Husband Material

What To Do When Your Wife Is Triggered (with Tammy Gustafson)

January 15, 2024 Drew Boa
Husband Material
What To Do When Your Wife Is Triggered (with Tammy Gustafson)
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

How can a husband help his wife during a trigger? Tammy Gustafson reveals what triggers are, how they affect your wife's brain, and what she needs after a trigger tornado has passed. Discover how her triggers can become opportunities for healing!

Tammy Gustafson is a trauma-informed Licensed Professional Counselor, coach, EMDR certified clinician, and speaker with 15 years of experience. She is the founder of Betrayal Healing and host of the Betrayal Healing Conference. She is passionate about helping women find their strength and pick up the pieces of their broken hearts after sexual betrayal, so they are able to see beauty, joy, and adventure again.

Join me at Tammy's Betrayal Healing Conference from January 22-26, 2024!

NOTE: This description contains an affiliate link.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Husband Material podcast, where we help Christian men outgrow porn. Why? So you can change your brain, heal your heart and save your relationship. My name is Drew Boa and I'm here to show you how let's go. Hey guys, in today's episode on what to do when your wife is triggered, you are going to get amazing wisdom, brain science and some deeply moving truths that really made a difference for me in understanding what our betrayed partners are going through, how we can help them heal, and getting really practical into those moments when it feels like all of hell is breaking loose or you're just in the middle of hell and you don't know how to get out of it. This episode is for you. Welcome to Husband Material. Today on the show we have Tammy Gustafson, who is a licensed professional counselor who specializes in trauma and specifically betrayal trauma, and she is the founder of the Betrayal Healing Conference coming up in just a few days. We just had the porn free man conference. If you are wondering where's the conference for my wife, where's the conference talking about betrayal trauma and recovering from the porn use that I have brought into a marriage? This is that conference. It's going to be amazing. I'm one of the speakers. So I think it's going to be really good and Tammy's really awesome. We've been able to get to know each other here in Colorado. Welcome to the show.

Speaker 2:

Thanks so much for having me Drew.

Speaker 1:

Tammy, why are you so passionate about this work?

Speaker 2:

I think there's a couple of reasons. You know I've been a counselor for a long time. I've always specialized in trauma, and that it's been passionate for me because I see where trauma can really short circuit life. And so I worked with PTSD. And then about eight and a half years ago our marriage almost blew up and my husband's pornography addiction came to light. And so I went through my own journey and our journey as a couple to really recover from betrayal. And I'm grateful to say that my husband did the work and that I did the work and we were able to make it through and survive and thrive. But over time I just had such a heart and such a passion for the women who are going through this and so door after door was kind of opened and I walked into this and now I still do trauma, I still do PTSD, but this betrayal, trauma and helping women recover is just I'm very passionate about it.

Speaker 1:

I love how you already had so many skills when you went through this yourself.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think sometimes as a counselor, I think, well, gosh, why didn't I see this? I mean, if anyone should see it, it should be a counselor, right, and I didn't see it. I didn't see it, and so there was. There was a whole process of me going through my journey, of really being able to not assume that I know all the answers, but really to lean into the help, and I think that was so crucial for me, it was so crucial for us is to lean into people who really knew what they were doing and to help us through this process, because betrayal, really, it just, it just shatters. It just shatters life and it shatters everything you thought you knew. But you know, I think the thing that is so hopeful is that, from my own personal experience and walking with so many women through this process, healing is possible. Healing is possible for her, healing is possible for the marriage too, and for him. It's like there's three parts there's her, there's the marriage and there's him. Right, and all of that can grow and really can become better and stronger than ever, and so it doesn't have to be the end of the story. But, man, it takes a massive amount of work to get there, as you know, of course.

Speaker 1:

It really does take a lot of work, especially in the moments when we are triggered. Oh yes, today we're going to talk about what's happening when your wife is in the middle of a trigger tornado. I like that term trigger tornado. What are some things that all men need to know about those situations.

