I think that whether they are working on their marriage or not is inconsequential. The idea is to understand, and empathize with how his wife may feel. This way he can have a better understanding of why his wife is lashing out.
I agree that communication is of utmost importance, but first, he needs to drop the ego. Period.
You want to live in purgatory, the best way to that is to continue the cycle. Be defensive when attacked, (even if it's not warranted) and you will find yourself back at square one.
No one is saying that you need to walk on eggshells, but you do need to understand the WHY your BS is acting that way. Quite simply, it's because you cheated and betrayed their trust. Now is the time to build that back up.
I've read through CWO's posts. The best advice I can give is this...
You don't need to defend. You don't need to attack. You just need to be honest. Period.
There is no defense for your choice. See, sure... maybe your wife neglected you, etc, etc... maybe you were different. All in all, who cares? You chose to cheat. Period. You lose. Automatically.
So, stop defending yourself. Don't go on the offensive. Don't get mad.
When she comes at you, pissed off about texts or email, Facebook, whatever... let her into your world. If she says that you are cheating, show her that you are not, but not in a defensive way.
You said that you "proved" to her that you weren't. That's the wrong mindset right there. It's not about you being right, proving anything. It should be about you reassuring her. Otherwise, you come off as a douche, trying to make her see that she is wrong about you.
But, she isn't. You cheated once, and you could do it again. What are you doing to show to your wife that you won't? Words? They don't matter. You used a bunch of words before, and you cheated. So, in her mind, what do those words amount to?
One way you may go about it is to figure out why you were such an ass in the first place. Why did you choose to cheat? Focus on YOU. Why did YOU choose what you did.
I must caution though, leave out ANYTHING your wife did to lead up to that. Why? It's just justification. Your wife may have been the biggest monster in the world, but that still doesn't excuse the fact that you cheated, lied, manipulated, and basically destroyed all that she held dear in your relationship.
In other words, your words mean nothing. Your promise means nothing, unless you can demonstrate that you understand what was WRONG with you that you thought the best way forward was to lie to your wife and have an affair with someone whilst you were still with her.
Once you can demonstrate to her that you are working on yourself so that you can convince YOURSELF that it will NEVER happen again, and WHY it won't, THEN, and MAYBE then, you will deserve the PRIVILEGE of her trust. You know, what you so casually threw away.
I bet, once you have it again, you will NEVER lose it.
I don't mean to be inflammatory, just trying to bring you to reality. This road is never easy. My wife and I are almost 2 years to DDay, and I've been back for 7 months, and while we are doing much better, make no mistake, I still work HARD to regain that trust. The one I stupidly threw away.