Are you wondering why a cheating person shows no remorse? If yes, you are probably reeling from the effects of your partner’s infidelity. The questions are killing you and you are wondering what went wrong in your relationship. The cheating may have hurt if you were completely in the dark and its discovery could have come as a rude shock.
However, you don’t need to blame yourself or take responsibility for your partner’s choice to betray your trust. When a person cheats and shows no remorse after cheating, it’s them, not you, who is to blame. There can be several reasons behind a betrayer’s lack of repentance. Some of these are so severe or deep-rooted that the cheater may require professional help to sort out the issues he/she may be going through.
Why do I not feel remorse after cheating?
Before we get to the part of helping a cheated partner understand why their significant other shows no remorse over their actions, let’s also address the dilemma a cheater may grapple with – “Why do I not feel remorse after cheating?” Now, to feel sincere remorse, you have to first admit, or at least, acknowledge that what you did was wrong. Studies show that men feel more guilty after sexual infidelity and women after an emotional affair. Cheating without remorse means only one thing – you don’t consider yourself guilty.
You have probably given yourself reasons and justifications to rationalize your actions. “I cheated because she doesn’t show me any affection or physical love”, “I had a fling because I didn’t see any signs of him regretting hurting me“, “It was just one woman, a one-time thing and I was really drunk.” When a person cheats and acts like nothing happened, the truth is that they enjoyed doing it and would continue if they were given the chance.
About not feeling guilty after cheating, a Reddit user says, “It’s probably because you don’t really love her. I don’t get how anyone can betray the trust of someone they love. I’d never even flirt with a man whilst in a relationship. I respect my partner way too much. If you aren’t satisfied, just leave.”
17 Unbelievable Reasons Why A Cheating Person Shows No Remorse
Remorse is equivalent to sincere regret, which makes you realize that you have wronged. A man or a woman may want to move toward reconciliation by accepting past mistakes and fixing what has been broken by their choice of indulging in affairs. You are probably wondering, “Do cheaters ever suffer? Why does my ex show no remorse?”
A cheating person may feel no remorse if they inherently lack sincerity. There is a high possibility that a cheater may be extracting a high from adultery. It could be a difficult feeling to abandon. Falling out of love or narcissism can also be why a cheating person lacks remorse. Let us unspool the many reasons behind the complete lack of regret in the aftermath of cheating:
Related Reading: 5 Surefire Signs Your Partner is Cheating on You
1. They want out of the relationship
You may wonder how do cheaters not feel guilty. One of the reasons could be that the person is uneasy in the relationship. They might try to squirm out of it. This squirming could result in cheating. Sounds unjust, we know, but it’s the harsh truth. Such a partner might feel remorse but they may not feel it intensely since they are unhappy in a relationship.
So, if your man or woman resorts to such behavior, don’t trouble yourself with the question of why a cheating person shows no remorse. They are simply not worth it. I would recommend that you should not even take them back if they attempt to return. They can deal with the circumstances of their own doing.
2. They do not respect you
It is a given that two people in love will remain faithful. There won’t arise a question of cheating when two people have deep admiration for one another. But, if there is a lack of respect, a partner may feel it is okay to cheat for a teeny bit of thrill or fun, and naturally, they won’t show any signs of true remorse. The other partner is automatically taken for granted in such situations.
For Adam and Beth, both software professionals, this lack of respect turned into a cheating streak. “I don’t feel bad for cheating on my wife,” says Adam, adding, “Why would I if a cheating woman shows no remorse? She too had a fling outside, which I found out from someone else. Apart from feeling disrespected, I felt hurt and lost respect for her. I did not feel whole and so I looked for options.”
3. They do not know they are cheating
How do cheaters not feel guilty? It is weird but a person may not realize that they’re crossing the line of fidelity. How is this possible, you may ask? This has to do with how one defines cheating. There is full-blown sex outside a relationship, which we all agree counts as cheating. But then how do you classify flirty texts or emotional cheating?
One of the reasons why a cheating person shows no remorse could be that he/she does not have the cheater’s guilt. This emotion is further scathed if they feel that their partner is sexually or emotionally unavailable and they’re trying to compensate for that connection through online affairs or flirtatious texts.
