I came across this article and found it helpful and it pertains to some of us waywards I think. I know it applies to me.
I've been working hard lately thinking about the person I am and how I got to where I'm at. So much of the issue within my marriage right now and how or if we can piece things back together relies on whether or not my wife can get past the fact that I have not been the person I said I was from the day I met her. I realize this is a huge hurdle for her to climb over. Hell, if I'm being honest I don't know if I would want to climb over it either. In a lot of ways I think it would be easier if I had had an actual affair and we could look back at my life and see that I have been a good man and just made a one time horrible decision. Sadly, I am having to come to terms with the fact that I am not a good man and have treated my wife like crap for 17 years. I didn't just make a bad decision. I lived a double life for as long as I've known her and now even though I'm trying to change this, I accept the fact that she may never be able to forgive me for it. I did love her all those years and would have given my life for her but I now see that I wasn't that good man. I lied to myself. I believed my own lie.
When I first was found out and all the shitstorm that was created from this came to light I immediately started telling her things like, I'm not this bad person and I'm a good guy. You see, I really believed that. I had deceived myself to the point that I actually believed that. Yes, looking at porn was wrong but it's just something that I've struggled with and I'm really a good guy. That couldn't be further from the truth. It's finally sinking in. The fact that I lied to myself so much so that I couldn't see the forest for the trees. In my mind I went to church, I was a good dad, I did work around the house, I loved my wife and basically lived a life that lead people to believe I was this all around great guy. The truth is I was a good guy in some respects but I was also betraying my wife by doing something we both agree is wrong and even worse lying to her about it for years.
I now realize that I have been a scumbag to her. A horrible husband. Not even so much because I made the mistake of looking at porn because we all make mistakes. But because of how I chose to deal with it. Because I continually lied to myself, her, my family, my friends and anyone who knew me. I so separated that part of my life and deceived even myself to the point that I believed it was OK. How could I have went so far down that road? Why couldn't I just be honest with her from the start? Because I wasn't honest with myself the lie grew and the deception increased to the point that I would lie about no matter what. It has taken me over 7 months to finally realize the truth and be able to admit that I really was that person. The problem now is it may be too little too late. I am working on fixing myself and being honest with myself first so that I can be honest with everyone else. I am working hard to change this horrible part of my life. I want to be "congruent" in all parts of my life. No fakeness, no deception but rather living with all parts of my life in line with one another. I want to be honest. I want to admit my mistakes. I am working to be better. Discovering all this and admitting it will be a huge breakthrough for me I think. I want to own my shit. I've got a lot to own. I feel like I'm making real strides. I just hope I haven't completely destroyed my wife to the point that she can't be with me no matter how much I change. I worry that is the case. I worry that it's too little too late.