Esther Perel

June 9, 2014 - Esther Perel 06/09/2014 Views: 15,469

"Mating in Captivity" author Esther Perel explores the complex and often unconscious desires that can drive people to have affairs. (6:00)

>> WELCOME BACK, EVERYBODY. MYGUEST TONIGHT IS A FAMILY

THERAPIST WHO STUDIES WHY PEOPLEHAVE AFFAIRS.

I HOPE YOU'RE WATCHING WITHSOMEONE YOU ARE PRETEND TO LOVE

PLEASE WELCOME ESTHER PEREL.

MS. PEREL, THANK YOU SO MUCH FORCOMING ON.

GOOD TO SEE YOU.

ALL RIGHT.

YOUNG LADY, BESIDES BEING THEAUTHOR OF THE BOOK

"MATING IN ACTIVITY: UNLOCKINGEROTIC INTELLIGENCE," YOU'RE A

COUPLES AND FAMILY THERAPIST INNEW YORK CITY AND YOU SPECIALIZE

WITH PEOPLE HAVING AFFAIRS ANDYOU ACTUALLY IN THE PAST YEAR

YOU EXPLODED ON THE WEB WITH ATED TALK YOU GAVE ABOUT WHY

PEOPLE HAVE AFFAIRS AND HOW THEKEEP RELATIONSHIPS FRESH.

ESPECIALLY SEXUALLY.

4.5 MILLION PEOPLE HAVE WATCHEDIT.

ALL RIGHT.

SO I'LL BITE.

ALL RIGHT.[LAUGHTER]

WHICH IS HOW I KEEP THINGSFRESH.

WHY DO PEOPLE HAVE AFFAIRS?

AND DO YOU THINK IT'S OKAY FORTHEM TO HAVE THEM?

[LAUGHTER]>> I'LL START FROM THE SECOND

PART.

>> Stephen: OKAY.

>> AN AFFAIR IS A BETRAYAL.

AN AFFAIR IS A VIOLATION OFTRUST THAT IS NEVER OKAY.

>> Stephen: OKAY SO NEVER HAVEAN AFFAIR.

>> BUT PEOPLE DO.

AND THEY HAVE HAD AFFAIRS SINCEMARRIAGE WAS INVENTED.

SO MUCH SO, YOU'RE LOOKING AT MESTRANGE.

>> Stephen: NO NOT AT ALL.

I'M WAITING FOR THE OTHER SHOETO DROP HERE.

SO FAR NOTHING TOOCONTROVERSIAL.

>> NO.

SO THE INTERESTING THING FOR MEIN TRYING TO UNDERSTAND

INFIDELITY IS TO LOOK AT THEFACT THAT PEOPLE EXPRESS THEIR

DISCONTENT OR THEIR LONELINESSOR THEIR SEXUAL FRUSTRATIONS AND

THAT THAT LEADS THEM TO BEUNFAITHFUL IS NOT SO DIFFICULT.

WHAT STRIKES ME IS WHY HAPPYPEOPLE CHEAT, WHY PEOPLE WHO ARE

ACTUALLY LOVING THEIR PARTNERAND ARE COMMITTED TO THEIR

FAMILY, TO THEIR CHILDREN, TOTHE PROJECT THAT THEY CREATED

TOGETHER ALSO FIND THEMSELVESSTRAYING, WHY THEY END UP SOME

DAY CROSSING A LINE THAT THEYNEVER THOUGHT THEY WOULD CROSS.

AND THEN THE QUESTION IS FOR AGLIMMER OF WHAT?

WHAT IS IT THAT THEY'RE ACTUALLYLONGING FOR, SEEKING?

>> Stephen: I THINK THEY'RESEEKING SEX.

>> ACTUALLY, NO.

>> Stephen: NO?

>> NO.

>> Stephen: NO.

>> NO.

I THINK IT'S A VERY EASY THINGTHAT WE OFTEN WANT TO THINK THAT

AFFAIRS ARE ABOUT SEX.

AFFAIRS ARE VERY LITTLE ABOUTSEX AND A LOT ABOUT DESIRE.

AFFAIRS ARE...

>> Stephen: DESIRE FOR...

>> DESIRE FOR ATTENTION, DESIRETO EXPERIENCE A SENSE OF

ALIVENESS, VIBRANCE, VITALITY.

>> Stephen: IN THE GROINALAREA.

>> THE GROINAL AREA IS A VERYNARROW VIEW OF WHERE SEX TAKES

PLACE.

>> Stephen: SOME OF THEM AREWIDER THAN OTHERS.

