from you on some pretext or the other. On other occasions, these hobbies might just be an outcome of the influence of that someone special, and thus, count among the guaranteed signs of cheating.
10. Signs of cheating husband guilt can be non-verbal
There are certain emotional signs of guilt of cheating as well. Some of the major signs of cheating husband guilt can be picked from non-verbal cues. If your man is having an affair and the guilt wears heavily on him, it will be visible in his body language and expressions, especially if you have conversations around ‘uncomfortable’ topics that trigger guilt.
For example, try bringing up the topic of infidelity or share a story of a friend cheating on their partner. He might blush, not be able to meet your eye, might get defensive, or not share your vehement views on betrayal.
Conscientious men who are already feeling bad for what they are doing will definitely get affected. You need to keep an eye out for these non-verbal cues, and you may be able to pick up the signs of guilt in a man.
Related Reading: 10 Questions To Ask Your Unfaithful Spouse
11. His social media behavior is out of place
Signs of cheating husband guilt can be detected from unusual social media activity too. Initially, you used to ask him to check your story, status, or a new post on social media platforms. But now, he has become too active on these platforms.
If he did not follow you on Instagram or Facebook until now, he may suddenly start doing so and go overboard in liking, sharing, or commenting on your posts. Your posts are being liked and commented on with flattering words, leaving you suspicious.
On the other extreme, he might withdraw from social media and might hesitate to put pics of the two of you together, share memories, or comment too much on your posts. Possibly, out of fear of the repercussions it might have on his other relationship.
It is simple. Social media behavior these days mirrors our reality. Any drastic changes in social media behavior can be an outcome of emotional signs of guilt.
When your husband cheats on you, guilt consumes him. Signs of cheating husband guilt are very common and quite obvious if you observe closely. So, it’s up to you to have a pair of eagle eyes and pick these up. Handling these emotions well, if you suspect something is amiss, is crucial. Do not overreact or jump to conclusions just based on these signs.
Certain behaviors are merely meant to warn you so that you are not caught unawares if your marriage is indeed in trouble. With these noticeable signs of cheating guilt in your husband, you can easily understand what’s going wrong. You might also find ways to mend your marriage before things go beyond repair.
Be watchful, be wary, and don’t be fooled. Stay smart and handle things while holding your head high.
He spends too much time outside, he doesn’t include you in his plans, your sex life has changed, he makes excuses for not spending time with you, he is fiercely guarding his phone and doesn’t like you sneaking on his computer are some of the signs he is cheating on you.
If he suddenly pays more attention to you, if your sex life sees a sudden upswing, if he is showering you with gifts, if he looks away and acts uncomfortable when you bring up subjects like infidelity, these are signs that he regrets cheating on you.
Cheaters often suffer from guilt, especially if they are otherwise conscientious people and if there were no problems in the marriage. They are aware that their actions would hurt their partner who trusted them and that they have broken the vow of loyalty in marriage.
There is no real way of knowing that. Even if a cheater experiences guilt for betraying his spouse, there is no guarantee that in a similar situation in the future, he won’t slip up again. If his guilt is too high and he really loves his life partner and works hard on mending the relationship, he may not give in to temptation again.