(lifestyles) Rethinking Infidelity - Esther Perel, author of The State of Affairs

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http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and...infidelity

EXCERPT: [...] We went on to discuss the basic, inexorable reality that, as I put it to her, domesticity doesn’t do enormous amounts for desire, which is the conundrum Mating in Captivity tried to address. Until recently, Perel said, “the concept of passionate marriage was a contradiction in terms. We created a model where we want to reconcile two fundamentally different human needs in one relationship. And we think we can solve that with Victoria’s Secret, by the way…” She paused, her blue eyes twinkling: “And there’s no Victor’s Secret, right? This is an existential dilemma; everything eroticism thrives on, family life defends against. Family life wants consistency, repetition, routine, clear things where you know where you’re going to be tomorrow. Eroticism is a very different story. And sometimes people want both. They don’t want to leave what they have built, they just want to leave it on occasion.” In other words, monogamy without exclusivity.

[...] I asked Perel if she was surprised by the extent of the response to what she has to say—8.5 million people have watched her 2015 TED talk, “Rethinking Infidelity,” and she has received thousands of letters from “the wounded men and the straying women, the ones who are most foreclosed,” as she put it. “The experiences of infidelity are ubiquitous, and they are often very poorly understood,” she observed. “If I ask a general audience of 4,000 people how many of you have been affected by the experience of infidelity in your life, about 80 percent of the people raise their hands. There is this terror that if you talk about something you promote it, or you condone it, or you justify it, which I do not do. But I do try to understand it. And I try to hold people accountable to their better self, which I look for in everyone, although I do not assume everyone has. I’m not naïve in this.”

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