About the author, Carl Stewart

Carl Stewart is the author of the Amazon Kindle bestseller, The Porn Antidote: God’s Secret Weapon for Crushing Porn’s Grip, and Creating the Life and Marriage You Dream Of. Carl is a counselor and coach in an overflowing private practice where he works with men and marriages devastated by pornography and sexual addiction. He has advanced training and supervision in Emotionally Focused Therapy–the most empirically validated marital therapy which is uniquely suited to restoring marriages affected by sexual betrayal. Carl is a speaker at men’s events, marriage retreats, and parenting seminars. Check out Carl Stewart’s website and blog at www.thepornantidote.com.

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Hope After Porn

Parenting the Internet Generation Ebook Cover

Porn use (and even adultery) doesn't always mean that a marriage is over. Get this free e-book to read how four betrayed wives found healing for themselves and for their marriages.

9 thoughts on “Your Wife Has Triggers Too

  1. The description of the author states he works with “Emotionally Focused Therapy”. I would hope that therapy includes in the FIRST few sessions the husband writing down a COMPLETE history of his sexual sin & then reading it to his wife w/therapist present.

    Then the wife takes her time in writing out a response to the husbands letter. She has permission to vomit ALL her feelings, emotions, hurt, pain to her husband w/ therapist present.

    Sadly many couples leave therapy frustrated that the MAIN problem (here Porn/Adultery) was not addressed first in therapy. This MUST be done if the couple has a chance at healing. Yes every marriage has problems but when there is a MAJOR SIN that must first be addressed .

    The husband in this article would have benefited from such an approach because he would have a better understanding (hopefully) of ALL the pain he has caused his wife.

    “Worthy of Her Trust” by Jason Martinkus is one of the best resources I recommend. It’s blunt, & written to men who really want to rebuild trust.

  2. It’s been almost 2 years since the addiction and years of lies and betrayal were exposed and confessed and we began working on recovery and rebuild our 28+ yr marriage. I chose to stay and forgive and try to honor him. He has done most of the things his accountability partner has suggested. Things have been moving along well with the exception of the Internet accountability. Covenant Eyes is installed on all his devices but not active. He claimed it was because it prevents him access from much of what he needs for work and research and slows down the speed of them. I was ok with scaling it back to unfiltered yet I could review his history. Then he got a new computer thru his work and it was to have all the tough restrictions in place. One day a month or so ago he had problems logging on and the IT guy at work walked him through ways to bypass their restrictions. While I was on a business trip with him, I stepped out of the hotel room to grab us breakfast and returned at the moment when he was “actively” involved with Internet porn. I could see images and his back to me and the door as he was caught off guard and totally embarrassed. It DEVISTATED ME AGAIN! We had just had several great sexual encounters yet that was not enough?! I was only gone for 20 min! WTH? He admitted he had found the way around the protection and had accessed it “a few times over the past week or two”. This betrayal ripped open wounds again that I thought had healed over the past year and half. His sin of viewing in the past led to seeking out women on backpage and other sources which he paid for sex with hundreds of times over the past 10 years. Needless to say, I’m back fighting this demon again and all the thoughts rush back like floods. Especially when he has to travel when I can’t go too. But obviously when I’m with him or not doesn’t stop bad behavior and I fear him fully relapsing and acting out. He swears that won’t happen but how can I trust him? He told his accountability partner but it was too late. The damage has been done and right now he is out of town on business without me for two nights and I’m a wreck. Everything triggers me! I don’t feel the comfort of him doing everything in his power to make me feel secure this time. Something feels off and I’m in a grumpy mood and he knows I’m upset but I’m not getting the assurance I need to trust him. What should I do? When will this nightmare end and I can no longer concern myself with whether he is using porn or acting out with others? I’m drowning in mistrust and fear.

    • Bev,

      It sounds like lots of effort has gone into “stay and forgive and honor him”–but I wonder if there’s been much attention paid to your trauma recovery?

      I would suggest finding a counselor JUST FOR YOU, someone experienced in trauma treatment, someone who can help you process your emotions and decide on healthy boundaries. Here, here, and here are some articles on boundaries for you to consider.

