Iconic couplesâ€™ therapist and bestselling author of Mating in Captivity, Esther Perel returns with a provocative look at relationships through the lens of infidelity.
Affairs, she argues, have a lot to teach us about the human heart â€” what we expect, what we think we want, and what we feel entitled to. They offer a unique window into our personal and cultural attitudes about love, lust, and commitment. Through examining illicit love from multiple angles, Perel invites readers into an honest, enlightened, and entertaining exploration of modern marriage in its many variations.
An affair: it can rob a couple of their relationship, their happiness, their very identity. And yet, this extremely common human experience is so poorly understood. Adultery has existed since marriage was invented, and so too the prohibition against it-in fact, it has a tenacity that marriage can only envy. So what are we to make of this time-honored taboo-universally forbidden yet universally practiced? Why do people cheat â€” even those in happy marriages? Why does an affair hurt so much? When we say infidelity, what exactly do we mean? Do our romantic expectations of marriage set us up for betrayal? Is there such a thing as an affair-proof marriage? Is it possible to love more than one person at once? Can an affair ever help a marriage? Perel weaves real-life case stories with incisive psychological and cultural analysis in this fast-paced and compelling book.
For the past ten years, Perel has traveled the globe and worked with hundreds of couples who have grappled with infidelity. Betrayal hurts, she writes, but it can be healed. An affair can even be the doorway to a new marriage â€” with the same person. With the right approach, couples can grow and learn from these tumultuous experiences, together or apart.
Fiercely intelligent, The State of Affairs provides a daring framework for understanding the intricacies of love and desire. As Perel observes, â€œLove is messy; infidelity more so. But it is also a window, like no other, into the crevices of the human heart.â€
Esther Perel has devoted her entire professional life to helping people build thriving relationships. She believes that the quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives. Since arriving as a graduate student in the United States, Perel has examined the concept from myriad angles: the nature of cultural and religious identity, the negotiation between tradition and modernity, the ebb and flow between individualism and collectivism. She observed interracial and interreligious couples; the cultural forces that affect gender roles; practices of childrearing; and ultimately, the tensions, obstacles, and anxieties that arise when our quest for love and security conflicts with our pursuit of adventure and freedom.
Today, Perel is best known as the host of the wildly popular podcast Where Should We Begin? This fascinating, inside look at Perel’s sessions with real-life couples has unlocked a deep-seated cultural interest in hashing these issues out openly in order to live better lives. However, it has also unlocked within Perel the understanding that her years of study and practice go beyond the romantic, and that the lessons she has learned can be applied to relationships of all kinds, in all environments. The same principles used to create an open, balanced relationship with one’s significant other can be applied to our co-workers, our bosses, and our world at large.
New York Times best-selling author Esther Perel is recognized as one of today’s most insightful and original voices on modern relationships. As a psychotherapist, Perel has helmed a therapy practice in New York City for more than 35 years. In parallel, she serves as an organizational consultant for Fortune 500 companies around the world. Fluent in nine languages, Perel’s celebrated TED talks have garnered more than 40 million views and her best-selling books have been translated into 31 languages. Perel is an executive producer and host of the award-winning podcast Where Should We Begin? Her new podcast How’s Work? focuses on workplace dynamics and can be enjoyed on Spotify or other podcast providers.
Financial: Esther Perel maintains a private practice. She has employment relationships with Columbia University, Ackerman Institute for the Family, Norwegian Institute for the Expressive Arts Therapies, and 92nd Street Y. She receives royalties as a published author. Esther Perel receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Esther Perel is a member of the American Family Therapy Academy, The Society for Sex Therapy and Research, and the American Association for Sex Educators, Counsellors and Therapists.
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