Sometimes when he talks about how hard he is going to "work" it makes me think he is trying to martyr himself (which was part of the problem.... he felt like he sacrificed stuff and then resented me for it.) In other words, even the reconciliation work seems like it is so much about himself.
Am I being irrational?
There is a saying around where I hang out: "You can't think your way into a better way of living, you have to live your way into a better way of thinking."
At some point he should be stop appeasing you and start to like the new person he is becoming and how great it is to share that new person with you.
"Knowing is half the battle"
Expecting progress not perfection
So now ... to reconcile, he has to experience the reverse - as you say: the shame and the guilt. He doesn't get to be the saintly martyr or the KISA. He has to be the flawed guy making amends. And that is hard for anyone, but particularly for someone who was so overwhelmed by his own pain in recent years, that he was willing to throw his wife (me) under a bus.
Maybe as you say, he won't be able to focus on love, until he can get over his own ego issues.
He keeps talking about how he is going to do the right thing in the future. And how can I react negatively to that? Except that it bugs me. It feels like a shortcut. Like if he promises to do all the right things, then he can skip all the shame and guilt and go back to feeling like he is the martyr. But until he can focus on loving me .. I just don't have confidence that he can get beyond his selfish focus on his own needs - even if the foremost need is to see himself as the good guy.
Your second post on this thread I can totally relate to... so I guess my answer then is no, you are not irrational. Because I feel the same way often. And certainly, I'm not irrational!
I also think my H really doesn't want to think of himself as a "bad guy" and it's a hinderance to R. He's also got a big ego. On the plus side, he is trying hard to make changes to improve our M. I see that and acknowledge that. I sometimes feel like I want to knock him to his knees a bit, but at the same time wonder if that's the right strategy.
I'm coming to the conclusion that I can't make him feel/act/say what I want... it has to come from him. But I also know that I am going to need him to shelve his ego and pain and focus on healing me and our kids. I need his remorse to be truthful and honest. I have been waiting pretty patiently for him to get where I need him to be in order to truly R. I'm definitely coming to decide that if he can't get completely there, my patience will run out at some point. He had better "get it" fully and completely pretty gosh darn soon....
Best of luck to you. This all makes me a bit crazy.