Is He Hiding Something? 20 Signs He Feels Guilty for Hurting You

Guys do all kinds of things where they may not intend to hurt you. Do you know the signs he feels guilty for hurting you? Keep reading to find out!

is he hiding something

We’ve all been hurt by a guy and it is far from a pleasant experience. Whether he lied, cheated, or let you down, being hurt by the guy you care about sucks. And at some point in time, you’d wonder if he knows he hurt you, or if there are any signs you can read to know he feels guilty for hurting you.

It doesn’t matter what they did – heartbreak is heartbreak. He hurt you, so why should you care if he feels guilty or not? Well, looking for the signs he feels guilty can clue you in on whether or not he has something to feel guilty about in the first place.

His behavior can tell you if he actually has some form of remorse over something he did to you. If he feels guilty for hurting you or even cheating on you, he may not say sorry, but he might actually be trying to earn your trust back!

[Read: How to make someone feel guilty and understand the pain they caused you]

How is he hurting you?

Guys are not as simplistic as stereotypes make them out to be. Oftentimes, they are just as complicated as girls are, they just may not show in the same way. They can hurt you in many ways, but the worst kind is the betrayal you never see coming.

Especially if you think he’s cheating on you and it’s not something you think he would do in a million years, it can hurt like hell. This is why it’s important to know the signs he feels guilty for hurting you. If you aren’t catching him in the act, you can still try to read his behavior and find out if there’s some kind of guilt weighing him down.

Guilt is a pretty powerful emotion, which makes it a great place to start finding out whether he is intentionally hurting you and deceiving you. [Read: 14 ways to confront different types of liars in your life]

What’s the connection between guilt and betrayal?

When someone actively betrays you, it’s highly likely for them to feel guilt or remorse. Just like when you do something that you weren’t supposed to do, the same goes for them. So in looking for signs he feels guilty for hurting you, watch out for any behavior that might seem unusual or suspicious.

If he wasn’t that sweet to you before and he’s now showering you with affection, you should start thinking. He’s not having a change of heart like you thought – he might be guilty!

Guilt is such a strong emotion and he isn’t likely to keep that to himself, no matter how hard he tries. The guilt will show through his actions and behavior, so watch carefully so you don’t miss any of the signs.

[Read: What is cheating in a relationship? The truth most people ignore]

The clearest signs he feels guilty for hurting you

If he hurt you and feels bad about it, he may feel like he owes you. In that case, he will go out of his way to make you happy *more so than usual* until he feels enough time has passed that the pain has diminished. [Read: How to deal with guilt & drop the baggage weighing you down]

Maybe he walks on eggshells or tries obsessively to please you. He won’t want to bring it up or talk about whatever he did because he hopes you will forget about it. 

On the other hand, if he’s done something bad and now he feels uncomfortable being around you because of all that guilt, he may lash out in other ways. He may be ruder, he may pick more fights, etc. just to get you to hate him a little bit so he can convince himself that he did something bad because you’re a “bad” partner too!

Let’s take a look at the subtle and not-so-subtle signs he feels guilty for hurting you, whether you know about it or not.

[Read: Is your boyfriend hurting you emotionally? How to respond without reacting]

1. He buys you gifts

A telltale sign a guy is feeling guilty for something he knows will hurt you is buying you gifts out of the blue. Yes, he may just be a nice guy, but if this is out of the ordinary and you have been getting a weird vibe, don’t overlook it. If he isn’t the type of guy who buys you gifts generally, then this is an obvious one.

Of course, don’t go overboard with accusations just because he bought you a gift. This sign needs to be matched with other signs to confirm that he really is guilty about something.

If he’s being a hopeless romantic all of a sudden and he’s never been like that throughout the course of your relationship, it’s time to start wondering about his motives. [Read: 25 early warning signs you have a bad boyfriend on your hands]

2. He starts fights because he feels like he deserves to be yelled at

This is sort of a psychological sign, but a sign nonetheless. He purposely starts fights because he feels he deserves it for what he did to you. Here’s the thing, men really don’t start fights *who in their sane mind would want a fight?*.

So if you see him start fights even about the little things, especially those that never bothered him previously, this can be a sign of guilt. He may want to feel like he is being punished so that the guilt isn’t so strong.

