I am a bit hesitant to post this, as I am not sure if this applies to your wife at all, obviously, what I am going to tell you applies to my own personal situation, your wife's situation may be completely different, she would need to be the judge of that. But I thought I'd tell you something that was discussed at my IC this week, that I found hugely helpful.
I spoke to my IC about how I really want to reconcile, but I feel that the past hurts are getting in my way - how will I ever feel completely "okay" with my husband again, in light of what he has done, how will I be able to move forward, with all of this baggage?
She explained to me how I have an "internalised version" of my husband in my head. This is the "insert his name here" that I believe him to be, based on my past experiences of him. At the moment that internalised version is pretty tainted by the A and all the fallout from it.
She went on to say that, provided my fWH is really doing the work and that I am sure that I want to be in this marriage, then what I need to do (if I choose to) is to toss away that "internalised version" of him. I basically need to act as though he is a stranger, and form a completely new impression of him, based on who he is NOW.
This is the "in a nutshell" version of what she said, there was quite a lot more to it.
To me this was quite a radical and intriguing concept. It's obviously not something a BS would want to do until you were SURE in your own mind that R is what you want and that the WS is fully committed etc.
I have given this a LOT of thought since IC. Really, what it means is that I will forgive him, isn't it? I mean, that's what forgiveness is IMO - giving someone a clean slate.
The thing she said that struck a chord with me is that while I am clinging to the current internalised version of him, nothing that he does now is going to be enough for me. I sooo get that!! Up to now, nothing he does HAS been enough. I totally see that. He will bring me flowers (or do some other nice thing) and on some level I will be "Wow, that's very nice, but you're still a liar and a cheat" Not good!
So this is something I am really stewing over in my mind. I'm really trying to get a handle on it.
Just thought I would share.