I can see the raw emotion here.
There are two things here.
1) There has to be some form of change on both the WS and BS behalf in order for things to work out. There is no way that the situation will get better if one side decides that they do not need to change anything. It's not fair by any means, but it is what it is. I know the BS didn't choose this avenue, but to go forward some form of change is needed.
2) The score keeping I'm talking about has nothing to do with the affair. I'm talking about the events that led up to the affair. You touched on this in your post there. Yes, to some extent I guess all marriages have some form of score keeping, but I'm talking about the destructive score keeping - the covert contracts from a lack of communication. From both sides. Things like, "if I give her a child she will be happy," or "if I buy him this gift he will show me affection" or various forms of contract.
Again I have to reiterate that in almost all cases the BS is more than right in saying that they don't have to change. They are not the ones who entered into this situation in a dishonest way. But Intuition77, I think you can agree that the situation a couple finds themselves in after an affair is a broken one. There has to be some form of change.
In order for things to move forward there has to be acceptance on both sides. I'm not saying you need to condone the actions of the WS, far from it. But eventually both sides need to let go of the situation, the blame, who's right, who did what to whom, who's the ass, who is abusing whom, and all of the attachments.
Then, a decision has to be made. Do we go forward from here together? Or do we split?
If you choose the latter, then I believe things will go better if you just stop. It comes down to what's more important? One of us being "right" or the two of us working through this together? (Put another way, we both "win" not one of us. There's that nasty score keeping again!)
Oh, and the most important thing a WS needs to do is own their actions. I'm not talking about making a million excuses. Really own that they did what they did. I mean, yeah - you're right in some respects. I cheated because I wanted to. But that's like saying the building burned down because it was on fire. It simplifies things too much.
Once a cheater, always a cheater... Perhaps. That is if someone just goes through the motions and doesn't enact the change they need to genuinely reconnect with their spouse. I didn't want a quick fix here, I wanted to have my spouse back, and for us to give it a go.
In my case, I could at some level apply all of your feelings to my spouse because she chose to have a rebound affair. Like I said, I'm in a unique position because on some level I understand what you are going through because 7 days after d-day my wife slept with her "high school sweetheart."
The worst part on that is that my wife still doesn't consider it all that bad. See, had I not cheated she would never have been put in the position to do that. To be honest, I don't completely buy it because I know that they had an EA while she was trying to figure out what was wring between the to of us.
But again, that is all just keeping score. I prefer to go about accepting what I did, why I did it, and changing what I have to so I can become the husband that my wife would want to be a partner with.
On my wife's end, we went through the truth part of this recovery, and she made her change. She tries not to dwell on what went down, and if she does have a trigger, I'm there to help her feel safe. I'm not talking about a bunch of rules, I'm talking about communication. Way more than before all this ugliness started.
Most of all, anger is toxic. She (and i) above all else needed to work through the anger. This was key. I used to always avoid her anger. (Thus the covert contracts!) I would very quickly in the past try to "fix" things when I noticed my wife could get angry. Of course there was no quick fix for the anger this time. For the first time in our relationship we worked through the anger together. We talked. Communicated our needs.
Honestly, on both sides - it is easier to just walk away. I could have stayed away from my wife - with or without the AP. She could have pushed me away and went on it by herself.
The most important question I think the MC asked us was "why do you want to be with him/her?" It's the "why" that is key here.
My answer was because I love my wife. I always have. I lost sight of that and went off the rails, but that didn't change.
Her initial answer was because she wanted the family to be together. You know it hurt me to hear that. It was like She said she didn't want it because she loved me, but rather just to keep us whole as a family.
That prompted the very first honest communication (outside of the affair) A real uncomfortable conversation that back in the day we would have avoided. It was one of the first times that we were completely raw and honest with each other.
I think that had to happen before we could both let go of keeping score.
I'm not trying to ramble honest... It's just the browser on my phone won't let me scroll up to edit this. (it does that from time to time.)