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Reply To: N showing tremendous GUILT?

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Hi betrayedagain,

New member and poster, here. I see that you’re struggling and wanted to extend some knowledge that might help you.

The other posters are mostly right.

Slimone, in particular hit the nail on the head with the list of potential next moves. It’s very likely that he will do one or all of those things and it’s definitely not out of guilt.

He is likely not feeling guilt at all, but is very aware of the fact that the actions he has taken such as sleeping on the couch and buying you gifts, will cause you to believe that he is functioning out of guilt. Chances are high that that’s not the case.

Here’s what is likely taking place in his mind:

1. He’s aware that he’s been caught.
2. He wishes to smooth things over because you provide some comforts (read:luxuries or benefits) to him that he’s not ready to let go of.
3. He will do and say what he has to to secure those comforts from you. He probably would rather it just blow over (which is why he said “it’s in the past” and “wants to move forward”.) But he’s aware that you’re not going to let it go. He’s going to try to buy the reaction he’s looking for, as that is step 1 of his goal with you right now.
4. If the moves he is currently making are effective (they usually are), then he can measure the success of these tactics by gauging your reaction. Right now, you’re thinking he’s feeling guilty. This just means he has effectively made you think there’s at least some chance he feels bad. This gets him closer to getting off the hook.
5. If you try to confront him about this, or give any indication that his methods aren’t working and that you’re not impressed with the gifts or him sleeping on the couch, you can expect anger or rage. Don’t believe for a second that if he remains calm, that he’s not seething with rage beneath the surface. In his mind, even though he messed up, he is not thinking about his actions, he is thinking about how to stop you from thinking about his actions. He wants to control your reactions so he can continue with his goals. To him, he thinks that he has made a sacrifice and may feel put upon or deprived that he has to deal with your feelings. He just wants it to be over and the fastest way he can think of is to buy things and take little actions that he knows will suggest he is sorry. He’s trying to fast-track this, believe me.

Now, because he’s a narcissist and not a sociopath, he cares just as much about your adoration as he does about controlling you. Sociopaths don’t care about your adoration on a real or personal level. They will care about or feign caring about whatever it is that gets them closer to what they want. The narcissist has that liability and vulnerability that a sociopath simply lacks.

Either way, narcissists have a distorted sense of time when it comes to other people. That is, because they lack affective/emotional empathy, the idea that you are feeling hurt or betrayed for longer than a minute or so baffles them because they can’t relate. This is another reason why he wants to “move forward”. He has already moved forward. What he’s saying is that he wants you to move forward and not mention it because he doesn’t understand your feelings and doesn’t want to hear about them.

Buying you gifts is absolutely a way of manipulating you, as had already been stated prwiviously by other posters. It makes you remember the good times before he cheated, and because he knows how to be charming and captivating, he’s confident that you’ll remember those things and it will force you to move on.

Hopefully everything works out for you. I see you mentioned you were leaving and know to be discreet. That’s for the best.

Good luck to you.


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