My wife of many years had four (that I know of) emotional affairs over the last five years of our marriage.
...after a lot of tears we both came to the sad realization that no amount of therapy or marriage counseling would ever persuade me to trust her again.
... What I'm saying is this: Don't make the same mistake I did. I told her I forgave her, each time, but it wasn't true forgiveness. It was just a way to smooth things over. Before our marriage ended, it looked fine on the surface but was rotten underneath.
People make mistakes, and people deserve forgiveness. Nobody is perfect. But through it all, you CANNOT go through life with distrust in your heart. The stress will eat away at you and you will be absolutely *miserable*. If you have secrets, get them out. Like getting an infection out of a wound. If you have doubts, get them out. If the doubts don't go away, don't hide from them or be ashamed of them. Talk more. Don't let your spouse tell you that you're paranoid, because the feelings are REAL. Your feelings of doubt and distrust are REAL whether you're right or not. Talk through it, get help now, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise...
Cthru I would like to point out something to you just to be sure that you (and some folks here) are not carrying a burden that isn't theirs to carry.
Your wife committed adultery FOUR TIMES during your marriage. Each time she committed adultery, she did not take the steps necessary to look at herself, admit what she was doing wrong, and change herself. Neither did she do the work to reconcile the marriage and rebuild trust!
Instead, she did the exact same pattern over and over...and destroyed more trust each time.
The reason I point this out is that I agree, it will eat you up inside if you have to live the life of checking on your spouse and not trusting them. BUT I think this is really important: in order to trust them, they have to act in a trustworthy manner!!!!!
It is 100% REASONABLE for you to distrust her. She treated you dishonestly and did not act in a way that built trust! In fact, she acted in a way that directly and deliberately DESTROYED trust. So the fact that you were distrusting is not a "fault" that you have as an individual, and I personally do not believe you should feel guilt for responding in a way that is perfectly reasonable and normal. It's situational distrust.
This reminds me a little bit of what a disloyal will say (in righteous indignation) when the loyal spouse exposes the affair at work: "How DARE YOU drag my name through the mud at work!!" No it's not the loyal spouse telling the people at work that drags the name through the mud--it's the disloyal spouse choosing to commit adultery! Telling the truth does not do harm.
It's very similar here. The disloyal says, "How DARE YOU tell me you forgive me and then violate my privacy by snooping! You must have a trust issue!" Nope. It's not that the loyal is paranoid or has a psychological issue--the disloyal actually behaved in a TRUST-DESTROYING WAY!