Couples therapist Esther Perel says relationships are crumbling under modern expectations. “We are asking one person to give us what once an entire village used to provide,” she says. Are these heightened expectations combined with our pursuit of happiness to blame for infidelity?
In Perel’s latest book The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity, she examines our personal and cultural attitudes about love, lust, and commitment. Perel, who is fluent in 9 languages, spent a decade traveling the globe and counseling couples who struggled with infidelity. She says an affair is an extremely common human experience, and yet it’s poorly understood. Betrayal hurts, she says, but it can be healed.
In this hour-long discussion with NPR’s Hanna Rosin (Invisibilia), Perel talks about the history of affairs, and how infidelity is often an attempt to reconnect with lost parts of ourselves.
Discover more about what’s discussed in this episode by clicking the links below.
- The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity, Esther Perel
- Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence, Esther Perel
- NPR’s Invisibilia
- Unfinished Business with Anne-Marie Slaughter
The “Aspen Ideas to Go” podcast is a weekly show featuring fascinating speakers who have presented at the Aspen Ideas Festival and other public programs offered by the Aspen Institute — including Aspen Words, the Alma and Joseph Gildenhorn Book Series, and various events around the country. For a curated listening experience, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or listen to each episode on the Aspen Ideas website.