I guess I've never thought of forgiveness as a single event, but now my WH does. Unfortunately, I think he thinks there is going to be a magical moment where I forgive him, and then we go ride unicorns and slide down rainbows together for the rest of our life.
I wouldn't dare say the words, "I forgive you" because I would feel pressured to never show my anger again. Or never bring it up again. If I told him this and then weeks later have a bad day, I'm afraid his reaction would be, "I thought you forgave me?! Why are we still talking about this?!" But that's just my WH.
I can see how your WH's thinking that way would be a "disincentive" for you, and I'm sorry. Having received my BW's forgiveness hasn't for one second, for me, put in my mind thoughts of "great, I never have to discuss that again!". Or, some kind of blanket immunity from ANYTHING. Her forgiveness has actually made me more communicative about me, her, us.
It feels good to bring to the table to her how I'm feeling, when I'm scared, when I'm frustrated...and that's just the "me stuff". I used to be so secretive about anything "inside". Sharing myself, being vulnerable, is something that feels so good to do with someone you can trust and who you know "has your back". My wife never wavered in giving me and offering me that gift, and I ignored it and worse during my affair.
Her forgiveness makes me want to know and be responsive to HER feelings, HER moments of frustration, sadness, and all the rest...more than I ever have. It's like I see a whole new woman who I was too blind and selfish to see before. My behavior thrust so very unfairly and shockingly upon her a new reality, and her willingness to believe in me has taught me things about love, life, and intimacy that I might never have figured out. I'm obviously not suggesting "hey, good thing I had an affair". But when my behavior created this new and awful reality for us, something unexpected has grown from the ashes (like those meadows that crop up after forest fires).
I want to have my BW's trust so she can share herself with me again, and trust I am going to be the life partner, friend, husband, and lover she deserves. I am trying to be more intimate and connected, not less, because of forgiveness. And I have to say that feels so damn good! Cheesy, corny, and good! Just like love and marriage should be, right?
It is a process, and as a WH I have not been perfect. But I have never felt her forgiveness was some kind of "Get out of past and future jail free card". It has been quite the opposite: sort of a "Come to a love and life that is real" card, from a woman who despite seeing the very worst I can be as a man, husband and human, found it in her heart to continue to love and believe in me. Best day of my life was the day so many years ago she strolled in, smiled, and said "Hi". I just didn't really quite know or understand how much so until the chips were down and we stood at the brink I brought us to. I do now. Her strength, grace, and beauty under fire...well, the girl has bigger balls than me. She's tougher, smarter, faster stronger. My Wonder Woman! And some day I'm going to be her Superman. Working on it!
If my words help any here, please know your words help me. Being connected to the "Betrayed side" and seeing the hurt, pain, struggles and successes is incredibly powerful, touching, and educational for me. I find myself rooting for those who sadly find themselves here, and that's my wife, too.