Do you have any gut feelings if he is telling the truth?
Sorry, I am not so much help. I am sure someone else may have some more suggestions!
Once they start lying, it's so hard to know when they are telling the truth. The way I see it, there is a 50/50 chance, its the truth or a lie. The lies make it so much harder to deal with the situation!
He's playing you.
Often, there is no reason why a guy is a creep--he just is.
You might want to consider this: How can you miss something you never had? You're missing a phantom, something that's not real, you're missing your dream of what you wanted and what you *thought* he was. Finding out he is a liar etc has the ability to destroy your dream, and it's hard to give up dreams!
In your story, you wrote
Now it's been a month and a half and he has gone back to being a jerk. He has always been emotionally abusive. When I first found out he said he will get counselling and that we can get marriage counselling, now he refuses to do all that, hasn't even looked into anything.
I really think you need to wake up and smell the coffee. Your feelings don't affect him, and he is somewhat into manipulation of your emotions.
I could be way off base, but it seems as if you are grasping at straws to find a reason to believe him yet again.
You cannot change him. You can only change how you react to him, and that is your power if you use it wisely.
I am so sorry you are going through this.
My heart doesn't wanna let go of him. But I have decided I am not staying with him. I am hoping that before the D is final he will come clean about everything and get help and show me he really does want our marriage, but I know that is very unlikely.
Your whole marriage was not a lie. You went in with honest intentions and you intended to keep them. Your 1/2 of the marriage was real. Don't let his horrid choices take that from you.
He regrets being caught but is not remorseful. He is hoping by professing his regret and telling you all the things you want to hear that you will forgive him again and within a few weeks or a month he will start back up.
Remorse and regret are two very different things. Look them up.
If he was truly remorseful he would be doing anything you needed. IC, lie detector, anything.
It is time you define your boundaries of what you are willing to accept and not accept. If he crosses any then what are you prepared to do?
Yes, he was/is a creep but does he want to change and what does he plan to do to make that change occur? IC?
Regardless if it is internet cheating or IRL, it is still cheating. Recovery takes time to heal. Trust has been broken regardless.
And gently, I have a very hard time believing that he never met up with any of these "friends" from the internet. Only "proof" you have of that is his word which you know isn't worth much.
Actions. Behavior. Accountability.
Stand strong. This only stops when you say it does.
You and your kids deserve better.
We are here. Good luck.