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What Sleeping With Married Men Taught Me About Infidelity

Why a divorced 49 woman seeks sex with married men?

I’m not sure it’s possible to justify my liaisons with married men, but what I learned from having them warrants discussion.

Not between the wives and me, though I would be interested to hear their side. No, this discussion should happen between wives and husbands, annually, the way we inspect the tire tread on the family car to avoid accidents.

A few years ago, while living in London, I dated married men for companionship while I processed the grief of being newly divorced.

I hadn’t sought out married men specifically. When I created a profile on Tinder and OkCupid, saying I was looking for no-strings-attached encounters, plenty of single men messaged me and I got together with several of them. But many married men messaged me too.

After being married for 23 years, I wanted sex but not a relationship. This is dicey because you can’t always control emotional attachments when body chemicals mix, but with the married men I guessed that the fact that they had wives, children and mortgages would keep them from going overboard with their affections.

And I was right. They didn’t get overly attached, and neither did I. We were safe bets for each other.

I was careful about the men I met. I wanted to make sure they had no interest in leaving their wives or otherwise threatening all they had built together. In a couple of cases, the men I met were married to women who had become disabled and could no longer be sexual, but the husbands remained devoted to them

All told I communicated with maybe a dozen men during that time in my life, and had sex with fewer than half. Others I texted or talked with, which sometimes felt nearly as intimate.

Before I met each man I would ask: “Why are you doing this?” I wanted assurance that all he desired was sex.

What surprised me was that these husbands weren’t looking to have more sex. They were looking to have any sex.

I met one man whose wife had implicitly consented to her husband having a lover because she was no longer interested in sex, at all. They both, to some degree, got what they needed without having to give up what they wanted.

But the other husbands I met would have preferred to be having sex with their wives. For whatever reason, that wasn’t happening.

I know what it feels like to go off sex, and I know what it’s like to want more than my partner. It’s also a tall order to have sex with the same person for more years than our ancestors ever hoped to live. Then, at menopause, a woman’s hormones suddenly drop and her desire can wane.

At 49, I was just about there myself, and terrified of losing my desire for sex. Men don’t have this drastic change. So we have an imbalance, an elephant-size problem, so burdensome and shameful we can scarcely muster the strength to talk about it. (Many men do Not necessarily want intercourse, just feeling cuddled and warm in pretty women embraces, so that they can go out together, bras dessus, bras dessous, and have fun)

Maybe the reason some wives aren’t having sex with their husbands is because, as women age, we long for a different kind of sex. I know I did, which is what led me down this path of illicit encounters. After all, nearly as many women are initiating affairs as men.

If you read the work of Esther Perel, the author of the recently published book “State of Affairs,” you’ll learn that, for many wives, sex outside of marriage is their way of breaking free from being the responsible spouses and mothers they have to be at home. Married sex, for them, often feels obligatory. An affair is adventure.

Meanwhile, the husbands I spent time with would have been fine with obligatory sex. For them, adventure wasn’t the main reason for their adultery.

The first time I saw my favorite married man pick up his pint of beer, the sleeve of his well-tailored suit pulled back from his wrist to reveal a geometric kaleidoscope of tattoos. He was cleanshaven and well mannered with a little rebel yell underneath. The night I saw the full canvas of his tattoo masterpiece, we drank prosecco, listened to ’80s music and, yes, had sex. We also talked.

I asked him: “What if you said to your wife, ‘Look, I love you and the kids but I need sex in my life. Can I just have the occasional fling or a casual affair?’”

He sighed. “I don’t want to hurt her,” he said. “She’s been out of the work force for 10 years, raising our kids and trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life. If I asked her that kind of question, it would kill her.”

“So you don’t want to hurt her, but you lie to her instead. Personally, I’d rather know.”

Well, maybe I would rather know. My own marriage had not broken up over an affair so I couldn’t easily put myself in her position.

It’s not necessarily a lie if you don’t confess the truth,” he said. “It’s kinder to stay silent.” (Thus, the Silent Majority don’t feel they are lying to anyone?)

“I’m just saying I couldn’t do that. I don’t want to be afraid of talking honestly about my sex life with the man I’m married to, and that includes being able to at least raise the subject of sex outside of marriage.”

“Good luck with that!” he said.

“We go into marriage assuming we’ll be monogamous,” I said, “but then we get restless. We don’t want to split up, but we need to feel more sexually alive. Why break up the family if we could just accept the occasional affair?”