Related Reading: 18 Definite Signs Of A Cheating Boyfriend
4. They feel guilty but want the feeling to go away
“I don’t feel guilty for cheating on my husband, or so I thought at first,” says Beth, who cheated on Adam (and Adam back on her), “But the truth is I did feel guilty and it is a horrible feeling. I have been wanting this feeling to go away, but I don’t know if I am ready to admit it. This is a mess.”
Why a cheating person shows no remorse is also because they are simply trying to avoid guilt. This emotion may make them feel like a monster since they realize the intensity of the pain they caused their partner. Guilt could actually be compared to a caged beast who is raring to escape.
The consternation stemming from your partner cheating without remorse can be really harmful. Do seek help from a counselor if the emotions in the aftermath of being cheated on start to feel like a large weight on your chest. If you’re looking for help from a licensed and skilled mental health professional, counselors on Bonobology’s panel are here for you.
5. They feel remorse but can’t admit it
If there are people who feel stuck with remorse and want to work on it, there are others, the egomaniacal variety, who successfully repress such emotions owing to pride or ego. In such cases, it is futile to trouble yourself with the question, “Why don’t cheaters feel remorse?” or, “Do cheaters get their karma?” Also note, it may appear that this person does not care about what he or she did, but there is a high chance that it may be troubling them deeply.
6. They don’t think they have done anything wrong
Have you ever noticed how a person cheats and acts as if nothing happened? It’s exasperating! So, why would a person show no remorse after betraying someone else? It is because they feel that their act is not worthy of guilt or they do not feel the need to explain.
In some instances, a person may discover they are polyamorous, and thus, they do not feel the need to justify that they can love many people. Would we call it cheating in such a case? Unless there is the consent of everyone involved, it still does qualify as cheating. If your partner has realized they’re polyamorous, you have a lot to figure out as a couple.
7. Toxic masculinity
A man who feels he has the right to cheat possibly harbors strong traits of toxic masculinity. It is really a harmful concept that does not just affect the partner who is cheated on but also the men who wear it like a badge of honor. Society’s expectation of a stiff upper lip teaches a lot of men that a show of emotions like remorse is not masculine. As a result, men often feel like they have to display a certain toughness.
While at a cafe, where I was trying to write peacefully, I heard a conversation about toxic masculinity. I could not figure out the names of the people who were talking as I eavesdropped, but for our benefit, let us call them John and Jane. John appeared to have cheated on his partner and Jane was batting for components of trust.
“Yes, I don’t feel bad for cheating on my partner because I did not feel answerable to her,” John said to a friend who was trying to mediate the conflict, “I have always honored her wishes and desires but I don’t feel answerable to her all the time. I chose to be with her because I felt a certain sense of independence in this connection. Being accountable is really taking the meaning out of it.”
“How do cheaters not feel guilty!” Jane simply exclaimed. I think she rushed out after this conversation because I could not hear more of it.
8. They are angry
Anger is also a reason why a cheater doesn’t repent their actions. It might turn you into an irrational person. It could cause the cheater to justify their actions instead of feeling remorse or regret. For instance, if a partner is not getting fundamental support in a relationship or enough sex, they may cheat instead of expressing anger.
And if it is a case of revenge cheating, given that the other partner has already committed their share of infidelity, there’s no point expecting to see signs of true remorse. Cheating in such a situation is a symptom of deeper relationship issues. Working on them early on can help you understand each other’s concerns and trust one another to work on them. After all, healthy relationships rest on a strong foundation.
9. The affair is still on
The question of why cheaters don’t feel remorse does not arise when the affair is still on. In such a scenario the cheater will be in love, too consumed by the warm-gooey feeling to feel remorse or regret. Something similar happened with Anna, a product designer. She fell out of love with her spouse and found a new romantic interest, Steve, a corporate analyst. “I don’t feel bad for cheating on my husband because I was planning to leave him anyway,” says Anna.
10. They feel they are saving the relationship
This is not an answer you would expect when you think about why your partner shows no remorse after cheating. It is slightly crazy, but hear me out on this one. If a certain need, like sex, is unfulfilled in a relationship, a person may seek it outside secretly. This person won’t consider this as an act of betrayal but a personal business they took care of to save their relationship. Such a person differentiates love from lust.
