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Coming Clean

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
May 26, 2020 2:00 am

Coming Clean

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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May 26, 2020 2:00 am

By all appearances, businessman Cory Carlson had it all-a lucrative career, an impressive home, and a beautiful wife. He also had a secret. Carlson talks about the emptiness he felt and how he found himself in an affair before he knew what was happening. When he and his wife started attending church regularly, he was amazed at the godly men who befriended him, and he fell under the conviction that he had to confess to his wife. Hear what happened when he did and where their marriage is today.

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Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Running to Win
Erwin Lutzer
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Our Daily Bread Ministries
Various Hosts
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Running to Win
Erwin Lutzer

Early in his marriage.

Cory Carlson had been unfaithful. He been able to successfully hide that from his wife, but God started working on him and he knew he had to come clean. I remember driving home that night I say them ready for the consequences whatever they may be. And so I'm driving home with the start of no no like doing these last-minute bargaining like I will just between you and I God I'm not going to only making a mistake. Small community you this is a deal and I just couldn't get over that hump that I had to come clean. This is family life today. Our hosts are David and Wilson on Poplar team can find us online and family life it's true that our sins have consequences also true that God can bring beauty from ashes Carlson joins us today to share a story of God's redemptive work in his life and his marriage stay with us and welcome to family life today.

Thanks for joining us. If we went back 35 years as a long time Bob if we has to 35. We ask you about worklife balance back 35 years ago. You know what I'm to say I do know just ask her. Yeah, I was his worklife balance back 35. It might've been better than the 35 years ago. It wasn't bad but 30 years ago. It was really bad so it didn't start off with Dave B and I'm all paying attention to work and ignoring home. That kinda grew over time right it really is the number of jobs. He says I have five job because he was the chaplain he started out as a chaplain for the Detroit Lions and we started a church right and then on he was coaching football and when asked did you DO playing a couple bands so your live here back then I could flip it around the refund.

Were you aware of the fact that all things well balance. I wish I could say I had self-awareness, I was not aware until my wife said what are you doing I was agree with me that I was that I am not a workaholic I'm balanced you. I was just in denial. I was out of control. How many times did you say I need help before he heard too many to count. Really, I don't think Dave heard me.

I think he thought I was just a needy wife and needy family that he was conquering the world, which that's one of the reasons I married, I thought working to change the world together for Jesus Joyce up talk about me how the guys in the business world today. Do you think are where you were life out of balance you as a pastor you're talking to guys all the time. I would say maybe I'm too high here ride the number comes my mind is 80%. Really. 8/10 and again I'm basing that on guys a walk up in the auditorium guys I talked to her and we guys in small groups. You just look at him and they just are going going going to get number five, there come home with eight or nine and in the NFL.

Oh my goodness right.

The coaches are never home and that's accepted that's just the way it is and I think that's true in the business world as well.

I got a letter one time from a wife. She went to church and she said I feel like I've been totally deceived and duped. She said I started marrying my husband. I loved him. He said in a keeper. He's a sharp guy that man. He went after me and he did everything he could to get me. He was romantic. He spent time with me.

He got to know me. He opened his life to me and she said we've been married a year and I feel like he was on the hunt he saw me he shot me bad me to put me on the mantle and now he's off or another bought that company right here. We got guest joining us today. Cory Carlson joins us. What a great way to introduce Cory.

You could relate to what they've talking like it you absolutely this was a part of your life Cory today is doing executive coaching and working with guys in business and in ministry who are struggling with worklife balance in part of the reason you're doing this is because you went through your own struggle.

In fact, your struggle led you outside your marriage for a while and unfortunately did absolutely so did you.

And by the way cores written a book called wind at home first. Which is all about worklife balance and this is a part of what you talk to people in the business world and in the ministry world about today.

Were you aware that your life was out of balance. What once was not aware of it being out of balance were also found. I wasn't aware that I was going to places to find my worth to find my value to find my identity and I just I was pursuing a variety of different things. Not knowing that that's what I was looking for is longing for that idea.

