“I am sorry for this, I am sorry for that. How about not doing the things for which you have to be sorry?” In the movie Sex and the City, Miranda vents her frustration after finding it difficult to forgive her cheating husband Steve who is trying his best to make amends. Sure, it is almost impossible to move past infidelity. But what if your man shows signs he regrets cheating and is full of remorse?
Should you then forgive and forget? More importantly, can you ever forgive and forget? After all, aren’t things like loyalty and fidelity in a relationship non-negotiable? The answer to all these questions is yes but there are occasions in life when you need to look beyond the obvious.
People stray for various reasons. Sometimes, it might be a genuine indiscretion. At other times, it might be a deliberate attempt to hurt you. In the worst-case scenario, he might be a compulsive cheater, undeserving of your trust and love.
However, when a man realizes his mistake, he might show signs of true remorse and undo the wrong. The point is: is it enough?
12 Signs He Regrets Cheating
Cheating guilt signs are very common in relationships. This especially happens when a man loves you truly yet slips up. He knows that he has done something unforgivable by betraying your trust. Even if it was a moment of recklessness, the guilt of letting you down gnaws in his heart.
He might also be afraid of the repercussions of his act. What if you come to know? What if the world comes to know? What would happen to the relationship? What if he loses you? These and more questions may haunt him. That’s when he sets off on a mission to get rid of the anxiety and guilt after cheating because he may regret hurting you with his behavior during those cheating days. Sometimes, it becomes all too obvious especially if he has not confessed to his indiscretion.
The overcompensation itself might be a dead giveaway that he has something to hide. But if he has been caught and you decide to give him a chance despite your hurt (perhaps due to the children or other compulsions), the following signs he regrets cheating will tell you if you can make the relationship work:
Related Reading: 15 Shocking Things Cheaters Say When Confronted
1. He owns up to his mistakes
Owning up and confessing that he was seeing someone while you were an integral part of his life are the biggest signs he regrets cheating. It is not easy to plead guilty so cut him some slack and give him credit for trying. It would surely come as a rude shock (especially if you haven’t heard about it from some other source) but give him a patient hearing.
Pay attention to his words. A truly remorseful man will take responsibility for his actions and won’t blame you or try and justify his actions. It is a difficult conversation and his words will clear your doubts about ‘Is he really sorry for or just assuaging his cheating guilt?’.
2. He goes out of his way to attend to your needs
If you are cheated upon and still decide to make a go of it, you are in the driver’s seat. Remember, he has to win back your trust so put the onus on him to make amends. A repentant man will go out of his way to attend to your needs.
If in the pre-cheating days, he rarely had the time for the kids’ homework or run errands around the house, in his new avatar, he might become more hands-on. He realizes that he has broken your heart so the first step toward the long road to reconciliation would be to ensure your comforts are taken care of – even if it means putting him into discomfort.
3. He will end his affair immediately
If he is truly guilty about having an affair, he will end all ties with the other woman. There are no two ways about it. He cannot hope to win you back while he is still in touch with her (even if he is torn between two women). Do not give him that option.
If he is willing to end everything and stop meeting her completely, it is a sign he regrets cheating. In such cases, actions speak louder than words. So he must ensure that the circumstances that brought them together don’t repeat themselves. If it means changing a place, ending club memberships, or changing work situations, he will do it.
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4. He is willing to seek professional help
The news of his affair may have devastated you. It is hard to rebuild the trust especially when you are vulnerable and he is guilty. It’s a sensitive phase to go through with conflicting emotions for both of you, so it’s best to seek professional help.
If you both are willing to recognize the problems, talking to a third person might be a good idea. The fact that he is willing to invest his time and energy in rebuilding his relationship with you is among the signs he regrets cheating.
5. He is more open and genuine
There are some telltale behaviors of a cheater. Being secretive, trying to hide his whereabouts, being protective about his passwords and social media are sure shot indicators that he has another person in his life. However, when a man wants to show signs he regrets cheating, first and foremost, he tries to become more transparent.
He may or may not have confessed his slip-up but he will definitely try to undo the things he has been doing. Be it coming home on time, keeping you informed about his movements, or making special plans with you – you will see a marked change in his patterns. If these actions are unusual for him, know that he has been up to something unsavory that he wants to erase.
Related Reading: 8 Reasons Husbands Lose Interest In Their Wives
6. He is more expressive
When a man regrets his philandering ways, he looks for some avenue to make you hear him out. Perhaps he thinks he can explain his actions if given a chance. And if you give that chance and show that you are willing to listen with an open mind, you might be in for a surprise. He is likely to be more expressive and communicative than ever before.