Speaker 2:

So I think I just want to start off by saying you know, triggers are so confusing and they're so overwhelming for everybody, and I think there's a few misconceptions that I just want to clear up. But three things I want men to know right away is number one she doesn't want to be triggered. Two she isn't choosing to be triggered. And three, you can help her heal or you can perpetuate them. So in the, in the she doesn't want to be triggered. I think sometimes there's this misunderstanding that, oh gosh, like this is her fault, or she's just weak or she's not strong enough. There's a lot of things that men can get stirred up in men and then can get projected on, and so the pain of a trail is so utterly overwhelming. One of my clients once put it. She said, like triggers bring me to my knees and they can paralyze me. So the last thing she ever wants is to be thrown into a trigger. And she's not choosing, and I think this is a misunderstanding both of men and of women not understanding it and we'll go into all that. But she isn't choosing that. This isn't a decision, it is a neurological response to a perceived threat, and that is crucial because that can help you and it can help her kind of reframe what's going on and how to heal through them. And so my goal is to help you guys listening to clear up to some misconceptions, so you're able to come alongside her and show up in a different way, and so that you can help her in the midst of this.

Speaker 1:

You said that triggers are a neurological response to a threat. What does that mean?

Speaker 2:

Right. So if we go geek out on brain stuff for just a second right and we think our brain is one of, its main job is to keep us alive, right. So how it works is all the information first comes in and it comes in through the amygdala, and the amygdala's job is to scan for threats. That's one of the big things that it does, is it? It's constantly looking at okay, where are things at, how are things going? If the brain, if the amygdala, even perceives threat it doesn't have to be real threat, but perceives threat it shoots the brain and the body into fight or flight mode. And you know, there's fight, there's flight, there's freeze, there's spawn, there's all sorts of ones now, but you get the idea it shoots the body into this and then it has all of these responses in the brain and the body. And part of what happens is that during a trigger, the prefrontal cortex right, which is where we plan, we reflect, we can kind of think about things. That's a logic. It's also telling time apart that part of the brain temporarily goes offline. So that's where we think oh, you're just, you're thinking about triggers or you're just, you know all this stuff. It's like no, that part of it, your body, her body is already in fight or flight mode before it even gets to that place where she's really thinking and planning and reflecting and whatnot, and so it's really important to understand that to what's going on in the brain and the body.

Speaker 1:

Can you give some examples of what that looks like in real life?

Speaker 2:

Let's say, for instance, you're out to dinner at a restaurant and there you might have a history of checking out the waitress or flirting with the waitress. So you go out to a restaurant now and this triggers are not about what's happening necessarily in the present. It's mainly about what's triggering what's happened in the past. So you may or may not be doing anything and but you're scanning to look for where the bathroom is and she sees that and in her mind her mind is already has all this history and all this knowledge of like. When we're at a restaurant and he's looking around, that means that he is checking out women and I'm unsafe, and that means exactly now, and so that can trigger of like, that is a perceived threat. We're now emotionally, even if you didn't check out that person, that's a reminder of it and that can send her into fight or flight. And so what that could look like is, all of a sudden she might get flush, her hearts might start pounding Like, she starts to get tense, and then, emotionally, what that's gonna come out as it's usually gonna come out as anger, right, or her shutting down or going. You checked her out and then into like and this is just like all the times. And why is that? I can't go anywhere with you. I can't go anywhere with you. I can't trust you. I can't even enjoy a restaurant, and it can come out of this flood, out of nowhere. That is not her trying to drudge up the past. That is not her being bad. That is not her being mean.

Speaker 1:

And that is not any reflection on her character or that she just needs to forgive you.

Speaker 2:

Right, totally. It is really truly in her brain. It's a matter of safety, and when a woman is triggered, she feels that part of the brain that tells past, present and future apart temporarily goes offline. So if you think about that, that means all of the stuff in the past feels like it's happening now. It's not something in the past, it all like suddenly explodes in her lap right now. So it feels like the past is also the present and it feels like it's never gonna stop. It feels like this is how life will always be. And if that's not psychological torture, I'm not sure what. It is right To be thrown into your deepest, most shattering pain and for it to be brought back up. And so she is not trying to go there and she doesn't wanna be there, but she is now there. And now the question is what do you do?

Speaker 1:

Usually freeze, freak out, I mean get tongue tied. It's like oh gosh, oh no. I hope I say the right thing. I hope I don't make things worse.

