Betrayal Trauma: How to Respond When Your Wife is Triggered
These three simple steps will guide you as you help your partner heal from betrayal trauma.
Shame, self-hatred and hopelessness are often the close companions of men who feel trapped in a binge-purge cycle of pornography, affairs, anonymous hookups or paying for sex. If you're reading this website, it's likely you or a loved one have been stuck for years, maybe even decades, in the shame cycle that unwanted sexual behaviors create.
As a sex addiction recovery coach, I'd like to be your guide on the journey to radical freedom from pornography and unwanted sexual behavior. I'll help you rewire your addicted brain, heal your wounded heart, connect intimately with God, and build healthy relationships.
Take a moment and imagine yourself fully free from the bondage of porn addiction. In that world, your loved ones see you as a man of integrity. You know what it feels like to be fully known and fully loved. You have nothing to hide. You have discovered the "good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10) You know joy, peace, and contentment.
That life doesn't have to be a dream. It can be your reality.
You've probably been trying to secretly fight this battle against pornography and unwanted sexual behavior on your own for a long time. Is it working? You don't have to fight alone anymore. It's time to finally end the war that's been raging inside your mind. Change your life, right now, and ask for help.
Who you choose to help you find freedom is no small choice. You need to find someone who knows what they're talking about and who is trustworthy. You can trust John. He will help you and will faithfully walk with you through this critically important season.
Hi. I'm John Stamper. I'm a beloved child of God, husband, father, recovery coach, and writer. I'd like to be your guide on the journey to radical freedom from pornography and unwanted sexual behavior. My goal is to help you rewire your addicted brain, heal your wounded heart, connect intimately with God, and build healthy relationships.
I know what it feels like to experience brokenness and the toll shame can take on a man's physical, emotional, social and spiritual life. But when I chose to fully surrender to God and ask another person for help I found the radical freedom I thought my actions had made impossible.
Since then, I've been trained as a Pastoral Sex Addiction Professional (PSAP) by the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP) and I'm a Professional Certified Coach credentialed by the International Coaching Federation, the gold standard in coaching certification and ethics. I've also completed Internal Family Systems (IFS) Level 1 Training. IFS is a transformative, evidence-based therapeutic model that helps people heal by accessing and loving their protective and wounded inner parts. It has helped many clients overcome the shame of sexual addiction and heal the wounding that often fuels their sexually compulsive behavior. I have more than 600 hours of coaching experience and I'm a certified leader of premium online groups for The Freedom Fight, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors.
My prayer is that you will join me in holding tight to the words of the Apostle Paul in Galatians 5:1: "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."
It's time to get radical in the pursuit of freedom! I'd love to help.
Radical freedom is available and John can help you find it! If you feel stuck and want to overcome your unwanted sexual behavior, John knows what works. When I was struggling, he provided me invaluable, practical insights learned from personal experience. If you are looking for help identifying and effectively addressing the root causes of what holds you back from living the life you were created to live, John will provide the coaching that you need. I highly recommend him.
I've known John and his family for more than 15 years as his pastor. He's been a faithful servant and active church member. I've seen John draw close to God, trust God, and face the dark spots of his heart. I've been blessed by his wisdom, grace, and friendship. John is so much more than a church member. He's a child of God and my friend.
A great place to start your journey toward freedom from unwanted sexual behavior is with a complimentary coaching call with John. You can experience a confidential coaching session with no risk, no commitment, and no sleazy hard sell.
We'll start with a 30-minute coaching session focused on your long-term goals. I'll also take about 15 minutes to explain the coaching process and how I help people, and answer any questions you might have. Why not schedule a free appointment today?
I offer coaching packages and programs for single and married men who are new to recovery, men who want to provide a partner-sensitive therapeutic disclosure to their spouse, and men who have established sobriety but are seeking deeper, heart-level healing. I also offer a seven-month group coaching package and a la carte individual coaching sessions. You can learn more about these options below, or find answers to many frequently asked questions on my FAQ page.
Need financial assistance? To apply for reduced-cost or free coaching, please click here. Freedom awaits!