Only God can fill the void in her heart but in my 20s. It was a pursuit of climbing the corporate ladder and on great days. I felt like I was the man things are going well as get the promotion and on those other days you maybe might I be thinking about my marriage or site.

Well that's maybe not exactly how it wants to be your arguing a little bit and then I start they will maybe marriage is in great and so the gun is over. They were Taking my questions of who I was, to temporary things and eventually am catching up to me in a couple different ways you from a marriage standpoint. I would basically take my questions to her my good of man, and in the process.

We have some different tensions and you mentioned earlier about the hunt that the man had one thing I work with executives on talk about is are you pursuing your wife. Are you actually going on dates like one of first things like the low hanging fruit.

I get a client is was last time you went on a date is hold up if you don't know the last thing on date that we have to start there and so I got some really fun stories with friends and clients that where we will start their sourcing progress, but in my situation and we were spending time together.

We are going on double dates you it's a double income no kids is how it was in our 20s and so we just were going out a lot hosting parties, going to parties going on Dennard dinner dates with other couples just springtime together but never together and what ended up happening was at the same times very busy pursuing my career working all the time traveling start to see that I didn't have any guys of deep friendships.

I love a surface level friends that I could go watch a game with her.

Go have a beer with her. Whatever may be but I wasn't talking about the depths of my marriage or the depths of the struggles of having someone calling I would get an argument I thought I'm the only guy having this argument I go talk to you know my buddies in a salad life is amazing and here I'm thinking was our problem so I ended up taking my questions to another woman who thought a she's laughing at my jokes. She thinks I'm funny she yelled and so became also a very slippery slope and unfortunately in regard, regrettably, had had an affair, but it was a secret.

I was a secret you and your wife had no idea, but had no idea and I grew up in a awesome home and I think when I look back at my home. I think maybe that was part of the reason that I ended up having affair not My parents are to blame it all. That's not it, but I never ever saw, the more I just didn't, and when my mom died was 15, from cancer and I don't know.

They never fought because my my dad is headed in enormous amount of grace, so I just rolled off.

I don't know they did behind doors. I just didn't know. And so when I start when we start to have arguments of worklife balance or whatever may be. I started to think, wait, wait, this is not me. This must be on my wife. My parents had it all figured out, and they were bounding with cancer and my buddies were never talk about their marriages being challenged. So here I am thinking him on his own island of having marital issues so end up having this affair did not get caught I get promoted and transferred to Denver moved to Denver and we are not really going to church frequently.

Every time I wife and asses go to churches like me that I grew up in a church.

I don't want to sit in the church and talk now here about character and I got a skeleton in my closet so that some you are carrying all absolutely caring is absolute, caring and I was curious so much and I see this not not that affairs always the issue, but I see is in so many other people where we know we are losing somewhere we go where we can get our wins so if marriage is not working well. Your parenting is not working well or whatever. It's like I'm going to work to get it there and will tell you it's really amazing is the same thing happens in ministry. You know it's a minister to same thing right is hungry that I was said.

I was so busy wasn't because our home life was that bad. Think was it, but it was the same thing. It was like and try to find my identity in numbers of people are also my senior sermon was good whatever is really very similar to what you went through your moving up in the business world and yet there's this secret how to how to deal with that.

My wife said this news are going church and I can only run from that question so many times to she knew I was supposed be a man of faith group in Christian homes by one the reasons you note, she married me and so we start on this church in Denver. The pastors MJ pathic and I started to meet people in the leadership team and they were pursuing Jesus but yet were perfect and it seem like anyone I was exposed to had this veneer of just the perfect life.

If they were Christian and I knew that wasn't my case. So when I get to Denver I start spending time with these church leaders.

They were very obvious about pursuing Jesus. But there also very vulnerable and honest about their own brokenness and in that and having conversations in hearing about the struggles they were having.

Whatever may been marriage porn finances God's artwork in my heart about the situation and I was. It is interesting as I was, in these conversations.

I never really thought of the company, my fair, I just I think I was just softening my heart insight always it always be a dark secret dark signal window. No dark signalman would know did not talk to the woman was not connected via social media gel. It was totally over so story over it was all that was over and you and your wife never sensed anything. No, I don't think she since things because she didn't think that was a result of me not being present home. It was my commitment to job, is my commitment other things.

