Beauty in Battle Podcast

How to Affair-Proof Your Marriage (part 1)

May 17, 2022 Jason Benham, Tori Benham Episode 20
Beauty in Battle Podcast
How to Affair-Proof Your Marriage (part 1)
Show Notes Transcript

We live in a time when threats to our relationship are at an all-time high. Marriages are being ripped apart at break-neck speed, and one of the most pressing issues is the threat of an affair. Even the most spiritual leaders among us are falling prey. 

So in this episode and the one that follows we dive deep into ten principles to affair-proof your marriage. These are simple things we can do to assure our spouse that we'll last the test of time. 

We went from the perspective of what we can do individually to keep ourselves from an affair. And, here's a little spoiler-alert: the first principle is never thinking you're above one!

Listen in to part 1 of how to affair-proof your marriage. 

 So today we're talking about how to affair-proof your marriage. It's it's, um, it's a heavy topic. And so Tori and I just wanted to come together and spend a couple of podcast episodes, this one in the next one, talking about some practical things that we think that we can do to affair-proof our marriage.

And that might apply to you. We're not experts. Um, but we definitely have thought through this and, and just seeing what's happened over the last however many years. A lot of well-known good godly Christian people who won are both of the spouses have cheated on you. And it's just made us really think deeply.

And, uh, you know, our, our little daughter Lundy, poor little girl, she, uh, she she's heard about some of these people and she's recognized their names and went and looked up what happened. And next thing you know, she's telling tort, you don't think dad's going to cheat on you, do you? And I'm having to go look it up.

She, I was maybe may, may have been her sister. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And so she, she came to us and just hearing her little heart, you know, she's, she's only 12 and, um, there's just such an innocence there and hearing just how heartbroken she is. She's um, as she processes through this and you know, the very worst fear in her little mind, That that could happen in our home and that our, our family could fall apart because of it.

And it's, and, and just hearing her heart, just, it may, it really broke our heart. Um, and just to think about the families that are affected and the ripple down effect, it's, it doesn't just affect it. It does greatly affect immediate family. I mean, on such a, such a deep level, specially the kids, especially the kids.

But then it also has a ripple down effect on the Christian community because, you know, for Lindy it in her mind, it's like, well, how come you know, he's such a godly man. I thought he loved Jesus. And you know, in, in, in her mind, there's so much security in knowing that her dad is following after Jesus. But what if you know?

And, um, so it's just open. Some conversation in our home and, um, it's been really good. Um, but it's also been very heartbreaking and we're like, this is something that we really need to talk about. And now that we're at all the experts in this area at all, but we have walked through with many couples.

Their experiences with affairs and there's the heartbreak of it. And so we thought it'd be good to kind of break it down into two podcasts. Yeah. Yeah. So we're going to, we're going to share five principles for today and five principles on our next podcast of, of things. We think that you can do, uh, individually we'll, we'll talk later on another time, uh, as to what we think you can do as a couple, but specifically individually on how to affair-proof your marriage in terms of what you can do personally.

Um, and even though it is a heavy topic, we want to make sure that we spend some time at the beginning doing. We are so well-known for, I say we Toria. So well-known for it. She's got to start with a joke. And I think we got a pretty good one right now. We have, okay, this is my favorite so far. So, you know, we reached out to all of you and said, come on and bring us your best jokes.

We need some help here. Make us laugh. Give us your stuff. And, oh my goodness. Um, Mary Beth. I don't know your last name, but Mary Beth came through for us in a real way. This week, she sent me the funniest thing. So she's like, she, she was, we were going back and forth about a few things. She's like, oh, and my husband has this, um, has this great joke, but I'm going to go ahead and let him tell it, cause he does it best.

And I literally died laughing because she, she, she, I gotta ask her if I can share the video, because clearly she like walks into the bedroom where her husband is laying on the bed with his shirt off and was like, tell the joke. And so Devin tells the joke and I literally laughed out loud, so hard. And so I'm going to try to.