If you've ever confessed sexual sin to a pastor and asked for help, it's likely you were told to ask God for the strength to stop your unwanted sexual behavior, sign up for an internet monitoring service, and get an accountability partner. These are all good things, and they're often necessary for recovery from an addiction to pornography or sex. But ... they're not enough. Many men have prayed earnestly for freedom, dutifully subscribed to Covenant Eyes, and asked a friend to help keep them honest, only to find themselves slipping back into old addictive patterns a few weeks, months, or years later.
So what's the problem? Well, this approach is missing some key ingredients. Managing lust by locking down your phone is not a long-term solution. Likewise, prayer without a total surrender of the heart is insufficient. So is an accountability group that provides a place to confess your struggles without challenging you to make heart-level changes. Instead, a holistic approach to recovery is required to find radical freedom.
Your ability to outgrow pornography and other unwanted sexual behaviors will hinge on your passion for building a new life based on these four foundations: physical freedom, emotional freedom, spiritual freedom, and relational freedom.
This isn't a journey for the faint of heart. Freedom requires hard work and total commitment. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous explains it this way: “Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.” Are you ready to surrender your pride and your selfishness with complete abandon, replacing them with humility, honesty, and selflessness? If so, let's examine the solid foundation on which you can build a life of radical freedom.
The first step toward freedom is to understand that your brain is probably addicted to your unwanted sexual behavior. Simply deciding to stop acting out isn't enough because the pharmacy in your head is very potent. "When a man regularly uses porn, he builds a strong neurological pathway so that his brain can go down that path almost automatically," explains Pastoral Sex Addiction Professional Ted Shimer in The Freedom Fight. "Porn is a drug that chemically alters the brain." This is why you keep acting out sexually even though it violates your values.
Here's the good news: your brain can be reprogrammed! The concept is called neuroplasticity, which means the neural networks in your brain can change over time as you learn new behaviors. In order to renew your mind, the old neural pathways that lead you to unwanted sexual addiction must be replaced with new pathways and new habits. I'll coach you through the process of identifying the triggers that push your brain toward acting out and establishing effective boundaries to help keep you healthy. You'll also learn some highly practical tools to resist temptation and rewire your brain circuitry.
Dealing with your brain problem is a necessary first step, but it's not enough for long-term freedom. We must move beyond lust management and become curious about our own stories, asking ourselves how we learned to rely on unwanted sexual behavior to numb our pain. If you're like most guys, your answer to that question is something like "I've just always been that way."
Here's the truth: your unwanted sexual behavior is not random. You're drawn to specific types of pornography, specific sexual acts, and specific types of people based on your past experiences. As therapist Jay Stringer says in his book Unwanted, "The formative experiences of our childhood (loneliness, pain, sexual arousal, secrecy, and relational ambivalence) are all being repeated in our unwanted sexual behavior as adults." In other words, you have to dig deeper into the emotional pain of your past if you want to find radical freedom today. I'll show you how.
Ultimately, the only lasting solution to any addiction is a spiritual solution. Alcoholics Anonymous, Sex Addicts Anonymous, and all other 12-step groups are built on the fundamental truth that surrendering to God is the only path to freedom. Instead of using pornography and sex to medicate your emotional pain, I'll help you learn how to process your feelings in an intimate relationship with our loving Heavenly Father. His supernatural help will be needed to overcome your unwanted sexual behavior.
Even the Apostle Paul confessed in Romans 7:18 that "I want to do what is right, but I can't." The solution, Paul wrote, is Jesus. "Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 7:24-25)
In a 2015 TED Talk that has been watched more than 16 million times, journalist Johann Hari reviews the latest scientific research about the causes of addiction and famously concludes that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, it's connection. Addiction thrives in isolation and dies in genuine community. Think about it. We all long to be fully known and fully loved, but sometimes, when life and people disappoint us, we find it easier to connect with pornographic images or random sex workers than to risk rejection from our peers and families. Before long, we're smothering in shame and telling ourselves the lie that "if anyone really knew me, they would reject me."
That's why so many men try so hard to overcome unwanted sexual behavior all on their own, but everyone fails miserably until they finally ask someone for help. It's non-negotiable. You must process your addiction with others in order to find freedom.
It's hard work, but I can help you build safe and healthy relationships with people who know what you've done and still choose to love you. I'd be honored to help you take that first step out of isolation and toward the radical freedom of connection.