And yet I still don’t get that comforting hug when I need it. I get a good-bye hug in the morning when she leaves for work, and usually one when she gets home. And good-night. Ticking the boxes. But where is it the offer to just hold me when I hurt, when I am in tears?
I hope you don't mind some WS input. Infidelity trauma changes us radically, both the BS and WS. As a WS, after betraying someone else's sense of trust, joy and stability, it can feel disingenous to offer comfort to those we hurt.
Imagine beating the crap out of someone, and then offering them a hug afterward. It is hard to imagine why that person would even want a hug from us? It feels as if even a hug from a stranger might be better... at least the stranger didn't lie, cheat and betray them at their most vulnerable.
I don't say this as an excuse for anything, rather, to just try and offer some insight into the thinking and motivations (or anti-motivations in this case) of the WS. Hugging your betrayed spouse goodbye or goodnight is a different thing entirely, emotionally speaking. You don't hug someone goodbye because they are in pain, suffering and in need of human comfort and care. It's more a social construct. Again, you can hug almost anyone in the correct social situation, even a total stranger. But when comfort is needed... well, that's when the isue of "trust" creeps in. Most people don't feel comforted being touched by someone they fear, or hate, or mistrust. It has the opposite effect usually. Or no effect at all. But rarely is it comforting. We (WS's) know this, we can feel it when we reach for our spouses. We can feel the fear, the disconnect, the discomfort, the disbelief, the lack of trust, the judgement, the emptiness... that emotional chasm that exists after infidelity. And so our viewpoint of what is actually going to comfort our spouse, or just end up making things worse, becomes skewed and hard to determine.
I'll also add in this. If the WS has gotten to the emotional point where they actually start to "get it" and start to regain things like empathy and understanding... the experience of having hurt others so very, very much... changes our self-perspective. I know in my case, things such as my sense of humor have all but been destroyed, because I now question who I was before infidelity, and what my motivations were regarding humor. I realize that a lot of my humor really came from my need for others to love me, to see me as special and wonderful and someone they want to be around. But now that I am learning to love myself, and how to fill some of those needs for myself without relying on others... well, the needy, emotional well that fed my sense of humor is now gone. (To be fair, most of my sense of humor was typically sexual in nature, and no longer feels appropriate or funny anymore, given the circumstances). I am slowly learning what humor is in a world where it isn't fed by neediness. But I have changed fundamentally. I am a different person now. I will find my humor again when I find myself fully. Comforting others can be like that too. I want to make sure that the "reason" I am comforting someone else is because that's what THEY need, not what I need.
Your spouse may feel the same way? She might not think that comfort from her is actually wanted or helpful, and even if you tell her it is what is needed, she might question her own judgement on when it is appropriate, or if her offer of comfort will feel hollow and fake and empty despite her best intentions. Comfort without trust just doesn't feel right. It feels wrong in fact. I can tell you, I am just so sick of hurting other people, and will do anything (or not do something) to prevent my own failings from hurting others. Sometimes that can feel like "not caring" to others. To those who have hurt others however, it feels more like taking a wide berth around the gasoline factory when you know you're carrying a lit match. It isn't meant to be personal or uncaring, it just seems like the better idea. Especially when you've blown the place up a few times already.
My suggestion is to have an honest conversation with her. Ask her how she feels and what she thinks when she realizes you need comfort? Ask her if her own feelings are stopping her somehow? Explain to her your feelings, what you want from her, and what your conerns are as well. Be honest. You might want to let her know that you'd prefer the attempt at comfort, even if it fails. She might not realize that. Sometimes a failed attempt is better than no attempt at all. At least if she tried, you might not feel as if she doesn't care.
I realize that asking you to have this conversation is not really your responsibility, and I get that, so like all advice on SI, take what you need and leave the rest. However if you are comfortable with discussing this with her, it might help.