I'm afraid I'm with the camp that says you've sort of painted yourself into a corner with this rapist protagonist whose victim loves him anyway. I'm not going to repeat all their points, I'll just say I agree with those who say it's not the act itself that is (fictionally speaking) unforgivable (Kevin Bacon once played a child molester who ended up a very sympathetic figure!), but the authorial decision to "reward" the rapist with the victim's love.
But there's another problem as well, I think, and that's your decision to soft-peddle the rape by not showing it. If a story is about a man who does a horrendous deed and has to deal with it, I really think you have to show the deed in all its repugnant detail. That's what he did; that's what he has to deal with.
Good luck with this challenging project!