Speaker 2:

I so appreciate that response because I think that's really true. It's like it's overwhelming for her. But from a guy's perspective, I'm going like what just happened, like it's disorienting, right, and I imagine I'm not a guy, obviously, but I imagine it's incredibly disorienting and scary.

Speaker 1:

And we can also get this like Mr Fix it, part of us that just wants to try to correct the situation, or like make it go away, or like can I get her to a certain place, and it's just not working.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it doesn't work very well, does it? You know my husband? I know you know, Nathaniel, but my husband is also a counselor and he works with men recovering from sexual integrity issues and he says the goal for men in that situation is not to stop the trigger, it's to be with her in the trigger. And that's very counterintuitive, right? Because of course everybody wants it to stop, she wants it to stop, he wants it to stop, Like everybody wants it to stop, but you can't stop a trigger, right. And so the best thing that he can do is to put away to Fix it, Like, oh, why don't we just let's just leave, let's just leave. Or I'm not. Or getting defensive, I wasn't looking at her, I wasn't. Why are you always bringing this up, Like what is going on? Or attacking her, Like you always do this, you always do this and you just you're just bitter, or whatever the case may be right, or just shutting down and being like, oh my gosh, like maybe I'll just shrink and maybe it'll stop and go away, right, but you can't fix it, you can't make it go away. But the best thing you can do is emotionally be with her through it and really help validate that, Because validation of going oh honey it makes so much sense. I can understand why you're triggered, because in the past when we would go to restaurants, I would check out women and I'm so sorry and that was so hurtful. I can see why you were triggered. I wasn't looking at her, but I can understand why you're there. Let me tell you validation calms faster than anything. It doesn't mean it's going to take it down. It doesn't mean it's going to stop the trigger. The validation calms faster than anything. I used to take it outside of a trail world for a minute. Early my career I worked at a psychiatric residential treatment facility for adolescents. We had all these kids who had really big explosions and really some dangerous behaviors. They would go in and they would restrain them and they would do physical holds on them. What they found as they started to move away from them is that when they started validating those kids instead and really coming alongside them and emotionally being present with them during their escalated times, it calms them and they were able to slowly eliminate doing physical holds. That's the power of validation.

Speaker 1:

It's really powerful image because I think at times, as guys, we might want to try to hold or try to force the situation.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely, that's understandable. It's understandable to have that natural feeling, but it doesn't work. It will actually cause further damage in the relationship. But what I can tell you is that if you're able to calm and this requires a lot of personal work period, and this is one of those reasons meant it's not enough just to like ooh got to use tools in the moment but if you're using those tools and you're centering on yourself and you're doing that deep character work, then you're going to be in a place when she does hit that trigger and the triggers will absolutely come. Then you can be in a place to stay in, this more humble, grounded place where you can focus on how can I help her, rather than what is the story up inside of me?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that seems really important to ground ourselves, not just to try to do damage response. What does it look like to center ourselves in those times?

Speaker 2:

That's a great question. I think it does have to start. There does have to be a practice of knowing yourself and grounding outside of those really intense moments. This is where counseling, of course, or coaching, is so important to be working through those things. We're working through your own triggers, because if you have a trigger of a belief or a childhood wound, if I'm powerless, and then she gets triggered, whoo, if you haven't done work on that powerless thing, it is going to come up big and strong. That's doing that work of identifying your own wounds, usually particularly from childhood, also getting that sense of I am worthy, I am valuable, I am strong and you can be humble. In that that, hopefully, will result in that humble, that humility and that empathy. If you're already practicing humility, empathy, validation with your wife outside of this, it's going to be a whole lot easier.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, they don't need us to think that we're the worst person ever or we can never do anything right. Sometimes, as guys, we can also wilt and wither and just shrink up and say, okay, you're right, yeah, I'm the worst, but that's also not really helpful.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, it's not. Because she just feels like, oh my gosh, she just withered away One. Sometimes that can go into. Now it feels like he's sucking all the emotional energy and now I'm supposed to focus on him. Oh no, you're not the worst. Oh, I can almost switch into this parenting role If you wilt. Into an eight-year-old. That's not helpful. She wants you to show up as a healthy man.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, she doesn't want to be the mother in the relationship.

