In my opinion there really is no way to make her see your side of this. You admittedly did not worry (or realize) how much damage you were doing or what kind of pain it would cause your wife. You admittedly did not think about the possible consequences of what you were doing and how it would affect anyone else. You can’t say that you didn’t think it would hurt or humiliate your wife, because you knew on some level if the affair was discovered what would happen and how she would react. You can say the damage wasn’t on purpose, but you certainly weren’t completely oblivious to the possibly consequences.
There is no way to say that this wouldn’t have happened if you knew what you know now, because it did happen. It’s common to feel that if you had a decision to make over again you would choose differently but there’s no real way to know if you would. The circumstances leading up to your affair and the after affects to your family did not come from one decision. There was a whole line of events that lead to this and you can not honestly say that even taking one of those events out of line would change the outcome.
There are those out there who can forgive and forget, usually because they have done something similar or they do not truly care about you. There are those who can do one or the other but not both. Then there are those, who, no matter what you do or say, have lost trust, respect and loyalty to you and nothing will get it back. Possibly over a long period of time you could earn back enough of what you lost to have some sort of relationship with that person again, but you will never be able to go back and have the kind of relationship you may have had before you had the affair.
If your wife has given you even the slightest indication that there is still a chance for you, then you must get into counseling and do everything possible to show her that you are going to put your marriage first. If she has not showing any indication that this could be put behind you, then I’m afraid there may be nothing can do to change her mind.
Put yourself in her position. If she had an affair, could you HONESTLY forgive her. Don’t answer that you could forgive simply because you want her to forgive you…
Answer honestly. If you knew another man had touched her, been with her, made her happy, talked to her possibly even about your marriage, that she possibly did things with him that she never has with you…if you knew another man had been intimate with her and I don’t mean just sex, could you look at her the same way. Think about your affair and what you did and put your wife in that role with another man. Would you honestly ever be able to put it behind you and face her every day? Would you feel like you had failed your marriage because she went elsewhere? Would you be humiliated and feel like a fool. Would you feel like less of a man? Would you wonder what you did wrong or didn’t do right that made her turn to someone else? I can tell you from personal experience, these are all things that she is thinking and feeling. And that an affair is sort of like a train wreck, you have to know the details but you don’t really want to hear them because once you do you can’t ever get them out of your head again.
I told my ex much the same thing when we split up. If he was truly sorry for being unfaithful to me, then maybe the next woman in his life wouldn’t have to go through what I did. Sometimes it really does take losing something to appreciate what you had.
Hang in there and I truly do wish you the best of luck.