Sorry for the delay.
Walking away is not always the easy way out...........it typically is the way out when you have done everything that can be done and you accept he is not going to change. I do not think this is the case in your marriage. Based on his actions, I think he wants to change but he isn't sure how. He is making very bad choices that continue to take away the things he confesses to wanting and thus he continues to keep digging himself in deeper and deeper.
Why he isn't hiding it is simple..........he is hoping that you will see this and break down and do what he wants. Men are simple creatures, he has messed up and he feels he is being punished by you for his actions. He flaunts his bad behavior in the hopes that you will break down and give him what he wants in order to stop what he is doing. The sad part is that at his age he should be beyond such behavior and actions.
He does not want to end the marriage.........he just wants his own way. He is not planning on walking away because he loves you. He simply wants you to bend to him. Which is the last thing you want to do! Otherwise he will learn that with pressure he can get you to allow anything. A marriage isn't about who is more powerful in the relationship, its about working together to find common ground and build the trust. He must learn this in order to get himself back on track.
As far as being the perfect women, the reality is all men would love for their wives to be that way. Please do not get me wrong here..........we all have our own ideas of perfection. For women it tends to be a man who is not only romantic but thinks about her by helping her with dinner dishes and a romantic back rub at night followed by cuddling and soft pillow talk. Maybe it is a man who takes charge during the day but will bend over back wards to make his women happy. The fact is men are no diffrent.........they to have fantasy's of the perfect women. And typically it is a women who finds them instantly attractive, viral and strong. She would love to have sex when ever he wants it and cater to his needs...........but its just a fantasy no different then yours. Your looking at this as he wants "You" to be like that. When in reality he simply wants to be loved. (In mens terms not nagged, given sex on a fairly regular basis and made to feel needed) The problem is he is allowing other distractions to get in his head.
At home he has you who question him about everything he does and gets on to him for drinking (With good reason I might add) and on the other end of the spectrum he has a girl from work who is flirting with him and offering him everything under the sun to try and get him. (Making him think it is really OK to drink or have fantasy's about other women). The sad reality is the grass is NOT greener on the other side. He may think that it is OK to flaunt this women in front of you by leaving her number there, but the reality is he is not into her. If he was he would be hiding this...........and would be doing more then just texting I might add.
I am concerned that you are becoming peronoid..........the good news is this is natural. He has been lying to you and doing things he knows is bad for his health and this you feel the need to search him out. While it is natural it isn't healthy for you or your marriage. I wish I could say not to search.............but that isn't going to happen. You know he is being dishonest and as a human being you want to know about it.
Your options are few here...........I wish I could say some magic words that would turn him around and get him back on track but the realty is he must work on this. You can do everything under the sun to try and change him but he isn't going to change until he is ready to do so. Since he will not communicate with you, then you need to find someone who he will communicate with.
Here is what I suggest, sit him down and let him know that things can not continue this way. Let him know that since he will not talk to you and will not change you need him to see a therapist as well as marriage counseling. He asks you what he should do so this is a perfect choice.........A therapist will help him get to the root of why he is being self destructive (The drinking, flirting etc) and help him learn healthy alternatives to dealing wth the issues he is having. The marriage counselor will help you both learn how to communicate with each other and work though these problems.
I wish I had a crystal ball and could assure you that everything is going to work out.........but you know life simply is not built like that. All marriages need work, its not a simple matter of saying "I do" and walking off into the sunset to be happy ever after. Some marriages require more work then others. The good news is you are willing to work on it, and I dare say he is too.........he simply needs a helping hand to teach him how to work on it. I do think with time and a good therapist he can get to the root of his problems and learn to be a better husband........the key is if he wants to try or not.
PS: I will be going off line soon to go to my 3rd shift job. Feel free to reply if need be and I will answer in the AM when I get off shift. I typically get back on line around 7am after taking the kids to school.