Speaker 2:

Totally Absolutely. I think there's another really key piece to the triggering and helping recovery is that, as we said at the beginning, triggers start by the brain's response to perceived threat. Right, and so safety is the way that she will be able to work out of a trigger. It's safety because the brain, the brain is the one that triggered this, and so the brain has to come to a place where it feels safe, so all that can kind of start to release and relax again. And so for a husband who is trying to help his wife through this, it's important to keep that in mind. Like you can't rationalize or logic her way out of it, you can't talk her out of it, can't shame her out of it, all that kind of stuff. But what you can do is notice, and if you can switch your brain into this is a safety issue. This is a safety issue that she did not even choose. And so how do I create safety? How do I be safe? I also can't force her to feel safe, right, but if you look at that safety piece, that is the key ingredients to help a trigger, your calm.

Speaker 1:

What are some ways we can create safety for our wives?

Speaker 2:

There's a couple of things. One, being humble and not being defensive is creating safety for her. If you are with her and you can love her in the midst of it and be tender with her, knowing that this is torturous for her, that is creating safety. You can also one of the things that the annual always tells us guys is come up with a plan and initiate. Be proactive and initiate with her saying hey, honey, I know you're triggered. Right now. I have some thoughts about maybe I could help with safety and I wanna run them by you and you let me know what you come up with. As far as something that might feel safe to her might not be at all what she wants and she might shut it down in a second, and that's okay. But even the fact that you took initiative is also showing like oh, he sees me and he knows me, so it might be like. My thought is that maybe you need some time alone right now. So my thought was I was gonna go into the other room and I was gonna let you have some time or I can make some tea for you, but if that's not what you need, I'm okay with adjusting right, but coming up with that coming up with a plan is really helpful. It's gonna go a long ways with her, even if she doesn't show it.

Speaker 1:

I love that and I can see how it might take some preparation in advance To have that in my back pocket when the time comes.

Speaker 2:

Totally absolutely.

Speaker 1:

Tammy, one of the things I'm hearing more and more is guys feeling controlled or feeling like my partner has all the power. It's all about her and I'm just like hostage.

Speaker 2:

I hear that and I would encourage you. That's not about your wife. The reality is for your wife to heal and for your marriage to make it, she has to find her power and she is gonna have to take control in some ways, because you had control this entire time of your addiction. If you didn't tell her about it or if she didn't know about it, you had control of the reality and the marriage and she had none. She had no idea. So the power differentiated. It was completely off balance, right, and so when she found out, she has to totally revamp life and what she understood life to be like. And so she has to find her voice, she has to find her strength, and that includes her anger, because that is how she is going to heal. And if it continued on in the same way of this like well, we just want it to be equal and whatnot. That's not reality. It's like the balance of the skills have been so tipped. There has to be a period of correction. Let me tell you she does not. Most women do not want that imbalance long-term. It's not that she now wants to control or have all the power, all that kind of stuff, but there is a period of time where, if she is going to heal and if she is going to get back on her feet, she's probably going to need to take that. And so that does not mean that you cave, though it does not mean that you're like, okay, well, I'll just, I'll do whatever and you know I'll just wilt, right. That's not what it means. So what it does mean is you allow her to have power, you allow her to have her voice, you allow her to express her anger, and it actually takes a really strong man to allow that in a woman and to allow that in their life. This is an opportunity for you to get stronger, because you have had all the power all this time, so it's like she has had to be powerless in order for her to be in the marriage. Nobody wants that either. So your process in this is you grow, you become stronger in yourself, you deal with your wounds so that you can show up as a strong man who is secure enough to allow his wife to have these emotions, to allow his wife to make decisions and be strong and feel like she has that control, or have that control. If you can show up as that strong man that is going to help her heal and then, once she gets that strength and whatnot, and if you're continuing to heal and if you're continuing to lean into the relationship, she will get to a point where she wants it to be equal again.