He laughed. “How about we stop talking about it before this affair stops being fun?” (This is a case when women have sex as a preamble to interrogating their partners. In few instances, it is the way around for men)

I never convinced any husband that he could be honest about what he was doing. But they were mostly good-natured about it, like a patient father responding to a child who keeps asking, “Why, why, why?”

Maybe I was being too pragmatic about issues that are loaded with guilt, resentment and fear. (As in all issues?)

After all, it’s far easier to talk theoretically about marriage than to navigate it.

But my attitude is that if my spouse were to need something I couldn’t give him, I wouldn’t keep him from getting it elsewhere, as long as he did so in a way that didn’t endanger our family. (A convoluted sentence that obscure its meaning)

I suppose I would hope his needs would involve fishing trips or beers with friends. But sex is basic.

Physical intimacy with other human beings is essential to our health and well-being. So how do we deny such a need to the one we care about most? If our primary relationship nourishes and stabilizes us but lacks intimacy, we shouldn’t have to destroy our marriage to get that intimacy somewhere else. Should we? (if we state it that way that sex is basic)

I didn’t have a full-on affair with the tattooed husband. We slept together maybe four times over a few years. More often we talked on the phone. I never felt possessive, just curious and happy to be in his company.

After our second night together, though, I could tell this was about more than sex for him; he was desperate for affection. He said he wanted to be close to his wife but couldn’t because they were unable to get past their fundamental disconnect: lack of sex, which led to a lack of closeness, which made sex even less likely and then turned into resentment and blame. (the contentment after sex may last a day, but the exacerbation deepens later on)

We all go through phases of wanting it and not wanting it. I doubt most women avoid having sex with their husbands because they lack physical desire in general; we are simply more complex sexual animals.

Which is why men can get an erection from a pill but there’s no way to medically induce arousal and desire in women. (Not sure about that statement. Men have practically no physical sexual arousal places, but when a pretty woman tells him, pretty much directly, “I want you”, his brain execute what is demanded from him)

I am not saying the answer is non-monogamy, which can be rife with risks and unintended entanglements. I believe the answer is honesty and dialogue, no matter how frightening. (Dialogue with a woman is troublesome and fraught with traps?)

Lack of sex in marriage is common, and it shouldn’t lead to shame and silence. By the same token, an affair doesn’t have to lead to the end of a marriage. What if an affair — or, ideally, simply the urge to have one — can be the beginning of a necessary conversation about sex and intimacy? (Excellent with outside companions)

What these husbands couldn’t do was have the difficult discussion with their wives that would force them to tackle the issues at the root of their cheating. (Just a reminder that psychoanalysis is a fraudulent “subjective” science)

They tried to convince me they were being kind by keeping their affairs secret. They seemed to have convinced themselves. But deception and lying are ultimately corrosive, not kind. (To oneself, but Not the relationship)

In the end, I had to wonder if what these men couldn’t face was something else altogether: hearing why their wives no longer wanted to have sex with them. (Not clear. We need to confess with a stranger, and thus we select someone that has more compassion and expertise in life to comprehend our behaviors? Or to clarify what we are afraid of?)

It’s much easier, after all, to set up an account on Tinder.

Facts about infidelity? Are you in the mood for further surprises?

Love isn’t so much an emotion, says biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, as it is a brain system, one of three that’s related to mating and reproduction. It’s those other two systems that explain why human beings are capable of infidelity even as we so highly value love.

Here Fisher explains more about cheating — why it occurs, how common it is and how a study shows it could potentially correlate to a gene

1. Pairbonding is a hallmark of humanity.

Data from the Demographic Yearbooks of the United Nations on 97 societies between 1947 and 1992 indicate that approximately 93.1% of women and 91.8% of men marry by age 49. More recent data indicates that some 85% of Americans will eventually marry.

Further reading:

2. However, monogamy is only part of the human reproductive strategy.

Infidelity is also widespread. Current studies of American couples indicate that 20 to 40% of heterosexual married men and 20 to 25% of heterosexual married women will also have an extramarital affair during their lifetime.

Further reading:

3. Brain architecture may contribute to infidelity.

Human beings have three primary brain systems related to love.

