I've followed your posts a lot Sam and relate to a lot of your story and what your BH has gone through. My WH's LTA had a lot of similaritiesmto yours though it was never a PA.
What BaxtersBFF just said really hit it for me. My WH and I have had almost identical conversations. He seems to feel that the fact that he's sticking with his answer means that they're true. What I hear is that no matter how many times I ask and no matter how much I try to communicate that the answer is really important and i think his answer is not completely hitting truth, he's done thinking about it, has an answer that he's satisfied with and is not going to examine it deeper and harder to meet my need for both of us to really understand what was going on in his head during his LTA.
When I ask, as BaxtersBFF said, I am asking him to keep digging about where his head was THEN, what he was feeling THEN, what he thought of her THEN. My WH's LTA, like yours, was not static. It changed and evolved like any relationship that lasts so long. There are clearly periods where it escalated, and he was very emotionally involved and periods when he was just going through the motions. But he kept going through the motions, and he kept telling her that he loved her, kept telling her he wanted her, and most of all, like you, he kept bad mouthing me and making himself a victim of my meanness.
If I remember correctly, as with my WH's A, there is a ton of written evidence from your A that is similar--lots of declarations of devotion to her and lots of nastiness towards your wife. Like me, I would guess that it's critical for her to try to get to the bottom of what you were really feeling both towards her and towards the AP when you were saying and doing those things, NOT from the current perspective, but from the actual time frame of the A.
My WH has a really hard time getting this because he hates her now and professes to see her clearly. He says that everything he said to her was just a lie to get her to stroke his ego and give him what he wanted and that he was just doing the same for her. But I don't really want to hear a global explanation of his feelings based on his current perspective. His A lasted over 6 years. There wasn't ONE way he felt or ONE motivation for all the shit that he said to her and there isn't ONE explanation for the whole A. For me, the explanations of specific periods and communications in the A are critical. The feelings behind specific things that he said at different times or behind things that he repeated over and over during several years.
What I need is for him to really think, keep thinking and reexamining every part of it. I need for him to look, not for different answers, but for deeper ones and for answers that address the different phases of the A and what was going on in each of them, the different things he said about me and why he chose those specific things to say when he really could have just said any shit about me. Why those specific things?
As for the question of you loving your AP, please understand that, like my WH, you told this other person that you were in love with her insistently for a very long time. You treated her, from your BH's perspective, better than you treated her, you gave her intimacy that you didn't give your BH,you treated her with more consideration, and you sold out your entire M and your wife for the sake of your relationship with her.
For me, this reality makes it very difficult to believe that my WH didn't at least think he was actually something like in love with his AP during some points in the A to be willing to give away so much that was precious and sacred for the sake of his relationship with her. I have told him over and over that I need him to look at how he felt THEN that made him say what he said, throw away what he did, give her what he did. I know that what he felt was nothing like actual, true, healthy love because he wasn't capable of it at the time. But in his completely self-absorbed, monumentally selfish, childish mind, a person who was feeding him the crap that he wanted to hear about how great he was, how misunderstood, how taken for granted, how truly good and deserving and victimized and, of course, hot, that person MUST have produced some pretty positive (twisted, but positive) feelings. It must have felt something like what his messed up mind would have equated with love--she makes me feel so good and truly appreciates me for who I am, loves me without criticism, etc, etc.
I don't know if this is what your BH is feeling when she keeps pressing about it, but it's what I keep trying to get my WH to look at. Because he continued his affair for way too long to just be able to say that it was sick and twisted and unhealthy (all true) and that he lied to her about everything. Because I KNOW that he didn't feel that way then and THOSE feeling are the ones that I need to know about, the ones that kept him with her for more than 6 years and produced damage on a million different levels of my life.
Why do you feel so sure at a year out that your answers are so complete and accurate? Do you really feel that youve completely gotten to the bottom of things? My suggestion is don't be too satisfied with your answers and dont keep repeating them without reexamining and trying to see them in a fresh way. Don't stop trying to remember what you felt then because you're ashamed of it and think it would just cause more pain. For me, the key to being able to have any faith that my husband won't do something like this again is knowing that he really, REALLY understands what he did and how he felt then. And he really doesn't want to go there and remember those feelings at all. He wants to stick with the completely negative feelings that he has now about her, but on DDay, he maintained at the beginning that she was a very good friend who listened to his troubles and didn't really have any bad intentions until I pointed a few things out. So I KNOW that he wasn't thinking that way about her then.
I don't know yet if being able to have faith that he truly understands all of his feelings and motivations over the almost 7 years of his A will be enough to overcome what he did to us for so long (I don't have that faith yet), but I know without it, I'll never be able to believe that he really understands what he did and won't "accidentally" do it again.
Wishing you and your BH comfort and success.