11. They believe you will forgive them anyway
When you’ve been together a long time, complacency might seep into the relationship without you noticing. A partner may start taking you for granted to the extent that they feel that you will forgive them for anything. This complacency could be why a cheating person shows no remorse.
If you choose to stick around, looking for answers to questions like how do cheaters not feel guilty and hoping to rebuild your relationship with your partner, you’re only proving them right. It is only prudent to walk away from such a relationship that is skewed.
12. They are narcissistic
“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” Do you think your partner is very close to saying this to the dressing mirror? Well, such people could also easily say, “I don’t feel bad for cheating on my partner.” There are valid reasons why narcissists can’t maintain intimate relationships.
Narcissism or excessive self-love is a psychological issue that could affect both partners in a relationship. The inflated sense of self may prevent a person from feeling remorse (or empathy). Also, it is quite possible that even if the person feels any remorse and regret, it is because they were punished for cheating and not because they were caught.
13. They are living in denial
Constantly choosing to flirt with the coworker, texting the ex, and just indulging in casual flirting or even online flirting may seem like acceptable behavior to them. They don’t believe that they are cheating. Besides, their actions are deliberate. In reality and contrary to the popular notion of denial, a person – while cheating – may be thinking of you all the time.
Cheating is, after all, a conscious choice. At every little juncture, they may hear a small voice telling them what they are doing is not right and that they should stop. But then, why don’t cheaters feel remorse, you may wonder. Because they often ignore the voice of reason thinking, “It will only be this one time” or “What their partner does not know will not hurt”. Denial for them is a sweet, temporary solace.
14. They are manipulative
A manipulative partner will gaslight you into believing anything apart from the truth because they are scared to face the consequences of their actions. If such a person has been unfaithful in a relationship, they may feel guilt and manipulation may be the quick solution to patch up their emotions. Such a person may even manipulate you into believing that their cheating was your fault.
Related Reading: Do Cheaters Miss Their Ex? Find Out
15. They could have psychological problems
When you are cheated on, the possibility that your partner may have psychological issues that need to be addressed ASAP may escape you. One of these issues could be an antisocial personality disorder, which involves a pattern of manipulating, exploiting, or violating the rights of others.
I can recount the case of Lyon and Genna, a couple who was wondering if their relationship was worth saving. Lyon had a personality disorder that was diagnosed after several rounds of therapy. Before he hit the counselor’s couch, he would say, “I don’t feel bad for cheating on my wife. ” The lack of empathy was driving Genna crazy.
This is when she had an inkling that Lyon may have had problems understanding these emotions at all! If you are stuck in such a situation, it may help to look at the deeper reasons why a cheating person shows no remorse – you may realize that your partner needs help. If you actually help them through these issues, with therapy and more, it may help you seal your bond further.
16. They are a serial cheater
When someone has cheated repeatedly, the effect it has on them reduces heavily, making it easier to repeat the act. This is why a serial cheater may not feel remorse – the constant indulgence dilutes the vice. What worse could happen in this situation, you may ask? They may get cheater’s high from a streak of adultery.
17. They fell out of love with you
We hate to be the one to break it to you. But one possible reason behind your cheating partner’s lack of remorse could be that love flew out of your relationship window. Needless to say that when a person has lost their feelings for you, they won’t hold themselves accountable to be loyal to you anymore. Naturally, being regretful or asking for forgiveness won’t be on the mind of someone who is no longer in love with you.
- Cheaters don’t feel guilty when there is a lack of love and respect for their partner
- If they are already finished with you, they may not see it as a wrong step
- They probably feel remorse but can’t admit it (toxic masculinity could be a reason)
- If the affair is still on and they are happy with the other man/woman, there won’t be any sign of true remorse
- They may have a gaslighting tendency and believe that they would convince you to forgive them or take the blame for their actions
When truly in love and cheated on, you may want to find out the reasons behind it. You may even want to give them the benefit of the doubt, believing that you can bounce back from this setback. However, sometimes these issues are entrenched in past trauma or psychological faults. These issues should be resolved with the help of mental health professionals. And if you have been cheated on, you must take care of yourself first. Evaluate where you stand in your relationship and then proceed with caution. It may seem hard to let go, but let time take care of the hurt.