My husband had feelings for his AP. I remember being really frustrated about the same time as you are now because I asked questions and I didn’t hear what I needed to hear, or better said what I knew to be true but I wanted my WH to find his way there by himself.
In our case I would ask him how he felt about his AP and he’d tell me what your wife tells you now, that the AP made him laugh, made him feel wanted and desired but it wasn’t love.
You see what I sadistically wanted to hear was how he felt DURING the affair, ie. how he felt when he came through that door and told me he’s in love with her, he loved us both and he couldn’t help it, it just happened.
I don’t think your wife is lying as such: she is telling you how she felt at the time of her affair, she did have feelings for him, she thought those feelings were genuine, she did want to run off into the sunset with him (I’m not telling you this to hurt you, most affairs have some sort of future faking).
Now however she knows it wasn’t real, it wasn’t love. It was all just a pretend world, a fantasy bubble that exploded in her face.
Listen - affairs are happening as a form of escapism for the cheater. Of course you feel ecstatic if you spend a few minutes/hours of your day without any of the day to day life reality. No kids to raise, no bills to pay, no house to clean, and there’s this new person that doesn’t see you, the real you and how you are at your lowest, but this new pretend person, the AP, tells you you’re the most amazing person.
I remember once exploding and asking my WH "and when you two spent time telling each other how amazing you are, when she told you you are a fantastic father and a great man, did any of you see the irony of it? Did you also give her a taste of that sarcastic tone that you use with me when you’re frustrated or the ‘I wanna kill you’ look?"
I think part of my healing was realising what a lot of bs everything was in their affair. It’s a lot of pain to go through but I am telling you hand on heart, from 5 years out I am almost (not quite) laughing when I’m thinking of these two idiots telling each other how great they were when in reality they were such shitty people.
One thing I would say though: the biggest push for me was to constantly prompt my WH to find out in IC why he didn’t value a stable good life, why loyalty was so low in his moral values why short, empty (in the long run) expériences valued more than the kids and wife he had at home. He had a pretty good life, slightly routined but nothing you couldn’t change with a 10 min conversation.
For me at least, that was the crux of it, I myself had my cheating "opportunity" presented to me a few times through my marriage and I remember actively thinking how heartbroken my kids and my husband would be if I would take that route. Besides feeling bad for even having the thought passing through my head because I had a family dedicated husband at home and here I was thinking of cheap thrills. Turns out my husband did not feel the same, did not live in gratitude but rather in entitlement…
When you talk next try and see where her values and morals are, that may tell you more.