I think that part of the reason he does this is because I am not around to police him and to accuse him.
It sounds like you only recently learned of your husband's addiction, and I'm so sorry that you have joined this club.
Your post was about him and his illness, but I want to encourage you to focus on you. (I'll come back to him in a bit.) I don't want to scare you, but those of us who have suffered this sort of betrayal can end up with PTSD if we don't take quick steps to deal with our own mental health.
Grounding skills are crucial. You can google them and practice them, so that when you go to a place of trauma, you can keep yourself in the present and not go into fight, flight or freeze mode. Here's a bit from the internet that shares more:
"The front part of our brain, known as the prefrontal cortex, is the rational part where consciousness lives, processing and reasoning occurs, and we make meaning of language. When a trauma occurs, people enter into a fight, flight, or freeze state, which can result in the prefrontal cortex shutting down. The brain becomes somewhat disorganized and overwhelmed because of the trauma, while the body goes into a survival mode and shuts down the higher reasoning and language structures of the brain."
1)Have you been tested for STDs? Do so asap, and if you choose to be intimate with him again, insist on a condom. I know that right now you believe his only betrayal is porn, but you can't know for sure.
2) Find a therapist who specializes in betrayal trauma. Go the the website for The International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals. On the top right side is a pulldown menu to find trauma therapists in your area. If there aren't any, know that many are doing virtual sessions now so geographic location shouldn't be a big deal.
3) The first thing my therapist told me to do was to find a 12 step program for spouses of sex addicts like SALifeline or SA-Anon and try at least 6 meetings. Some are back in person but there are many online. You will find others there who have gone thru exactly your situation and who are more than willing to support you and share their experience. You will also be amazed to see other betrayed spouses who have gone through hell and can now laugh and smile. It is possible.
-Waking the Tiger by Peter Levine will explain to you what goes on in your brain due to trauma.
-TINSA: A Neurological Approach to the Treatment of Sex Addiction Paperback by Dr. Michael Barta, a former sex addict who is now a certified CSAT and has been so successful with his treatment program that he's now been asked to set up programs in other states. It's a short, simple book but will explain to you (and to your husband) what is going on with him that allows him to act out this way. It will explain a lot of the things you commented on like his lying to himself and his acting out even though it hurts you, (and him, cause the folks at his office can't be pleased with his long bathroom breaks.)
-Get the book by Vicky Tidwell Palmer called Moving Beyond Betrayal: The 5-Step Boundary Solution for Partners of Sex Addicts, and follow the steps
5) There is a free download available on the website of Dr. Jill Manning called "Betrayal Trauma First Aid" Go to the shop button her website, then to the digital downloads. She has a wealth of other downloads on her website as well.
6) You shouldn't make any lifelong decisions now. But you should get a consult (usually free) with a divorce lawyer, just so that you have information in case your marriage is irreversibly broken as a result of this.
Ok, now more about him. Please understand that he is sick. If love, or hope, or prayer, or anger, or wishes, could make people give up their addictions there wouldn't be alcoholics and drugs addicts, and sex addiction isn't any different. People use those behavior to numb some pain that is deep inside of them. The reason they can't stop is because it's all they know. Because the pain is greater than the consequences. In many cases they can't even identify what causes the pain, let alone have the strength and fortitude to deal with it. Learning to tame an addiction is a long, and lifelong, process. And the reality is that many addicts have other issues going on as well. There are high incidents of dual diagnosis for things like attachment disorder, bipolar disorder, or borderline personality disorder (seldom diagnosed in men for some reason.) And all addicts are narcissistic to at least some extent.
He feels entitled to continue this behavior and to feed his addiction, all while hiding his true identity from me, from the the outside world, and from himself.
Addicts live in a well of shame. They hate themselves, they hate what they do. They are dysfunctional, they operate as victims and they don't think like us. They minimize the consequences and maximize the reward of their behavior. The more you try to control him, the more shame he will feel and the more shame and self loathing he feels, the more he he will act out. He needs to take responsibility for his recovery. I know that is scary as all get out. But trust me on this. Looks up the drama triangle, and do what you need to do to stop that dynamic.
I threw my husband out when I learned about his behavior and told him he needed to seek help. He did, and went for inpatient treatment, where he identified at least some of his core wounds, and did EMDR and learned some other coping skills. While we are not living together - in fact, I filed for legal separation because I wanted to protect my finances in case there were any other surprises - he has been working hard at recovery and has been sober for almost a year. But he's been an addict for decades and it will take time (if ever) for him to fully learn a new way of thinking and prove that he can be trustworthy. Our relationship is friendly, we talk every day and he continues to be a good father. I don't know what the future will bring. But I know now that I'll be OK without him. I'm focused on my own recovery from my betrayal, on staying on my side of the street, and learning new tools so I don't repeat my mistakes.
If your husband starts working on recovery with a CSAT, and you are both stable, you can consider a full therapeutic disclosure with polygraph, but your therapist will know more about that.
Know in your heart of hearts that you didn't do anything to cause any of his behavior. He's an addict and that goes back to core child wounds. Not you. You didn't cause it, you can't control it and you can't cure it.
I hope you find something in here that you can use.
[This message edited by BlackRaven at 9:26 PM, July 27th (Tuesday)]