Um, yeah. Instagram post into that Instagram. Yeah. It's, it's a recording of her husband and then I'm going to ask her if I can post it. Cause you guys have got to see it's just the, the way that he's laying on the bed. Like he's so sweet to like to respond. Tell your joke. He's like, okay. I put, put it up to the microphone tour.

Let's see if we can hear it. You got it.

Why did the chicken cross the road? I don't know why.

Awesome died laughing. I showed the kids and they were dying, laughing too, just because you got to see that you got to see Devon's face when he does. He's literally caught off guard laying on his bed and has no idea what his wife doing, but she's filming him. She's like, honey, tell the jail. No, he does it.

That's that's a good husband right there. All right. We're proud of you. Thank you guys. And let us know your last name and we'll give you another shout out. Okay. So let's jump back into this tour because we're talking about a fair proofing. Your marriage. And the, um, the points that we want to bring out.

So we're gonna bring up five points today that we think will help you, um, and, and will help us again, everything that we're sharing. We want to apply our own in our own lives as well and our own relationship, but we want to look at it from an individual standpoint. This isn't like, okay. So how to, affair-proof your marriage?

You need to go on a date night, once a week. You need to be a part of a good accountability group. Yeah. All that. Stuff's true. Yes. But that's relationally. So we don't want to talk relationally. I want to come at it from the angle of what can you do in your own mind and in your own heart individually, because that's what makes sure you don't get taken out.

It starts in your mind. It starts in your heart. Yeah. And I, and I want to piggyback off of what you said when you talked about the ripple down effect and how. Um, there are some pastors, you know, over the however many years who have fallen and in Lundy heard of a few that had fallen, uh, my little daughter, she who's.

And she's thinking, well, my daddy loves Jesus. That guy loves Jesus. And he cheated on his wife is my daddy going to cheat on mom. And so the ripple down effect is now some girl who's not even related to this pastor is now questioning her own dad. Right. That could then cause her to question God. Right? So we've had to walk her through this real deep fears.

I mean, this is really great Turlock. And I feel bad, but, but so obviously we've had to walk her through this and that's why Tori and I thought, you know what? Let's just, let's just get on the podcast. We'll start talking about some things about this. And I think that one of the things that I'd like to start with is if you're thinking about that ripple down effect, you've got to look into the future at, at the decisions that you make and how they affect people.

Like that's kind of the foundation, right? Your decisions don't just affect you. They affect. Uh, everyone around you and even more people than that. So whatever that decision that is that you need to make recognize the long-term effects of that. So let's build on that foundation. There needs to be a healthy fear in all of us who like who we could be like, you know, we it's, it's not something that we're above.

Yeah. Well, and that's where I go for point number one. So if we're going to talk about five things today, um, point number one, You have to know you're not above and affair. Yeah. I've heard people say, well, I'll never do that. And the first thing I say is, don't say that right. You have to know that you're no worse in possibility than the worst adulterer is in actuality.

Like you've got to know that, right? Like I'm not above it now, but by the grace of God, I won't do it. And I won't do it because I have these, you know, these boundaries in my life. Right. So I'm not going to do. But I do know that I could, if I release boundaries, no accountability, and I'm not, you know, on point.

So you have to know that, that I think that's where we get tripped up with so many sins is that we don't think it's a temptation, or we don't think that that's something that we would struggle with and it blindsides sides us. And we're like, oh my goodness. I would have never thought I would have struggled with.

Oh, so you're not prepared and you don't have the boundaries and the guardrails up because that's not something that you they're going to struggle with. Right. And just look at how many. Uh, good Jesus Levin youth group going tithe, pain, young adults, or are older teenagers end up getting pregnant and you're like, wait, but you guys are good kids.

It's like, well, they didn't go on the date and stop at the gas station and buy condoms. They weren't like prepared for it. So it was something that just happened. And so you have to. That that, that your flesh is evil and it can jump all over you at any moment. And you've got to know that you, you, you're not 100% above an affair.

So admit that first, right. Which brings me to number two, you gotta recognize your triggers, recognizing your triggers is all about, um, Your, your love language. Like Gary Chapman wrote that famous book, five love languages. I think it's the greatest selling marriage book of all time. And it's still this, the first book that really brought self-awareness to marriage, you know, it's like, okay, let's, let's dig deep a little bit in.