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]PLEASE.

GO AHEAD.

OKAY.

>> , SO YOU KNOW...

>> Stephen: SO HAPPY PEOPLEHAVE AFFAIRS.

>> YES.

BECAUSE SOMETIMES WE DON'T ONLYLEAVE A PARTNER BECAUSE WE WANT

TO FIND SOMEBODY ELSE, BUTSOMETIMES WE ACTUALLY WANT TO

FIND ANOTHER SELF.

>> Stephen: FIND ANOTHER SELF?

>> YES.

THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT AFFAIRSTHAT ALLOWS PEOPLE TO RECONNECT

WITH LOST PARTS OF THEMSELVES.

>> Stephen: OH, SO, "HONEY,I WASN'T PUSHING YOU AWAY, I WAS

JUST PULLING ME TOWARDS MYSELF."

I WASN'T ACTUALLY CHEATING ONYOU, I WAS FINDING ME.

THAT'S A GREAT LINE.

>> I WAS DOING BOTH.

YOU CHEAT AND YOU FIND YOU.

THE STRANGE THING, THE PAINFULTHING ABOUT AFFAIRS IS THAT IT'S

A DUAL STORY.

WHILE ONE PERSON IS EXPERIENCINGEXPANSION AND GROWTH AND

ALIVENESS, ONCE IT IS KNOWN, THEOTHER PERSON EXPERIENCE UTTER

DEVASTATION AND PAIN ANDTRAUMA AND THESE TWO ARE

COEXISTING SIDE BY SIDE.

SHOULD YOU TELL YOURPARTNER YOU HAD AN AFFAIR?

>> YOU KNOW, BEFORE YOU TELL,ASK YOURSELF... THAT'S ONE OF

THE MOST COMPLICATED QUESTIONS,TELLING OR NOT TELLING, AND WHAT

IS IT YOU TELL?

DO YOU EXPLAIN THE MEANING OFWHAT HAS JUST HAPPENED, OR DO

YOU EXPLAIN THE SORDID DETAILS?

BUT BEFORE YOU TELL, YOU ASKYOURSELF, WHO IS THIS FOR?

IS THIS TO UNLOAD MY BADCONSCIENCE OR IS THIS REALLY

BECAUSE I'M THINKING ABOUT THEWELL-BEING OF MY PARTNER.

BEFORE YOU TELL, ASK YOURSELF,DOES YOUR PARTNER ACTUALLY WANT

TO KNOW?

AND BEFORE YOU TELL, ASKYOURSELF WHETHER YOU'D LIKE TO

LIVE WITH THE CONSEQUENCES OFKNOWING.

IT'S A VERY COMPLICATED THINGTHIS TELLING BUSINESS.

>> Stephen: SO DON'T TELL.

>> NO.

THINK.

[LAUGHTER]>> Stephen: COMPLICATED.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: NOW, WHATCONSTITUTES AN AFFAIR?

I AM IN A LOVING, COMMITTEDRELATIONSHIP WITH MY WIFE

LORRAINE.

AND LORRAINE'S A WONDERFULWOMAN, I LOVE HER, AND IT'S VERY

FRESH, BUT FOR NINE YEARS I'VEHAD A HOT AND SLOPPY

RELATIONSHIP WITH THESE PEOPLEOUT HERE.

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]IS AN AFFAIR ALWAYS PHYSICAL OR

CAN IT BE JUST EMOTIONAL?

>> AN AFFAIR CAN BE THE WHOLEMYRIAD OF THINGS.

IT CAN BE A FANTASY.

IT CAN BE INACTIVE.

IT CAN BE PHYSICAL.

IT CAN BE EMOTIONAL.

IT CAN BE SEXUAL AND IT CAN BEJUST FANTASIZED.

WHAT CONSTITUTES AN AFFAIR ISTHE ACTUAL BETRAYAL OF

THE TRUST, NOT THE BEHAVIOR.

FOR SOME PEOPLE, A ONE-NIGHTSTAND IS NO LESS PAINFUL THAN A

30-YEAR PARALLEL LIFE.

WHAT CONSTITUTES IT IS THEBREACH OF TRUST, NOT WHAT YOU'VE

ACTUALLY BEEN DOING WITH THESEPEOPLE FOR NINE YEARS.

>> Stephen: THAT'S BETWEEN MEAND THEM.

ALL RIGHT.

ESTHER PEREL, THANK YOU SO MUCHFOR JOINING ME.

MATING IN CAPTIVITY, ESTHERPEREL.

CHECK HER OUT.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.