And so it wasn't necessarily another woman. There was isolation in your marriage, but she didn't see somebody else the right reasons right out right so you got this secret that's hidden away and nobody's ever, find out I mean it's kind like a lot of guys will look at that and go okay I got a pass here. I think I've talked to a lot of people that had been in that situation that say this is what I did. It's on me.

I don't want to give this to my spouse right has why should I make them suffer. It's over. And so was that part of your thinking to why will I hurt her. This will just disrupt everything, absolutely. It was also weight God things going great in my life just got promoted making the most money ever made. Things are going well. The team, the integration is new teams fantastic.

I'm in the city I love because I have family there and things are going great. Why would I miss us all up.

You know that I will most likely, this argument got it that you give me sign things are good. So Keep moving this along. So what brought this to the surface and an what force you to say, I gotta come clean with. I was invited to participate in a volunteer leadership program at this church. And so as a minister night jays do a talk on character and as he's talking about character. All of a sudden I had a God moment I'd encounter where, out of nowhere, I kinda hurt Arnold's auto board assists what I just heard in my own self, but you have to come clean of your fair nose like but what was that clear.

It was exactly as I who said that like what was going on in for really the rest of that evening maybe hour and 1/2 or so. I really have noisy what Jay was saying it was and I don't know what I look like I may have looked like a zombie sitting in there, but I just get, having his wrestling match of God of no I don't have complete my fair I've been promoted. I things going great. Were starting to get along and all this different stuff and then later in and that evening in that sitting in that chair I start have a piece in a phrase I heard. I really didn't know much about it then and I've learned more since and is you need to hand over your story for greater story I really know what that meant at that time but I started to think about it.

I remember driving home that night with item that Satan ready for the consequences whatever they may be you have kids at that time.

Yes I have three kids now with two at the time and so I'm driving home with the start of no know that I believe these last-minute bargaining like I will admit this between you and I God I'm not going to a new, always making more mistakes more committed to you is the deal and I do.

I just couldn't get over that home that I had to come clean. So I came home that night and my wife is asleep as I thank God another sign on the side.

This is awesome if he wanted me to tell her she be a way to sit on the couch to the side got to talk to me in the house. I went to bed. The next day get got up and kinda went to my normal emotions and over the years when I was hiding this if it the heaviness came a go for run or for the night and have a drink or I would work harder and send out a bunch emails I could. It's unfortunate. Amazing how the devil can working quickly pull you away from that sending me I was the devil loves nothing more than a Secret right so later that day I meant teller tonight so we got home I put the girls to bed and then came down and told her it was not cupcakes and balloons was awful, and rightfully so. Door slammed and yelling, but from that moment we begin a journey of trying to figure this out as we both grew in our in our faith. At that moment in fast forward to summer we celebrate 20 years, so it's been amazing. I don't think she thinks about me. I'm sure there's moment. She'll think about it. Specially you interesting part about this book. It's part of the intro I heard a writing coach for this book and my intro wasn't not about complete my fair, my intro is a neat client story is super fun plaster. I had that and then I go to the books and I you were all broken now, I had affair, you know, this may have in you, my writing coach.

The know if you want anyone to read this book need to come tell a story of the old no doubt like this is been kind of bonded talk with a couple men here and there and kinda so I end up writing the introduction and then shared it with Holly to say, here's the advice I got from Chad. The writing coach and here you go you will read it and are you are you good with it. She read it and she was good with that. She did say you need to fix the ending of you make it sound like I said okay that's great at a fairly steep going and also I'd expand on that a little bit more, but she was good ready to know in. She also in that whole process when upright when I first told her it was a very Catholic you're the only one that experiences and then from Denver to win this book is came out. She is been a part of as well as heard my stories once you structure and vulnerability. It's amazing how it's helped others, and that's a greater story so back to that night when I felt God's.