Who you are, how you think, how you feel loved, how you, how you love. Right. It's just, it brought some self-awareness and the relationship and he brought it down and it was so good. So many people are, so yeah, boiled it down to five key love languages. If you want to say, I love you to your spouse without saying the actual words, how do you show it to them?

Uh, five ways, words of affirmation, physical touch, quality, time, gifts, and acts of service. Right. And all of us. You know, four or five of them, but we're predominantly one or two of them. So if you're a words of affirmation person, you have to recognize that's a trigger for you. So if your spouse gives you words of affirmation, you've got to know that's going to draw you close.

And then you're going to give your spouse words of affirmation, because that's your love languages. You've got to recognize if somebody else like some other person of the opposite sex is at. Giving you consistent words of affirmation or somebody at church giving you words of affirmation and your words of affirmation, perps person.

You've got to know that's a trigger for you. You have to know it, right. And you have to be self-aware. And what I like to say is two things on that first don't you give words of affirmation to people of the opposite sex. Now, when I say opposites, I'm obviously talking about people, uh, outside of your own core relationship, but in today's day and age with homosexuality, I mean, whatever you're attracted to just, you know, be careful.

So it's, you don't go and give words of affirmation to other people, because one, you don't know their triggers, but two that's a trigger for you. They could respond with words of affirmation to you. And now all of a sudden. You, you don't know why, but you find yourself magnetised to this person. That's going to bring us into the next point.

But I want to look at this from this way. If, if others do speak your love language, you know, like there's, let's say quality time is one of your. And, you know, you're spending quality time with people at work, you know, who may be on your team, maybe you're in a team of five and you've got somebody and you're spending all this time working.

If somebody is speaking your love language, you have to stay transactional in your thinking, right? It's neutral thinking. It has to be about the project. It has to be about the event. It has to be something outside of emotion and what I feel right. The minute you move into communicating what you feel.

With people outside of your marriage, you know, I w I'm going to say it again, people of the opposite sex, you gotta be careful. Cause you don't know that you may be connecting with that person subconsciously and in their heart and mind, they may be subconsciously connecting with you and you just have to recognize your triggers.

Which are there triggers to? Yes. And I think, I know you're going to get into this, but I'm gonna jump ahead and just say it, that gratitude is a bonding agent. Right? We've talked about that before. We've talked about it in our book and you have to recognize that the things that you appreciate bond you to people.

And so you just need to be self-aware enough to know if you appreciate quality time. It has to be transactional and neutral. It can not, if you tie in too much emotion to it, that's where it can get. Yeah. It can move from a transaction to an actual moment that you have with somebody even at your work.

You know, uh, I remember Tory and I, this was years ago, we went to have lunch, um, together. It was, uh, I forget where it was. Um, but we went and had lunch together and we looked over and there was a buddy of. Who owns a business. And he was having lunch with another lady who was not his wife and Tory knew his wife.

And I said, honey, cause I didn't know his wife. I said, is that his wife? And Tori's like, oh no, that's not his wife. So anyway, we just moseyed over and said hello. And he said, Hey, this is my assistant or no, this is one, this is my work colleague or whatever. Right. And we moved on and I don't have a relationship with him.

Um, a real deep one, but I remember thinking, wow, that's dangerous. Like that's not what should be happening. Right. You know, there has to, there needs to be. Boundaries and guardrails up and I'm sure in their mind, it's like, this is work, you know, this is no big deal, but you know, like we said, there's, if there's not that awareness to the dangers around you, then that's when you get tripped up.

Yep. And since it's happening so much, and now all of our movies are showing affairs and all sorts of stuff and it's okay. Yeah. It's glorifying affairs and yeah, it's makes it look exciting. And yeah, I know the people who are listening to our pad podcast are the kind of people who want to stay monogamous in marriage forever and till death do we part, so that's why we're talking with you guys from this angle.