If he gets away with what he’s doing, his conscience will torture him unless he is punished for it.  [Read: 16 reasons why your boyfriend’s so mean and rude]

3. He may act like the victim in every situation

He acts as if everything he does is for you, and when something doesn’t work out, he blames everyone else. He acts like his downfalls are due to his selflessness. This is a classic manipulative move you often see in gaslighting to make you feel sorry for him or to reverse the situation.

He may act as if he’s the “nice guy.” He may even refer to himself as such. But if he can’t admit he is wrong or that he made a selfish mistake, he may be feeling guilty. This is the type of guy who justifies cheating by saying things like “I didn’t cheat because she kissed me!” [Read: How to help a selfish boyfriend change and help him find the balance]

4. He makes promises

The empty promise is something women since the beginning of time have dealt with. He may promise you the world when he is in deep with his guilt. Words are very easy to spout by someone who has intentionally betrayed your trust, so they make up for it through false reassurances and promises. Just like his actions, his words aren’t something you should hold on to.

This is one of the classic signs he feels guilty for hurting you. He may promise to take you on a vacation, go to see your favorite play, or even make future plans that he has no intention of keeping, so his guilt can be pushed down for the time being.

5. His confidence is failing

If the situation was reversed, wouldn’t you feel guilty for betraying and hurting someone you love? A guy who is lying and hurting the girl he is with does not have confidence. He might even come across as full of himself, but deep down he is a scared little boy.

Don’t just watch out for his insecurities showing, but watch out for over-the-top arrogance. He might seem like the most confident man, but it’s the exact opposite.

6. He says he doesn’t deserve you

Ahhh yes, the classic line and the biggest sign he feels guilty for hurting you ever! The line “I don’t deserve you” never gets old. Now, why would a cheater or someone who hurt you say something like this? Because he feels guilty.

He knows what he is doing is wrong, so instead of doing the right thing, he simply says something like this to make you feel like he truly loves and idolizes you rather than accept that he is secretly hurting you.

The only reason he would say he doesn’t deserve you rather than doing the action to actually deserve you is that he already hurt you, and it’s too late for redemption. [Read: 20 veiled signs your boyfriend is cheating on you already]

7. He avoids the topic in question

Guilt is a strong emotion, and facing it head-on is a scary thing.

So if you question him about that girl from work, where he was the other night, or why there is money missing from your joint account, he will change the subject as fast as possible. It’s one of the common signs he feels guilty for hurting you.

8. He’s overly honest

The opposite of avoiding the topic in question is being overly honest and direct. While he is feeling guilty for lying about one thing, he will be extremely honest about everything else.

He will describe his day with intricate details. He will make a big deal about honesty and having open communication in the relationship. This is because he thinks this kind of honesty for everything else except his betrayal is enough to compensate for what he did. And of course, convince you that he’s a good boyfriend who would never hurt you! [Read: Is he lying? What to ask a guy if you think he’s hiding the truth]

9. He avoids you

The eyes really are the window to the soul, so if he actively avoids you and can’t look at you, there’s a reason for this. If he avoids spending time with you or can’t look you in the eye when you are together, he is almost definitely keeping something from you.

Now, this could be a secret surprise like a proposal, but if you aren’t there yet, he may be hurting you. Why else would he shy away from something as intimate as eye contact with you, his girlfriend?!

10. He’s private and secretive about some things only

Partners who are hiding something are very secretive with their phones and personal life. Maybe they change their social media passwords, phone lock, and have very limited photos on their phone for fear that they can be used as evidence. They’re paranoid that way.

If your boyfriend has become really private about something specific like his Instagram account or his Whatsapp, especially when he never used to hide them before, then start wondering why that may be the case. Some guys who hurt you even go to the extent of saying they hid a lie so they wouldn’t hurt you!

If he goes to great lengths to keep some things secretive, but at the same time, he’s extremely open about everything else, he’s trying to pretend he’s an open book *while he secretly hides a few pages from it!*. [Read: Why do men lie? Understanding the way men lie and why they do it]

11. He gets defensive

Being defensive is one of the obvious signs he’s hiding something or that he feels guilty for hurting you. He may even throw it back at you. If you question him about coming home late every night this week, he may throw it back by questioning why you don’t trust him when he has “technically” given you no reason to.