1) The sex drive evolved to motivate individuals to seek copulation with a range of partners; (Why do I lack this fantastic drive? I need a rebirth, quick)

2) romantic love evolved to motivate individuals to focus their mating energy on specific partners, thereby conserving courtship time and metabolic energy; (I like converters. Particularly catalysts)

3) partner attachment evolved to motivate mating individuals to remain together at least long enough to rear a single child through infancy together. ( On the basis that raising a first child is the most unhappy of events soon after giving birth)

These three basic neural systems interact with one another and other brain systems in myriad flexible, combinatorial patterns to provide the range of motivations, emotions and behaviors necessary to orchestrate our complex human reproductive strategy.

But this brain architecture makes it biologically possible to express deep feelings of attachment for one partner, while one feels intense romantic love for another individual, while one feels the sex drive for even more extra-dyadic partners. (A multifunctional system, working in absolute parallel modes)

Further reading:

4. Infidelity has been a reality across cultures. It was also common among the classical Greeks and Romans, pre-industrial Europeans, historical Japanese, Chinese and Hindus and among the traditional Inuit of the arctic, Kuikuru of the jungles of Brazil, Kofyar of Nigeria, Turu of Tanzania and many other tribal societies.

Further reading:

5. There are different types of infidelity. (Better, a taxonomy for infidelity?)

Researchers have broadened the definition of infidelity to include sexual infidelity (sexual exchange with no romantic involvement), romantic infidelity (romantic exchanges with no sexual involvement) and sexual and romantic involvement.

Further reading:

6. Myriad psychological, cultural and economic variables play a role in the frequency and expression of infidelity. But one thing is clear: infidelity is a worldwide phenomenon that occurs with remarkable regularity, despite near universal disapproval of this behavior.

  • Infidelity: who, when, why,” by Irene Tsapelas, Helen Fisher and Arthur Aron in The Dark Side of Close Relationships II
  • 7. Mate poaching is a pronounced trend. In a recent survey of single American men and women, 60% of men and 53% of women admitted to “mate poaching,” trying to woo an individual away from a committed relationship to begin a relationship with them instead.
  • Mate poaching is also common in 30 other cultures.Further reading:

    8. Infidelity doesn’t necessarily signal an unhappy relationship. Regardless of the correlation between relationship dissatisfaction and adultery, among individuals engaging in infidelity in one study, 56% of men and 34% of women rated their marriage as “happy” or “very happy,” suggesting that genetics may also play a role in philandering.

    Further reading:

    • Sex differences in type of extramarital involvement and marital dissatisfaction,” by Shirley Glass and Thomas Wright in Sex Roles
    • Infidelity: who, when, why,” by Irene Tsapelas, Helen Fisher and Arthur Aron in The Dark Side of Close Relationships II
    • 9. Studies show the possibility of a gene that correlates to infidelity. In 2008, Walum and colleagues investigated whether the various genes affect pair-bonding behavior in humans; 552 couples were examined; all had been married or co-habiting for at least five years.
    • Men carrying the 334 vasopressin allele in a specific region of the vasopressin system scored significantly lower on the Partner Bonding Scale, indicating less feelings of attachment to their spouse. Moreover, their scores were dose dependent: those carrying two of these genes showed the lowest scores, followed by those carrying only one allele. Men carrying the 334 gene also experienced more marital crisis (including threat of divorce) during the past year, and men with two copies of this gene were approximately twice as likely to have had a marital crisis than those who had inherited either one or no copies of this allele.
    • Last, the partners of men with one or two copies of this gene scored significantly lower on questionnaires measuring marital satisfaction. This study did not measure infidelity directly, but it did measure several factors likely to contribute to infidelity.Further reading:

      10. Several scientists have offered theories for the evolution of human adultery. I have proposed that during prehistory, philandering males disproportionately reproduced, selecting for the biological underpinnings of the roving eye in contemporary men. Unfaithful females reaped economic resources from their extra-dyadic partnerships, as well as additional males to help with parenting duties if their primary partner died or deserted them.