Yep. Did you want to say something? No, I'll let you know. I'll say something. If I want to say something, number three. Be aware of magnetism. And what I mean by that is if you're drawn to be around someone that might be some subconscious pool toward that. You've got to be aware of that. Yeah. And I remember about 12 years ago, we went out to eat with a really sweet, older couple she's a psychologist, and I believe he's actually a psychologist as well.

And this was, uh, you know, at the time we had been, um, counseling, a couple who was in an affair and we're kind of like we, a lot of times we have these couples that come to us and, um, And sometimes we really don't know what advice to give them. So we were kind of just asking them for some help with it.

And one of the things that I'll never forget that they brought up, that I thought was a really good point, is that when with affairs there's, there's usually the. Magnetism, that takes place between the two and where they're just naturally drawn to one another. And that couples who are not aware that that magnetism is taking place, get themselves into a lot of trouble.

But she said before, most affairs, you will kind of see this kind of magnetism happening. And I remember talking to a particular girl who was having an emotional affair and she, she talked to me about this and she said, That, um, That she felt just polled and wherever this man was, she found herself showing up whether it was the gym or whatever it was church and you know, all the places that people go.

Yeah. She found her. Wanting to know if he would be there and if he was going to be there, she wanted to be there. That it's that simple. She wasn't even aware of that going on inside of her, it was all subconscious. Right. She was able to go back and look at it and say that I was magnetized to this person.

And there was zero awareness of what was happening inside of her until it was too late. And then, you know, and things had gone too far. Um, I've never forgot that. And I've, I've always, um, made it a point to make sure that, that whoever I'm talking to and even with, with our kids, as they're getting to that dating age and, and they're going to be starting to, um, pursue relationships and that's a natural thing, like you're going to be drawn to.

To you know, the opposite sex and that's, God, God does that for a purpose to bring us together. But then there has to be a very, um, very much an awareness that when you're in marriage and that begins to happen. There should be a big, big pause, right? Once you're married, that's over. Yeah. That can't happen anymore.

It's supposed to be magnetized to anybody that's happening. And then you have, you have to stop it. You've got, you need accountability. You need help. Um, you need to bring it into, into the light. I had a buddy of mine who had to confess to. That he was very drawn to this girl that kept complimenting him and he didn't let his wife in on it, which we'll talk about the next time.

But, uh, he was magnetized to her. Next thing you know, he, he, you know, he, there was no like full on affair, but it was an emotional issue. And so he had to talk with his wife about it. So bring your wife in, or your spouse, your husband into. Which you've got to be aware that magnetism is something that's real.

Right. And if you're feeling it for anybody other than your spouse, it is danger, danger, danger, and stop it. Okay. Let me move on to number four. Um, number four is be transactional and communicating with the. Fully transactional. What we're trying to do is, is to not have moments with people, right? You just want to be transactional in the way that you deal with them.

So, uh, for this, and this is a classic example, um, you know, so it's a guy he's working at, let's just say bank of America. And he's honest, he's on a team of 12 people. Let's just say six guys, six girls, a girl walks in. Um, who's married, she's got kids and it's all good. It's all fine. You know? And she comes in and her hair is cut or, uh, or it's styled some new way.

And he notices and he says, Hey, did you get your hair cut? Well, yeah, I did. Oh, that looks nice. Okay. Well you have gone, you've gone outside of the transactional zone, the transaction. Transactional zone is what problem are you there to solve? Why are you guys on the same team? Right? We all about that, the minute you go complimenting her, how do you know that her husband didn't compliment her on that hair?

Right. And how do you know that tomorrow? She's not going to secretly or subconsciously hope that you. Her hair, like you ha you have to be transactional. Right. You know, and I know for a lot of people, this sounds so like not a big deal, right. This is not a big deal. Like you can, you can do that. Like, this is kind of legalistic.

I'm telling you guys it starts with these little things. Yeah. It really does. Like, we have heard so many stories and it starts that small. It's just the reality of it. It starts that small. And so you sh you've got. Uh, you've got to be vigilant with this stuff right now. I said, be transactional and communicating with the opposite sex, but there are times where maybe you're not, well, that would lead to number five, which is run your relationships with the opposite sex through your spouse.