Speaker 1:

This is so, so valuable. Would it be okay if I just prod a little bit more? Yeah? Go for it, that's fine, Because I'm just hearing some of the stories and objections from men in our community who say at what point is this anger that she's expressing verbally abusive or at what point do I need to physically protect myself If she's just accusing me of things I really haven't done? When do I set a boundary or somehow stand up for myself?

Speaker 2:

So you're probably not going to like my answer. First of all, I would say you do need to be safe, right, you do need to be physically safe. I don't want you to be harmed, physically harmed. Hopefully you have given her a full disclosure. If you haven't give her a full disclosure, that's the best gift you can give her. But the reality is is that when you take your secret life and all of the vile nasty that you have done and you come clean with it, that's good, you have to do that. But the reality is, what it does is it deposits all of that into the well of her soul. Now she has to deal with it. Now it is inside of her and it will kill her if she doesn't get out. If she doesn't get it out. If she doesn't get it out, her lights will start to dim and she will get smaller and smaller. That is the most tragic thing that could happen. There's a concept by David Clark that he talks about pumping the well of your soul. It's this idea of all of that just got dumped in and now the women have to get it out. They have to get it out for their own survival and for their own survival. They have to get it out. That is, putting all of those thoughts and all of those feelings and all of that nasty into words and getting it out. That's what you are seeing, with all the anger and feeling that, oh my God, this anger is never going to stop. It's got to keep coming. She's got to be able to pump it out. That is not her wanting to be mean, that is. Most women hate this process because they feel so mean and they're afraid that they're just becoming an angry woman when, if I can reframe that, it's like no, this is a vital part of your survival process. All of those years and all of that history and I'm not shaming any man who's listening but all of that is now inside of her. She's got to get it out and a lot of times it comes out as nasty as it is inside. I never really swore before. Betrayal Never really swore was never really my thing. I never swore at my husband. I never yelled at my husband. Let me tell you, I embraced that, pumping the well of your soul dry. I swore like a failure. Oh my gosh, everything I let it rip. I was angry and it came out. And it came out for a long time. For a long time it was ugly At the time, it was scary for me and I was like I don't know if this is ever going to end. I don't, but it did. Here's the thing is it did Because my husband was able to take that. Of course he struggled and of course he needed a lot of support, but because he was able to take it and not absorb it but be like okay, this is the pain that I have caused her. That's coming out. It's not that you're absorbing it, but it's pain that's causing. At the end, I got to a place where I got to the end of the well, and I am so, so grateful One for that process and I'm so grateful that my husband made it as easy as possible and in the midst of that I found my power and I found my strength in a really now a very good and beautiful and healthy way. So for those men who are in the midst of all of that of like, oh, this just isn't fair and whatnot, yeah, it is fair. Yeah, it is fair because fair is maybe not the right word, and it is healthy because it's all of that that's now coming out, and especially if your wife was told that you shouldn't be angry or it's bad to get angry, then it's really important because anger and self-worth go together. So you got to take the long-term perspective and get a whole lot of help and support. And if men around you are telling you you've got to set boundaries and she's being too angry, those are not the kind of help and support you need. You need to learn how to be able to stand up tall, kind of like we were talking about. It takes a strong man to be able to take this. There is strength. You are not being a weak man. This is not a masculating you. You have the opportunity to stand up in the midst of this and provide her a safe container where she can get this out so it doesn't kill her soul.

Speaker 1:

Wow, that is so beautiful to me.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely.

Speaker 1:

Thank you.

Speaker 2:

You're welcome.

Speaker 1:

I know there are guys who need to hear that. I really think that could be transformative.

Speaker 2:

You know deep down inside and of course I can't speak for all women but I really think your wife probably wants you to fight for her and to keep going, even when it's hard. She is noticing when you're doing good work and so, although she won't be able to tell you all the time, she notices and she wants you to fight If she's still there. She wants you to fight, fight for her, fight for healing.

Speaker 1:

Yes, if she's coming to you with intense energy in the middle of a trigger tornado, she's still turning toward you, and that's amazing.

Speaker 2:

That's right, and all of that is a form of intimacy, because she is sharing her heart, even when it comes out hard.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's so good.