The union hand of your store for greater story. The greater story is true that vulnerability sharing my brokenness sharing the restoration that Jesus had in my life in our marriage which is the need to see I think that's the reason she was willing to put herself out there as well go back to a little bit about okay slammed doors, yelling I've been there within in terms of sharing a struggle about porn 30 years 40 years ago and so I know that moment and it didn't change the next day you like okay now all good. I slept on it and no, there is a process with that look like for you guys. Hello, how did your marriage get restored. How did forgiveness happen.

The advantage I had and I don't want to make the Sally the way to do it. Is she had seen a change in my behavior along the way so I had the lease in full transparency I had that in my favor. She had seen. I was making some different choices. I didn't use to but there still things to this day that I do that are showing building trust, like whether we are texting neighborhood women about courting a play date. I copy Holly I don't want to get in a position I don't want her to think anything and so you know it could be communication like that that I'm doing different things to show my notes from I trust there were times early on with traveling I would not always answer the phone. She called or if I was you know at the bar with work guys even mean all innocent is at work guys.

I would answer the phone is, like all talk tomorrow. She knows him work. It's like forget that she calls now. I always answer a view from the client music and or prospect means I gotta take this real quick and it's just answer the phone deserving. Okay great I am new at school call yet an hour and just started to show those I know not perfect right I'm still we are still selfish things I can do that you really dealt back that trust building and trusting that peer life freely to say I want you to know all of Neo the big deal it is to put some boundaries some hedges in place to say okay I'm good to demonstrate my trustworthiness and not just presume that I've earned it because I confessed I think a lot of guys will confess and think you should trust me now because I confessed on every I've heard that you voted to Bob looking at the we can remember right couple to come up and say you know a lot of times guys come up to me said I had affair. I told her it's been years, she still you know it's like she's the Bible says she should forgive me and she still forgive me and she should trust me and you know I always use this example is you lose trust in a second. You rebuild it over year him, you destroy Lego thing in one hit and it take a week to reread that complicated thing and so you're doing that you're rebuilding trust. I've also had lives advancing my husband has a couple phones and he has passwords on and I'm not allowed to know the passports and Haley say when he think and for Dave and I lean LH everything that we had known each other's passwords. We think we had a flare with Detroit Lions years ago. He came to Christ. One of our quarterbacks in the year he was a guy was a player he had a girlfriend single guy just as you know it so he's probably three or four months new in Christ he's driving with a wide receiver accident receiver is driving Dan to sit in the seat beside him and he pulls out two phones and Michael's family doing his others might.

This far, used to have before I can a Christian I have all my girlfriends and here I just sort of keep that round goes we have girlfriends, William Hospital life at their still in here so I keep this phone is my new phone. My cousin he said he looks phony close at all goes well is done its work and then tells a story.

Now, it's like that was a defining moment is when that phone went out the windows like what are you doing, he realized I have to move on you. It has to be a new light on a little new trust, new wineskin old points yeah but all have clients and individuals where your sharing content with them all. It's his new wineskin within their try to shove it in their old behaviors or old rhythms are alone patterns you see that a lot in me. I think if I had some secret behaviors Hollywood go. I think I got you dumb a meal break those Legos.

I think I could break break the cycle through fast because of the history I CC think that my phone is always faceup onto my phone to my room, I saw it's charged on in the kitchen counter and its faceup and so any any text can come from, you know anybody anything and so just so full transparency. Let me let me ask you this, when you told her yes.

Was there a sense of freedom did you feel a relief like it's finally out. Yeah, we can move on. Yes, there is a significant one.

We can move on and was interesting is she made numerous comments in her frustration oath great your burdens gone now.

Tell me I'm human.

Then I had this heaviness of it and so that I was a whole struggle and even semi-quite timely, are now got now really confused. The thing I don't want to end up doing is I am putting all my burn all my stress all my brokenness on her for her to carry around that that didn't seem right leg so I there is attention never enters absolute freedom.

