I think you have been given very good advice . Look into pure OCD ; interestingly enough there is a British netflix show called “ pure “on this very subject
I didn't read all the responses fully here but I think Siracha is on to something. I will share my experience with you and what I learned.
So, after the affair so many of the compulsive thoughts were involuntary, and really it was painful and torturous. My mind was a run away train.
I don't have sex addiction, but I definitely had limerance. People think that is just infatuation like what normal people experience when they meet someone and fall in love. It's not that at all, it's an addiction/compulsion. While you have the choice not to take drugs and therefore not become addicted, same thing here. The affair was a choice, the addiction of it followed.
Through therapy I found that I was creating my own chaos. That normal every day living wasn't enough stimulation for me. Now, everyone needs things to look forward to I think, but I was excessive in so many ways.
When I was treated, nothing was working to stop my thought train. I was having a hard time fighting the depression of not having all those happy chemicals filling up my brain. OCD is related to a lot of other mental issues but if you can identify that part of it and learn to manage it, then it goes a long way to being able to work a program for sex addiction or doing further work on yourself. The OCD/compulsion aspect of it can be treated like any other OCD situation.
Mind you, I don't have other classic OCD tendencies. But your thoughts are about compulsion and that will be a good part to pin point as once we turned our attention to that in my treatment it helped me dramatically get to the higher branches of what I needed to work on.
Other things that helped me with the thought patterns:
-You describe distracting yourself. I don't think that's a bad thing exactly, you do have to train your mind to stop going back to the same things like rubbing a worry stone constantly in your pocket.
-But, even better - learn to be mindful. Joy exists in the moment we are in and the more in that moment you can make yourself the more joy you will feel. This will help you with needing to tap into unhelpful places to get your fix. I tend to do mundane chores but tune into them and tune everything else out. Try and do the best job I can on what I am doing. Breathing exercises are helpful here. Meditation felt useless to me at first and now I use it fairly generously. The book the power of now helped me a lot with being able to manage and not believe all my thoughts.
-Exercise helps me a lot. Natural source of endorphins because I believe some of what I experienced was just brain chemical issues. Exercise and even vitamins can help with that. It improves your self esteem/self love as well.
-Finding passions that light you up. Your go to is sex/love - it's your crutch that is lighting you up all the time. Find healthy replacements, things you find accomplishment in, things you love to do. This was difficult for me because I had really gotten in a rut for years of over working both for employment and even for my family. I had to experiment with a lot of hobbies to try and find things I did finally connect with.
-Therapy. This is not something you can muddle through on your own.
-Journaling/writing here helped me. The more I wrote helped me understand myself and also there is a sense that I sometimes help others. Giving back is a very good step. If you don't want to give back here maybe think about doing some volunteering and maybe do it with your wife or your family.
Anyway, the OCD was a big piece of the puzzle for me. I was doing everything I could to change my thought patterns but without addressing that piece of it I was grasping for straws.
I like the honesty. Keep it up.