The State of Affairs : Rethinking Infidelity
'Beautiful. A brilliantly intelligent plea for complexity, understanding, and - as always - kindness.' Alain de Botton'Esther Perel does nothing short of strip us of our deepest biases, remind us of our purpose in connecting as lovers, and save relationships that might otherwise sink into the sea-all with even-handed wisdom, fresh morality, and wise prose. Thank heavens for this woman.'Lena Dunham, author of Not That Kind of GirlIconic couples' therapist and bestselling author Esther Perel returns with a provocative look at relationships through the lens of infidelity.An affair: it can rob a couple of their relationship, their happiness, their very identity. Adultery has existed since marriage was invented, and so too have the prohibitions against it - in fact, adultery has a tenacity that marriage can only envy. And yet, this extremely common human experience is so poorly understood.What are we to make of this time-honored taboo - universally forbidden yet universally practiced? Why do people cheat? When we say 'infidelity', what exactly do we mean? 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? Psychotherapist Esther Perel is recognised as one of the most insightful and original voices on modern love. For the past ten years, she has worked with hundreds of couples who have grappled with infidelity. Betrayal hurts, she argues, but healing is possible. An affair can even be the doorway to a new marriage - with the same person. With the right approach, couples can learn from these tumultuous experiences, together or apart. Weaving real-life stories with incisive psychological and cultural analysis, Perel invites readers into a truly revealing exploration of modern marriage.
'Perel's beautiful new book asks us to pause and examine our prejudices and assumptions around affairs - and to hold off on our usual knee jerk attempts to approve or condemn. She wants, first and foremost, that we understand why infidelity happens and what really occurs when it does. Anyone who thinks they understand the topic already needs to read this book urgently. Perel's work amounts to a brilliantly intelligent plea for complexity, understanding and-always-kindness.' -- Alain de Botton