Another classic manipulative move that works best in making you question your own suspicions and sanity. The worst part is that you might even believe him.

12. He questions you

Is he acting suspicious of your behavior? Often, when someone is cheating or lying, they think their partner is doing the same. If he is capable of hurting you, he thinks you must be capable of the same.

Why else would he be questioning your motives now when it’s him who did the betraying? If you find him skeptical of your intentions and actions, then he might be hiding his guilt! [Read: 13 giveaways to tell if someone is lying to your face]

13. He might gain or lose weight from stress

Didn’t you know that guilt is so powerful it can affect even your physical appearance? It depends on how long he’s been carrying that guilt, but the stress of guilt and kept secrets can really take a toll on someone.

So if you notice on top of some of these other signs that his appetite has changed or his weight has noticeably changed, he could be feeling guilty. He might be stress eating or not in the mood to eat more often than lately.

14. He wants you to catch him

We know what you’re thinking – if he cheated on you, why would he want you to catch him? This is for those who can no longer contain their guilt, and it’s consuming them day and night. The only way out of this nightmare is for you to find out what they did so it can be over, once and for all.

For this to happen, they’ll leave subtle clues for you to find out. Maybe they will leave their phone out or leave their laptop unlocked, or even leave a sketchy receipt in their pocket.

15. He’s quieter than usual

If your boyfriend’s rather talkative and social, and you find he’s more of a loner and thinker lately, he might be guilty about something. Of course, this could also be a sign of stress, or maybe he’s going through something personal.

However, when this matches with the other signs he feels guilty for hurting you, then there you have it. [Read: Recognizing the physical and emotional signs of a guilty conscience]

16. He keeps asking if you’re okay for no real reason

It’s normal to ask someone you love if they’re okay. But people who’ve cheated or betrayed you will do this more than usual because they already crossed the line and did the deed.

They want to see if you know what they did, or maybe they just want to attempt to make things better by asking this question. Whether their concern is genuine or not, it doesn’t matter. This is another classic sign of guilt and remorse.

17. He’s more present than usual

Only you would know who your boyfriend is, including his behavior and actions. If he seems different, such as being more present in your life and actually wanting to spend more time with you, then you need to wonder just for a minute if there’s any specific reason for his affectionate ways. Did he do something wrong and he’s guilty? Does he know he hurt you and now he’s trying to make it up to you?

Especially if he rarely does this for you, then it could be his guilt acting up. [Read: How to rebuild trust after even the worst type of betrayal]

18. He can’t sleep at night

Guilt will rob you of any joy and peace you have, especially at night. If he cheated on you, then there’s a big chance he won’t be able to sleep peacefully at night.

You might feel him tossing and turning, or maybe he gets in and out of bed constantly, even at wee hours. This might also be signs of stress and anxiety, but it could also be guilt!

19. He plays the victim

Remember what we said earlier about signs of manipulation and gaslighting? Victims of cheaters know that this is one of the classic signs he feels guilty for hurting you.

Even if he knows he was the one who betrayed you and went behind your back, he’ll do everything in his power to make you feel like you’re at fault. This is one of the worst signs on this list but a very common sign of a guilty cheating partner. [Read: How to spot gaslighting in a relationship & shut it down for good]

20. He admits it to release the guilt

And then there are some guys that feel guilty for hurting you, and can’t hold it in anymore, so they come clean. It just depends if they are doing it to apologize and move on, to release themselves from the guilt, or because they know you’ll catch them very soon.

Whatever the reason, if he knows he hurt you, and he’s guilty about it, chances are, he’ll come clean and try to repair the relationship.

[Read: How to forgive a cheater – 8 questions to face the betrayal]

So, what are the signs he feels guilty for hurting you?

Watch out for classic gaslighting moves such as playing the victim, buying you gifts, being too much of a romantic, or even incessantly questioning you. These are all classic signs that your boyfriend might be betraying you and cheating on you!

There are many signs he feels guilty for hurting you. You know him the most, so pay close attention to his body language, facial expressions, behavior, and actions. If you notice a sudden change in his behavior, they will tell whether he’s guilty or not.

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Preeti Tewari Serai
Preeti Serai
Preeti, the founder of LovePanky, is an eternal optimist and believer in the beauty of love and life. With an exhaustive experience in love, relationships, and ...