Other stories in our my own personal journey or intermarriage that as you share those other people and it's it's it's so fun, so there's been freedom numerous times of sharing stories with people on the other side the table yet. I would just say to the husband side and some right now go our life and I was gonna say your wife that I just know is your listening this program and you got that one or five things. Today's the day because I've been there. You been are you sure Cory is this like there's no life in other hidden life as long as it's in the dark. It wins the second bring the light and that's scary and it's hard and there's good weeks. Fallout is the first step to freedom. So today's the day. I mean, there's a guys get websites gone. He's got the phone. He got some going on in price and women God is using this program today to say it's time you want a new life is Starcher here did it take weeks or months for your wife to forgive you. I would say immediately immediately made the right word. Maybe a few days, forgive, but the trust piece like that took time on her side of the story is right after I told her we had some door slam, but she's felt a it will be okay. I kinda came over her. She knew what that meant, like how this all plow so thanks to Holly and her faith.

She leaned into that moment from the Holy Spirit up. It's going to be okay.

She kept going back to some sure there were times and maybe all the way up to today. You know where she may get frustrated and she can rest and in the it's going to be okay. I think part of that you you said that there was she.

She had seen change in your character that gave her some confidence. There is a new you at play here, but it's also you. You're the one who brought the secret out of the darkness into the light and Dave to your point about somebody who needs to do it today.

There's a big difference whether you're the one who confesses your sin or whether it gets exposed later to get caught you and that's a big difference in terms of what the restoration and healing. Looks like I will come forward and you say, the Lord put this on my heart, my just another conviction of my bill.

Share this and I know this is going be hard for you to hear. But for you to bring that up is an indication even to your betrayed spouse that God's doing something and it's different than if your spouse hears five years later from your ex-girlfriend protects her and says you never knew this happen, but you and you get busted. Now it's harder to rebuild trust when when you were outed rather than you be in the one who who brought it to the table and I think one of the ways we start to read build trust is we demonstrate to one another that we understand what our priorities ought to be and we we start to show evidence that our spiritual life matters that home matters more than work. That's really the thesis of your book and it's a mentor God for men and women who need to make sure we've got our priorities in order.

You can go to our website family like to find out how to get a copy of Cory Carlson's book win at home first go to family life to order or call to order one 800 F. L. Today is our number again.

The website is family life you can also call 1-800-358-6329 order a copy of the book can that's one 800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today.

The book is called win at home first by Cory Carlson that were just a few days away from the end of May which is significant for us here at family life. We had some friends of the ministry who came to us back earlier this spring back before COBIT 19 was a thing really and they said we'd like to encourage family life today listers to support the ministry of family life. So we'll will match every donation the listener makes during the month of May, up to a total of $345,000 and we were delighted by that. And even more delighted. Once the pandemic settled in, because this is been a challenging time for us as a ministry over the last several weeks and so having this matching gift is very significant right now and were coming to those of you who are regular family life today listeners and asking you to make as generous a donation as you can today knowing that your donation is can be matched dollar for dollar right now, and anyone who makes a donation would love to send you as a thank you gift a copy of Barbara Rainey's new book, my heart ever. He is a collection of prayers that Barbara has written some beautiful book and I think a book that's gonna be helpful for you in your personal times with the Lord. In addition, if you sign on to become a monthly supporter of family life. What we call a legacy partner over the next 12 months.

Your donations are going to be matched dollar for dollar.

All of them and will send you as an extra thank you gift certificate so you and your spouse can attend an upcoming weekend to remember marriage get away when those resume in the fall, or you can pass that certificate onto someone else you'd like to send is your guest all of that is a thank you gift for becoming a monthly supporter of family life, a legacy partner you can make a donation or sign up as a legacy partner online. When you go to family life or if it's easier, just call us at one 800 FL today. Thank you for your ongoing support of this ministry. We appreciated your the one who makes family life today possible for people all around the world and were grateful for your partnership with us that tomorrow we want to talk about the priorities of life and how we arrange them properly so we'll talk about our spiritual life will talk about our relationships will talk about our physical bodies will talk about developing minds talk about our poor Carlson could be back with us tomorrow and be back as well. I want thinker engineer today. Keith Lynch along with our entire broadcast team on behalf of our hosts Dave and Ann Wilson on Poplar team. We will see you next time for another edition of family life today. Family life today is a production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas crew ministry help for today hope for tomorrow

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