I am recovering alcoholic...24 years sober. FWH is a recovering drug addict.....26 years sober from drugs and alcohol. He is also a sex addict, diagnosed by a CSAT. I say this to qualify myself as someone with some understanding of addiction.
A sex addict engages in sexualized, fantasy-based, ritualized thoughts and urges in a complusive manner, despite potential or real consequences. Like any other addict, they are unable to control these behaviors on their own. It is known as a process, or behavioral addiction, like gambling. Not every cheater or porn watcher or person who seeks out paid sexual connections is an addict, thus the recommendation of a diagnosis by a certified professional.
My husband, like yours, watched porography compulsively. He too watched it at work, despite the potential consequences. He watched it late into the night, at traffic lights, wherever he had the opportunity. He too suffered from ED and Viagra also did not work for him. What did work was complete abstinence of any sexual activity for several months. Watching internet pornography can change the way the brain reacts to arousal, making it extremely difficult for a man to become aroused by a real life partner. Sex addicts are also prone to being sexual prudes with their partners. Your husband seems to be showing some signs of this as well based on your posts.
In order to remain a safe partner, my FWH must attend SA meetings several times per week, work with an SA sponsor consistently, work with a CSAT twice per month (it was once a week for a long time), maintain his spiritual condition by reading literature and working the 12 steps, accept full responsibility for his actions, and practice rigorous honesty. He must continuously evaluate his behavior around women and around any sort of triggering or suggestive material or visual stimuli. It is a LOT of work. Recovery IS a lot of work. It requires a lifetime commitment to getting better. Lifetime. It also has incredible rewards, like the development of self respect and integrity and the opportunity to live a fulfilling and productive life.
My FWH had 20 YEARS sober from drugs when a complusion for online pronography progressed into an affair. Unless an addict is in treatment, addictions ALWAYS progress. The dominatrix you mentioned in your posts may be a symptom of this. My DDay was in 2015. My husband is just now acknowledging 2 years sober from inner circle behaviors, which are behaviors that trigger sexually addictive behaviors. He has not acted out with another person or engaged in pornography, but he HAS been dishonest about behaviors with the potential to begin the addictive cycle for him. It is extremely difficult to maintain long term sobriety as an SA, even as a person with my husband's understanding of living as a sober person for over 20 years. In AA there are many people with over 20 years of sobriety. In SA, there are a handful.
It is very important that your husband gets diagnosed by a CSAT. If he IS a sex addict, there is hope, but it will be a long and precipitous road. It is also important to understand that HE must take the lead on his journey to health. HE must be at a point where he accepts that he is powerless, that his life has become unmanageable, and he is willing to do whatever it takes to get sober, get honest, and to live life on life’s terms. If he is not ready, nothing you do will change him. Living with an addict who is using is chaos and misery. As someone else mentioned, addicts go through periods where they stop using. If they do not get the help they need, they almost always go back to using some sort of addictive behavior as a coping mechanism. Again, the diagnosis is important here.
If your husband is NOT an addict, the therapist you mentioned may be able to help him gain enough perspective to be honest with himself and you, and to become healthier psychologically, without meetings and the 12 steps. Again, it will be a ton of uncomfortable work for him… and he must participate consistently and for the long term.
What is important, as others have said, is your own life. You can only control your own outcome here. Your husband is reaching out to a therapist, but did he look up the therapist and make the appointment or did you do it? If he did it himself, then maybe he can become a better human, whether he is an addict or not. If you are willing to try to stick it out (only if he is doing the very hard work on himself consistently and for the long term,) I would recommend attending some S-anon meetings. The folks in these meetings are truly helpful and can teach you about living with someone who has sexual addiction or behaviors that negatively impact the lives of those around them.