In Parts 1 and 2 of my radio conversation with Winston Bennett, you learned how the former NBA player-coach who had sex with thousands of women during his NBA years had been fired and nearly lost his marriage because of his sexual addiction. Now Winston Bennett tells us the unvarnished truth of how he repaired his marriage and recovered from sexual addiction through his 5-step cure.
HF: You’ve told us how you were fired as assistant coach for the Boston Celtics because of an inappropriate sexual relationship, and this forced you to tell your wife about your addiction to sex. After this heartbreaking revelation, your wife seemed super human to deal with the pain of repeated betrayal and stay with you. How did you repair and rebuild your marriage?
WB: I’d like to say that I did it, but turning to God helped me immensely by getting back to my roots of believing and trusting in God. And I’ve got a “God Woman” who showed me a godly-type love that I was unworthy to have. When I’ve done something wrong toward her, she is able to pick up the pieces and keep fighting.
Having the right friends also helped her, by telling her not what she wanted to hear but what she needed to hear: That it would be easy to run away from this, but it’s most difficult to stay in the fire with her husband and help him through it. Then you’ll see how your marriage will be strengthened because of it.
HF: Many couples say their marriage will never be the same after infidelity. That is true, yet you can make it better than ever if you re-dedicate yourselves to each other and to your relationship. Before you can do this, you have to face and treat your addiction to sex. Tell us about your 5-step cure.
BW: First step is the admission of your addiction. Once you’ve admitted you have a problem, the second step is to seek help from a qualified counselor with a background in sexual compulsiveness. Third step is to get back to the point of humility, which takes focus off your needs and onto others. Forth step is you begin helping others, which begins your own healing. Fifth step is to understand that you’re in this fight for the rest of your life, so keep fighting every day.
HF: You are taking step four by helping others through your mentorship program called Fight For Your Life. Who do you mentor?
WB: We go to juvenile centers, alternative schools and jails to find people who’ve made mistakes and who have been left for dead or forgotten. We give them a shot of encouragement, help them admit they’ve made a mistake and see how they can turn it around. It’s never too late while there’s still time on the clock.
HF: Recovering alcoholics must avoid alcohol. When you’re recovering from a sex addiction, what is your approach to sex?
WB: Monogamy is essential, and it’s what I’ve always wanted. I am now in a monogamous relationship with my wife, but it hasn’t been easy. I take a pair of boxing gloves around with me everywhere I go, to remind me that I am in a fight for my life. Sex has killed my NBA dreams. Now love will heal my life and relationship with my wife.
HF: Would you advise a single person to place their faith in a recovered sex addict for a long-term relationship?
WB: I’d advise them to place their faith in God, because that is where hope lies for any addict.
HF: You can find Winston, his book and mentorship program, Fight For Your Life, which he runs with his wife at www.WinstonBennett.net
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WB: I am now in a monogamous relationship with my wife, but it hasn’t been easy. I take a pair of boxing gloves around with me everywhere I go, to remind me that I am in a fight for my life. this is nothing to play around with. Sex has killed my dreams and love will heal us.
You must be monogamous to be with one special person. She has been my golden goose, making everything better that comes to her. Any time you can love through pain, you have great stuff inside you. What happens when the person who loved you is sharing himself with someone else. Can you love him through that pain?
and how you can help other people like we’re doing now in our book and mentorship program, Fight for Your Life: From Tragedy to Triumph. Our book goes through the pain of losing my job and possibly my family over this. It will bless you, help strengthen you and your marriage. You can find the book at WinstonBennett.net