He might go on an explanation overdrive about why and how it happened. (As we mentioned above, watch out for his words during these monologues). Perhaps he is as genuinely hurt as you are and is willing to do the right thing from hereon. Communication is important at all times but more so in a crisis.
So, never close the door on him when he wants to talk.
7. He includes you in his plans
When a man cheats, he tries to cut his spouse or girlfriend off from his special plans. It might be out of fear of getting caught or he might want to spend his time with his other love. But once he realizes his mistake, one of the things he tries to redress is excluding you from his plans.
So if you suddenly get more invites to attend his office parties or if he makes new staycation or travel plans with you in mind, these are signs he regrets cheating and wants to rework the relationship. We suggest you go with the flow. His actions during these events and activities will indicate whether his cheating guilt is real.
8. His changed behavior is noticed by others
If your marriage or committed relationship has faced the tsunami of infidelity, close friends or family will get a whiff of it. Just the way a crisis doesn’t appear suddenly, it doesn’t disappear all of a sudden either. So if you really want to know if your partner has mended his ways seek the opinion of people you trust.
His remorse can’t be hidden from those who know the two of you well. Perhaps he appears to be noticeably more caring and gentle toward you than before. An objective third person, who has your best interest at heart, can pick up these signs. So trust their instincts.
9. He is more loving toward you
If your man is truly guilty and wants to show signs he regrets cheating, he will naturally be more loving towards you. His behavior might remind you of the time you first started dating, even as he tried to bring back the excitement and showing all signs he is faithful.
Cheating often occurs when a couple is well-entrenched in a relationship and one of them goes astray for whatever reason. It rarely happens in a new relationship. When a man tries to make amends, it’s as good as trying to woo you anew, so he will be on his best behavior.
10. He does not date anyone if you separate
Cheating can be hard to forgive. It makes perfect sense to give each other some space as you try and process your feelings. A trial separation can benefit such a situation. Firstly, it gives you time to think and assess things objectively. Something that may not be possible if you keep running into him.
More importantly, you get a chance to observe his behavior and attitude when you are physically apart. A truly remorseful man will not date if he is single for a brief while. He will stay committed to making efforts to win you back even if he isn’t sure if he will. These are true signs he regrets cheating on you.
11. He won’t leave you alone
He cheated. You found out. And now, you want nothing to do with him, at least for the time being. But he begs, he grovels and he pleads for another chance. When you refuse to budge, he will follow you. He will make all attempts to get your attention. He may reach out to you through your friends.
He may land up at your office party. He may ‘accidentally’ bump into you during your shopping trip or at a café. All in the hope of getting that one chance more to apologize and ask for a fresh beginning. He will show all signs he’s faithful and truly regrets his mistake.
Related Reading: How To Find Out If Your Partner Is Cheating Online?
12. He makes a show of his efforts
Betrayal of trust can hurt something at the core but most men mistakenly believe that grand gestures equal repentance. He might get you a huge gift (something you had been eyeing but it never occurred to him in the pre-affair days). He might indulge in attention-seeking behavior.
He might book an expensive holiday or do something crazy that becomes the talking point among your friends. Now, these gestures and signs he shows regret might work if those efforts are sincere. Ultimately, the apology has to come from the heart and you are the best judge whether it does or not.
Being cheated on is the worst thing that can happen in a relationship. But as with everything else, there is life beyond it.
Mistakes happen, and if a person really wants to make amends, he deserves a chance, even if a bit warily. It might not heal the wounds he has caused or remove the scars but it can definitely pave the way for a new beginning. Think and choose wisely.
If he apologizes constantly, makes genuine efforts to win back your trust, cuts off all connections with the woman he had an affair with, and is willing to go to any lengths to have you back, you can be sure that he regrets cheating on you.
You know that a cheater is really sorry by the extent of the efforts he puts in to make things right again. He will express himself more, he goes into an explanation overdrive, he won’t date anyone else should you separate for a bit and will be open to seeking help to fix his relationship.
Cheaters’ guilt is a phenomenon when a person who has been disloyal or has had an affair outside of his main relationship suffers from anxiety and guilt about cheating on his partner. He knows that his actions, if they come to light, would cause immense pain to someone who truly loves him.
Cheaters might act the way they do for whatever reasons but for all their justifications, infidelity is never considered good and they suffer from the after-effects too. Guilt, regret, self-loathing for deliberately hurting their better half, pain and embarrassment are some of the feelings they go through.