Check out two books by Janice Abrams Springs and read them with your spouse.
How Can I Forgive You?
After the Affair
These are helping me and my H tremendously and we are not doing counselling because of the cost and we want to work thru this together.
But you are early in this process so expect bumpy roads ahead. I'm six months in and even though we still have some tense arguments or discussions we are recovering from them more quickly and easily. And he is working on not being so defensive.
The Forgivenss book talks about genuine forgiveness which means he has to earn it and you have to make a path for it to happen. He doesn't get a free pass in this scenario. So one thing he will learn is that he should be supportive of you instead of defensive.
My fWH is still working on this but he is human and still gets angry too when I go too far. Part of the reason he cheated was because he had poor coping skills so I've learned to cut him some slack and try not to let his angry words get to me too personally. He is doing the same for me and also understands that I am experiencing PTSD so I'm not doing this to be manipulative or to punish him (he's sees it as me suffering if/when I go off the deep end).
Also the fact that we sometimes fight means that we are both present and trying to work a problem out together even though we sometimes go about it wrong. It's a sign of passion. If we didn't care then we would detach withdraw and divorce.
Another I learned is that my fWH was waiting for the other shoe to drop as time passed. In other words he thought I would divorce him. When I was angry he thought it meant I hated him and he didn't understand why I would ever forgive him and move forward. This is a difference that he and I have. I've always told him I hate what he did but I still love him. He took it to mean I hate him. So there are times in anger when two people just get interpret things wrong. The books helped us talk through our differences.
Another important thing we've learned is that anger is a cover emotion. So the book says to talk about the underlying things (how you're feeling instead of the details of what someone did). So you might be angry because you were afraid of being abandoned, etc. Sometimes we revisit the things that were argued about and talk about the underlying feelings because it can be hard to do in the heat of the moment.
I've made a big effort to share all my feelings with him (good or bad). This keeps us closer as neither one of us goes off and pouts for too long. If I'm sad or upset he knows about it. I'm holding him to what I told him on dDay ("You made this mess so now you have to help clean it up").
Sometimes reading the books together helps pull us out of a "funk" if we've just argued.
[This message edited by whattheh at 4:47 PM, August 17th (Saturday)]