The effects of the incident last much longer for the abused woman, of course, and pretty soon the abuser may be snapping at her: “What, aren’t you over that yet? Don’t dwell on it, for crying out loud. Let’s put it behind us and move forward.” His attitude is: “I’m over it, so why isn’t she?”
Genuine remorse and theatricality are not mutually exclusive. Most abusers are truly sorry - though perhaps largely for themselves…
Remorse usually tends to decline as abusive incidents pile up. The genuine aspect fades as the abusive man grows accustomed to acting abusively and tuning out his partner’s hurt feelings. The theatrical part fades as he becomes less concerned about losing the relationship, confident now that she is fully under his control and won’t leave him.
The salient point about remorse, however, is that it matters little whether it is genuine or not. [Abusive men in an abuser program] who get very sorry after acts of abuse change at about the same rate as the ones who don’t. The most regretful are sometimes the most self-centered, lamenting about all the injury they’ve done to their own self image. They feel ashamed of having behaved like cruel dictators and want to revert quickly to the role of benign dictators, as if that somehow makes them much better people.”—Lundy Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (via seebster)