      You might also want to find a support group, and there are wonderful resources online at Bloom for Women.

      There’s a great book called The Body Keeps the Score that explains what repeated trauma does to our bodies, and how we can find healing. Highly recommended as you consider where to go from here. Whatever he chooses, the most important thing is that YOU choose to be healthy for YOU.

      Peace to you,

  3. I thank the author for the good advice. Pornography is a great evil deed that has been done. I work to educate people as to the sinfulness of making it, filming it, looking at it and selling it. For sure our Beloved Creator, GOD, Sees us and Knows what we have done and what we are doing now. I ask God humbly to Bless the author.

    • I really do think that if most men understood the deep evil involved in the whole culture of the porn industry,( the torture, mind-control, slavery, drugs, under-aged women/girls, forced, kidnapping, etc.) they would be thoroughly disgusted and see that only Satan can be behind all of it, they would flee from it and HATE it just as the Bible says to “hate evil you who love the Lord.” We wives and mothers HATE it. Its such a no-brainer, but my own husband STILL cannot understand why it hurts so bad. I would like to know how you educate people like you mentioned because I have a deep burden to do this also.

  4. Well I did all this and he claimed complete freedom from this addiction for 5 years. Covenant eyes on all devices but he found a loophole, Facebook had videos of borderline pornographic content he would view almost daily (God led me to his Facebook activity log)…that paired with life must’ve triggered the 4 hour relapse that he knew would show up on my covenant eyes report the week of Thanksgiving..but selfishly he didn’t care. Worst part, I was 20 weeks pregnant at the time with our 3rd boy. Fast forward, baby is 7 weeks old..husband seeking some help but I’m just now coming to terms with the depth of the fact our entire relationship, over 10 years has been plagued with lies. I love him, Jesus died so I could forgive him and have the strength to get through this, but him acting like it’s a nuisance when I get triggered or emotional isn’t fair. I hate this addiction. I have 3 boys with this man, this has to stop. I don’t trust a word he says and despise that I can’t just enjoy my last baby without worry and fear. That he stole my joy and all I can do is fake a smile for everyone and try to stay afloat 😔

    • I’m so sorry for the pain you’re enduring. I would encourage you to find a therapist just for you, who can help you process this pain and work on healthy boundaries. Here, here, and here are some articles on boundaries. You will also really appreciate the excellent online resources at Bloom for Women. No matter what your husband chooses, you can choose to be healthy and whole.

  5. It’s been six months since I discovered my husband of six years’ porn addiction, along with his searches for old crushes and money hiding. The first few months after the discovery were terrible, I just wasn’t sure if I would be able to stay with him. Between the crushing blow to my self esteem, constant anxiety over his lying to me, and burning anger, I just didn’t know if I would ever be able to move past it. It seems like everything triggered me, from half-naked girls in beer commercials to watching his eyes dart back and forth at restaurants at young ladies sitting behind and around us. He says he didn’t know the porn would make me so upset or he wouldn’t have done it, and I feel like he was being kind of honest about that (he hid it from me and lied straight to my face about it, so I know he knew it was wrong and that it would hurt me- now I wonder how much “hurting me” he would be willing to go) because since I caught him I’ve seen nothing to lead me to believe he’s been acting out- I am finally slowing down on checking and rechecking all his online stuff. But the triggers are still there. I can’t sit through a movie where there’s nudity or sex or even sexual references with him. We created some boundaries, “absolutely no porn”, “no looking up women online at all unless they are family members”, “I have full access to everything”, “absolutely no lies about anything no matter what”, “no ogling other women”, “turn off the tv or change the channel is anything makes me uncomfortable”, “No sexual jokes or inuendos at all”, and “any friend that sends porn through social media or email or whatever must be warned to never do that again and cut loose if they continue.” These seem to be working- I feel better than I did last month and hopefully will feel even better next month. I do not have any forgiveness in my heart yet, but I feel like we are on the right track towards rebuilding the trust in our marriage. I’m curious about how long that takes- I know it’s probably different for everyone, but it seems like there would be some standard length of time.

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