So much of the advice on this site and all the recommended reading is geared towards the WS doing the "work" to figure out the "why" and to recognize the issues in their life that led to the decisions they have made. I will admit when I first came here I was in desperation mode, panicking and distraught that my marriage might be damaged beyond repair. However, over time and through perspective gained I now realize that this advice is correct and should be followed. If I had done this years ago I would not be in the position I am in now.
With that being said, I am having trouble finding my "why". Why did I choose to lie instead of tell the truth. I realize my situation is somewhat different in that I did not have what most here would call an actual affair. However, I do consider what I did to be an unfaithful act within my marriage and so does my BW. For those of you who don't know my story I put the short version in my profile.
Anyway, I have identified a lot of character flaws and personality traits that are less than desirable but I still don't know why. I have realized through a lot of introspection that I was arrogant and conceded towards my wife. I was selfish to do what I did and I was prideful, lacking in humility. I think it is great that I have identified these problems and am working daily on trying to change these behaviors. But the question still remains. Why did I choose to lie to my wife? Why did I think it was OK? What allowed me to justify it? My honest answer is I do not know.
I have a theory but I don't think it is good enough. My theory is I was exposed to pornography at a young age, had access to it as a teenager and just thought that I was a young teenage male and it wasn't a problem. That's what teenage boys do right? Then I started dating my wife and I wanted to put my best foot forward so to speak and did not tell her. Seriously, who starts dating someone and immediately reveals all the skeletons in your closet? As we got serious I began to try and not look anymore. I figured the urge would go away when I got married anyway. But it didn't. Then it became a battle, one that I was losing. I really tried to quit and was convicted about it when it would happen. I make some progress, cutting my viewing back to just a few time per year but I couldn't completely stop. At this point I chose not to tell her because 1) I was ashamed and 2) I didn't want to hurt her. The lie had been born and one cover up led to the next. At that point it was cover it up at all cost.
To me it is plausible that this is the extent of it but I feel like it shouldn't have been that easy to lie to my wife. For others here who have been through this, how did you discover your why? I am going to IC, reading everything I can get my hands on, working at it and praying about it every day. I had a good childhood with good parents with no major FOO problems. Is it as simple as I was just that selfish and arrogant to think that I was the one who should make the decision not to tell my wife? I don't know. Working at it though. Thanks to everyone who has offered me advice. The one thing I have come to realize that people have continually said is I have to fix myself regardless of the outcome of my marriage. Becoming that better person is paramount to any success that may be had in the future. I'm learning. I'm trying. I just pray that God gives me the grace and the strength to see me through to the end. Whatever that end may be.