Speaker 2:

And so another thing that I think is also helpful, and this is kind of getting on the front end of triggers. There are some triggers that come out of nowhere. Let me dive in for a little bit what triggers are and what they're not. They are unpredictable Right, they are unpredictable. A lot of times they come out of nowhere. You might be asleep and not doing a single thing and she wakes you up and she's in the middle of a full blown trigger, Right. Or it may be that you're going to a pool and that's going to be an obvious trigger coming up Right. But triggers are also responses to wounding and they are also spotlights on areas that need healing. And so if you can see that and recognize that and go oh, it makes sense. It makes sense that that's what she's feeling. And so if I was in her shoes right, and this is empathy piece right If I was in her shoes, this is what I think she might need. And you offer that, and you may be wrong 75% of the time, and that's okay.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's another big, important point. Guys, we don't have to get this perfectly right. The most important thing is to be a learner and to grow, and it's never going to be perfect. That's not what secure attachment requires. It doesn't require perfection. It requires repair when there is a rupture.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely, and you know what. She's not expecting you to be perfect either, and I'm sure that's not what it feels like, but it's actually true. But if you show up different than before and with humble, she's not going to verbalize it to you, especially in the middle of a trigger, but she's going to go like, oh, that was different. He was able to take my anger this time and he didn't lash out at me Like huh. She's going to notice that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, there's hope in that. After the storm has passed, what can a husband do to strengthen the relationship?

Speaker 2:

This is the piece that I love talking about, because I think we forget about that. I think when a trigger is over, everyone is like whoo glad that's over, like oh my gosh, I hope that doesn't ever happen again, or not for a long time, right, and we're just going to like go on, right. But there is such opportunity for growth and healing after a trigger, and so it looks a couple of ways. First of all, it's going back and it's talking about it Like when things have calmed down, right, and when there's safety and when there's kind of some connection, go in and debrief us. And I know this feels counterintuitive because it's like, oh my gosh, I don't want to talk about it Like and I don't want to poke the bear Like if I say something, maybe it'll make her upset again and trigger her again. No-transcript, it's really the opposite. This is a golden window of opportunity If you can go in there and say so, honey. I just want to say like, hey, I noticed that trigger and we come out of it. Maybe it lead, if you can lead with yourself and going. I want to support you and learn how to support you better through your trigger. Was what I did helpful? Would it have been helpful for me to do something different Now that you're out of it, like, how can I support you better during triggers? That's going to blow her socks off if you say that.

Speaker 1:

Asking proactively for that feedback and bringing it up, so that she's not always the one who brings it up.

Speaker 2:

Totally. Oh my gosh, that will feed her soul. That will be so healing even of itself, the fact that you're not afraid to go back and talk about it. I get, we all want to stay away from it. We all don't want to make things happen. But even if something does flare a little bit, it's okay. You don't have to be afraid of the flare. The bigger picture is really you're leading into intimacy. Here's the beauty. I used to hate triggers. This is part of our story and man triggers were the things that knocked me out the worst when I started my support group. They were like what do you need? I'm like what do I do with triggers? Help me with triggers, because it just felt so bad. Where I've gotten to now is and I know this will sound crazy, but triggers are really a gift. What I mean by that is that triggers are spotlights on those areas that still need healing. A lot of times it's like, okay, where do I need to go? Where do I need to heal? What do I need to focus on? Well, when a trigger happens, that is like that's an area that is still raw and still needs love and still needs compassion and still needs healing being able to go, not running away from it but leaning back in and going. Honey, that makes sense. Those wounds of when we went to the restaurants and I flirted with the waitresses that still needs some healing. Or maybe, if you don't say that out loud, you know that and you can lean back in. But maybe that's a topic of counseling, maybe that's a topic where maybe she has some more anger or some more sadness about that that you can help her heal by opening up the door to talk about that, by opening up the very thing, the very area where you have wounded her. If you open her up and give her permission and a place to talk more and express her emotions and sit with them and validate them again, the perfect world. That is the goldmine that would trigger, kind of like you're talking about secure attachment and the repair. There is so much healing and ground that can be gained with the repair.

