Interview with Ben Wilson, part 3

This is the third and final installment in my interview with Ben Wilson. If you haven’t read part one and part two, please do. I hope this has been as much of a blessing to those reading it as it was to me. Thanks, Ben.


What would you say to someone who holds the opinion that infidelity is man’s
natural state and that marriage is an antiquated institution ready to be dismantled?

I
read a book by Zig Ziglar once. If he wasn’t selling pans he was talking
about "The
Redhead.:)" He said, and I agree, that we all have excess sexual energy.
Our culture certainly shows that. He said that what we do with that excess
sexual energy determines many aspects of our marriage. There are plenty of
women that
on first glance I find attractive and would like to have sex with. In a bigger
picture I take that energy and place it into areas of my life—like blog
interviews—that produce a different kind of valuable fruit than sex does.

I
like naked women and I’m glad God made me that way. But I also know that
looking at any others besides my wife in the long run isn’t good for my soul
or hers.
There is something about the exclusivity of monogamy that combined with time
and focused energy on the relationship produces an intimacy and joy that
goes
beyond anything else on the planet.

As far as sex, people that have sex with
lots of others generally are the most unhappy, self-hating people in the
world. Sex addicts become sex addicts
because
they have a deep-seated belief they are a piece of crap, the underside
of the piece of crap, and sex is a drug that masks that for a bit. When the
sex is
over their insides feel darker than before.

Also, every marriage will go
through difficult times. During those difficult times our fallen nature is
going to look at the options to take the discomfort
away instead of really dealing with the stressors. Pretty persons of
the opposite sex can seem like the answer. ‘If only I’d married her life would
have been
easier and happier’ is the lie. Sometimes we fall for it.
How do you help couples to recover from infidelity in their own marriages?
What steps do they need to take?

First off is to cut the third party out
of your marriage. One quick call and be done. It is a brutally painful time
but the best in the long run.
Every
decision needs to go through the lens of how will this impact our marriage.
If there is
a chance it will hurt your marriage then don’t do it. Sometimes that
means changing jobs, changing churches, moving or driving out of the
way an extra
fifteen minutes
to work to protect the relationship.

Make a decision to be brutally
honest with one another. There really isn’t anything to lose at this point.
Don’t hide or conceal any secrets.
Get
the whole explosion
out in the beginning. Secrets coming out later throw a couple back
months and inflict great damage to restoring trust. The infidel is
in the habit
of lying
and it may take a bit to break that. If he can begin to catch himself
and tell the truth that is a good sign.

Along with this, what does
the betrayed spouse need to rebuild trust. At first that is accounting for
all the time in the day 24/7. I can
tell you
that following
the trauma of the revelation Ann being 5 minutes late could feel
like two hours of torture. We are much more considerate of each
other in
this area
even today.
Ask the spouse what else he/she needs to restore trust?

Learn to
do conflict in a way that promotes your relationship and doesn’t tear it
down. Most couples get plenty of practice in this
situation.
:)

Cloud and Townsend list four areas of growth in Changes That
Heal. Learn to be apart (boundaries or saying no), learn to
be close
(true intimacy
or saying
yes),
learn to deal with your dignity and depravity (we all are glorious
and horrible), be an adult (take care of your responsibilities
in life). Be on the grow.
I know it is kind of a cheesy phrase but whether the marriage
survives or not
a person
will be better off seeking to live an abundant life of depth
in relationships of all kind.
Other areas we touch on are: godly design by gender, anger,
shame and guilt, becoming best friends, sexuality and grieving
your
losses.

Why did you start blogging?

We started blogging to continue telling our story
to provide hope for those in troubled marriages. My tech guy told me
about blogging.
It’s
great to
be able
to ‘update our site’ without me knowing html code.

I’ve
‘met’ many terrific people like you through this.

Blogging is a great avenue
for others to hear our story. By linking and updating often my traffic has
steadily
increased.

We have shared our story around the Denver area in several
churches. A few of those times we’ve had a second
day leading couples through
the beginnings
of
many important conversations. Imagine sitting knee
to knee with your spouse and talking about important matters
for
7 hours.
We’ve also
led several
12-week
groups
for couples recovering from infidelity.

We are open
to going out of town and speaking. Just get us there, house and feed us.
If you want to give
us something
on top, that’s
ok too.
The principles
to
recovering from infidelity strengthen any marriage.

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