Pete replies…

There are a few reasons I can think of as to why an unfaithful spouse wouldn’t feel any remorse.

1. They were brought up with an entirely different set of values that you were

2. They feel justified in their choice to be unfaithful

3. They are feeling remorseful but they don’t know how to show it

And at the root of all three of these reasons is the same underlying problem – a lack of unconditional love in their life.

People need unconditional love to fuel their emotional systems in the same way as we all need oxygen, water and food to survive. We can physically survive without unconditional love but we will exist in a state of emotional decay – and when you are emotionally dying, it hurts as much as when you know you are physically dying.

When people know they are physically dying, they will do anything possible to prolong their life and take the fear and pain of death away. Well, in a similar way, we do the same thing when we are emotionally dying but often in less obvious ways.

I was unfaithful to my wife and I now know why – because I was emotionally dying due to a lack of unconditional love in my life. I didn’t know any of this until my wife discovered my infidelity. I have since learnt that the world is mostly unaware of the true nature of unconditional love and the absolutely necessity to have it in our lives in order to become emotionally alive. I certainly was and I lived with an emotional pain that I was both unaware of and unaware of the things I did to try and reduce the pain.

One of the things I used was seeking attention, comfort, interest and pleasure with no responsibility attached – all obtained from having affairs.

I knew it was wrong, I had been brought up with that value, but I justified it in my own mind in so many ways. My wife doesn’t know, so I’m not hurting her. Several of my friends are doing the same thing, so it’s ok. The women I am with don’t want a long term relationship with me, so they’re not being hurt either. I am not getting what I need at home – so I have no choice but to go elsewhere. When I told myself these things time and time again, I convinced myself that they were all perfectly justified and true. (I have since learnt that entire cultures of people turn a blind eye and accept that it is what men do, and that culture has been passed down for generations and generations.)

What I didn’t appreciate at the time was the longer term and continual damage this behaviour was having on my own emotional system. None of it provided the life-filling unconditional love I needed – all of it was only a temporary fix to my life-long emotional decay.

If your spouse had an affair, that they are not remorseful is simply another signal of their deeper underlying emotional decay. The best evidence you have of that decay is the fact that they were unfaithful in the first place.

Learn about unconditional love, learn about the conditions in their upbringing that meant they grew up without the life-giving love they needed – and then go and work out what you can do to bring more of this life-giving love into your marriage. Then, neither will he/she feel the need to go elsewhere, but he/she will gradually get to see how damaging it is to him/her and to your relationship. Then he/she will be able to access remorse so much more easily.