So if you do have a relationship that's more than just a transaction with the opposite sex in terms of an actual relationship, then it has to run through your spouse. It's not like. You have this relation. So, so me as a man I'm married Dettori. I can't have a relationship with another woman that's outside of some transaction or business deal, right.

That doesn't involve Tori. Right. You know, like a friendship. Yeah. Like some friendship that Tory's is not involved in that all of your relationships with the opposite sex have to be run through your spouse. Right. You know, which, which also includes the. You know, it's like, you're you as a woman are, as a married woman are not to be texting a married man without both spouses on it.

Right. Or at least the spouse of the person you're texting, you know, it was like, there's just certain rules of engagement. Now, if it involves a transaction, I get it. Right. You know what I'm saying? I mean, cause you're doing an event or you doing some deal at work or whatever. Um, but running your S your relationships through your opposite sex, with the opposite sex through your spouse will really help.

That door to never open. That could cause you guys to move in a certain direction. Yeah. And I think texting is actually a really big deal because you have your phone all the time. You can, in a moment of weakness, somebody can say something really dumb through a text, right? Like just on the spur of the moment there, I'm just going to shoot this.

And say something that they regret it. And if they do that, your spouse needs to know about it. Like that's, I feel like with texting, because it's just so secretive, it's so private. Um, that it's something that has become a real problem and it really, it really needs to be there really needs to be boundaries around that.

Like Jason and I will not. Um, the opposite sex without the person, without Jason on it, or at least somebody else on the tax, it was never going to be a conversation between me and another man back and forth, back and forth without anybody else. It's just not in, you know, it's just, um, it may sound in some areas.

Areas, it might sound, like I said, like, oh, that's just silly or whatever, but, but it doesn't matter how silly it looks like, look, I've got several assistants and, uh, many, several of them are ladies. I've got one, uh, Deb long if you've ever dealt with me and David, you know, Deb, she's fantastic. You know, um, I'm about to get on a plane and I'm like, I might shoot Deb a quick tech Deb.

Who's picking me up at the airport, you know, like that's what I'm talking about. The transaction. That's fine. Yeah, she, yeah, exactly. Yeah. I'm talking about a conversation back and forth. Uh, text conversation going back and forth. And you want those relationships that you have with the opposites running through.

Exactly. Which, and, you know, I mean, every now and then you may have somebody who, who will say hi to you, but not your spouse, you know, somebody of the opposite sex. Like they have no problem talking to you, but they really don't have much to say to your spouse. Well, then you, and I know have a relationship like this doesn't work that way.

Right? Like if you don't have anything to say to her, you've got nothing to say. Like we're, we're not going to sit there and, and, and engage in conversation. And my wife not be involved in it now. Right. So these are our five things. I want to talk about five more. We're going to do that next podcast, but let me run through these one more time.

Real quick tour. Okay. You're not above an affair. No, that that's point number one point number two. Recognize your triggers. Yes. Careful with those a point number three, be aware of magnetism. Point number four, be transactional in communicating with the opposite sex, you know, and point number five is run relationships with the opposite sex or your spouse.

These are just some things that Tori and I were talking about and we thought, you know what? That, that, that is helpful. These are things that you want to do individually. Again, this isn't about you and your spouse and things you're supposed to do relationally. That's the topic of another podcast, but this one is what can you do individually?

Now? I've got five. That we're going to do on next podcast. I want to make sure that you don't miss that. Yes. In the meantime, let's do let's close this out or I don't know. Would you rather, okay. I like it. Are you ready? Okay. Would you rather have a pig nose or a monkey face? Oh, geez. I'd probably do a pig nose.

Cause I can get a nose job. Or are you saying I have no. I mean, you have to live with it. Pig nose or a monkey face. I'm going monkey face. Why they're cuter looking than a pig. Yeah, that is true. A pig nose is pretty nasty snout. All right. Monkey, monkey face it is, man. We talked about a fair proofing, your marriage, and we opened with a joke and closed.

Now how about that? A little weird. Yeah, it was fun. Okay. All right. We'll be back to the conversation too, so don't miss it. We'll see you next time. Thanks.