Originally Posted by Jayehare
And I worry about hurting her even more by even trying to justify this ...
Then please...don't try. Even if she wasn't justified in viewing this as a betrayal (which I think she is), she's in NO state to try to see your view of things. While I don't believe you intended to cause pain, I think it's hard to deny that's exactly what happened. At the very least, I think you have to acknowledge that things were "introduced badly".
Honestly, I would give her time and space. While you're doing that, you might want to look into some resources about healing things after cheating. Wife and I found the book "After the Affair" by Janis Spring rather helpful.
Good luck, I really do hope that she's able to heal from this.