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

There's one other thing that is not really in the recovering from triggers but I would love to talk about too is one of the best ways to help with triggers is to prevent it when you can. Again, you can't prevent the triggers that happen in the middle of the night. If you were going to a restaurant, or guys, let me tell you, if you're going to a pool or anywhere with bikinis, your wife will be triggered for years afterwards. But those areas where you know you're walking into a trigger, or if you are going to a family gathering and you hit on her sister and you know that that is going to be a trigger, the best thing you can do is to notice it ahead of time or know hey, I think this is a pretty strong likelihood that this is going to be a trigger. You come up with a plan ahead of time of like okay, here's what I am going to do as the husband, here's what I'm going to do. I need to put myself in my wife's shoes and go. This is how I think she's going to feel. This is the wound that I think it's going to open up. This is how I want to help provide some safety in that ahead of time. Then you go to your wife and you say hey, honey, I know we're going to the pool, I know there's going to be a lot of women in bikinis, but I just want you to know I am not checking out any of them, I only want you. What I'm going to do is I'm going to focus on the kids the whole time, or I'm going to, if we're sitting down and we are having a snack, I'm going to be facing away from the pool. When you say that kind of stuff and again, you're proactive about it she's going to be like wow, he's doing a lot of work, she's going to file that away. Wow, I feel safer. Then in the middle of that, you check in with her and you're like honey, I'm right here with you, I'm right here with you. That can be a way she still might get triggered, but it's not going to probably be as big. It is just going to hit so much deeper in her that she's not alone and that she's like maybe I can trust him a little bit more, anticipate those triggers and take action. It will be so helpful.

Speaker 1:

Think ahead what's coming up. Work trips.

Speaker 2:

Oh, yes, right.

Speaker 1:

This is such a great example of needing to practice perspective taking, getting into her world not just focused on my world and maybe being one step ahead, maybe being three steps ahead. This is so good for us. Tammy, thank you for pouring into us as men. You have some amazing resources for women. Can you say more about this conference coming up?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm so excited about it. This is the third annual Betrayal Healing Conference, and so it is focused specifically on women who have experienced betrayal and it's gathering really safe, fantastic speakers like you You're one of the speakers this year, as you said but it's gathering together and it's really creating this safe space. I am very protective of women who have gone through this, because there's so much hurt that can happen out there, and so my goal in this conference when I created it was I just want to create this safe container where they can come and be empowered. We talk about various aspects of healing and so you get a lot. There's a lot of people who are really pouring into how can they heal and validate and empower them to move forward. It's going to be five days. It's January 22nd through the 26th. There's 30 speakers total, so there's about six, maybe seven, per day, and then, yeah, there'll be a pop-up Facebook group where they can interact with each other and with me and maybe some of the other speakers as well. So it's just a week of healing and it's free.

Speaker 1:

And if that number of speakers sounds overwhelming, just think of it as a beautiful menu and you get to pick and choose what's going to be most helpful for you.

Speaker 2:

Yes, that's a great point because, you're right, that would be absolutely overwhelming to sit there and listen to every single one of them, but it's also different topics and some topics are really going to resonate, so great, listen to that. You'll have to listen to all of them, right, but pick the ones, like you said. I love that. I love the menu analogy.

Speaker 1:

So go to betrayalhealingconferencecom. Tell the people who you think would really benefit from this, and you can also find the links in the show notes for this episode. Tammy, what's your favorite thing about healing?

Speaker 2:

For me it's freedom. I have experienced that in my life and it feels so good. But also I love helping women walk through this and find that healing and freedom. Because this trauma betrayal trauma can shift the way that you view life, that you view yourself, that you view the world, certainly your relationship and that can continue to drive you in a way that you don't want to be driven. But when there is healing, it's like this there's a course correction of like okay, the bad thing no longer has to drive me, and now I have freedom to choose the healthy path and how I want life to look. Such a beautiful thing.

Speaker 1:

Awesome, so I hope to see you at the Betrayal Healing Conference at the end of this month. Guys always remember you are God's beloved Son. In you he is well placed.

Understanding Betrayal Trauma and Triggers
Understanding and Supporting Triggers in Relationships
Navigating Healing and Growth in Relationships
Healing and Supporting Through Triggers
Betrayal Healing Conference

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