    • Moreover, if an ancestral woman bore a child with this extra-marital partner, she also increased genetic variety in her descendants.
    • Infidelity had unconscious biological payoffs for both males and females throughout prehistory, thus perpetuating the biological underpinnings and taste for infidelity in both sexes today.
    • (So, here is why Homo sapiens species prevailed over all the other Neo-Cortex species)
    • Helen Fisher is a biological anthropologist who studies the brain in love. She is the Chief Scientific Advisor for dating site Match.com and the author of five books on love, sex and relationships, including Why Him? Why Her?: How to Find and Keep Lasting Love.
  • Patsy Z shared TED link

    “Infidelity doesn’t necessarily signal an unhappy relationship,” and more surprising facts from Helen Fisher:

    Anthropologist Helen Fisher studies what happens in the brain when we’re in love.
    Here she gives 10 facts about why we cheat.
    t.ted.com

 Rethinking infidelity? How often and for what purpose?

Why do we cheat? And why do happy people cheat?

And when we say “infidelity,” what exactly do we mean? (What’s an affair?)

Is it a hook-up, a love story, paid sex, a chat room, a massage with a happy ending? (Many don’t care to discriminate among the many ways we feel that we cheated)

Why do we think that men cheat out of boredom and fear of intimacy, but women cheat out of loneliness and hunger for intimacy?  (Women cheat more mentally and will never admit their escapades)

And is an affair always the end of a relationship?

For the past 10 years, I have traveled the globe and worked extensively with hundreds of couples who have been shattered by infidelity. There is one simple act of transgression that can rob a couple of their relationship, their happiness and their very identity: an affair.

And yet, this extremely common act is so poorly understood. So this talk is for anyone who has ever loved.

1:28 Adultery has existed since marriage was invented, and so, too, the taboo against it.

In fact, infidelity has a tenacity that marriage can only envy, so much so, that this is the only commandment that is repeated twice in the Bible: once for doing it, and once just for thinking about it. (Laughter) So how do we reconcile what is universally forbidden, yet universally practiced?

Throughout history, men practically had a license to cheat with little consequence, and supported by a host of biological and evolutionary theories that justified their need to roam, so the double standard is as old as adultery itself.

But who knows what’s really going on under the sheets there, right?

Because when it comes to sex, the pressure for men is to boast and to exaggerate, but the pressure for women is to hide, minimize and deny, which isn’t surprising when you consider that there are still 9 countries where women can be killed for straying.

Monogamy used to be one person for life. Today, monogamy is one person at a time. (That’s why temporary marriage contracts are legally made for)

3:03 I mean, many of you probably have said, “I am monogamous in all my relationships.” (Laughter)

We used to marry, and had sex for the first time.

But now we marry, and we stop having sex with others. The fact is that monogamy had nothing to do with love. Men relied on women’s fidelity in order to know whose children these are, and who gets the cows when I die.

Everyone wants to know what percentage of people cheat. I’ve been asked that question since I arrived at this conference. 

It applies to you. But the definition of infidelity keeps on expanding: sexting, watching porn, staying secretly active on dating apps.

So because there is NO universally agreed-upon definition of what even constitutes an infidelity, estimates vary widely, from 26 percent to 75%t. But on top of it, we are walking contradictions.

So 95% of us will say that it is terribly wrong for our partner to lie about having an affair, but just about the same amount of us will say that that’s exactly what we would do if we were having one. (Laughter)

 I like this definition of an affair — it brings together the three key elements: a secretive relationship, which is the core structure of an affair; an emotional connection to one degree or another; and a sexual alchemy.

And alchemy is the key word here, because the erotic frisson is such that the kiss that you only imagine giving, can be as powerful and as enchanting as hours of actual lovemaking.

As Marcel Proust said, it’s our imagination that is responsible for love, not the other person.

It’s never been easier to cheat, and it’s never been more difficult to keep a secret.

And never has infidelity exacted such a psychological toll. When marriage was an economic enterprise, infidelity threatened our economic security. But now that marriage is a romantic arrangement, infidelity threatens our emotional security. Ironically, we used to turn to adultery — that was the space where we sought pure love. But now that we seek love in marriage, adultery destroys it.

There are 3 ways that I think infidelity hurts differently today.

We have a romantic ideal in which we turn to one person to fulfill an endless list of needs: to be my greatest lover, my best friend, the best parent, my trusted confidant, my emotional companion, my intellectual equal. And I am it: I’m chosen, I’m unique, I’m indispensable, I’m irreplaceable, I’m the one. And infidelity tells me I’m not. It is the ultimate betrayal. Infidelity shatters the grand ambition of love.

But if throughout history, infidelity has always been painful, today it is often traumatic, because it threatens our sense of self.

6:56 So my patient Fernando, he’s plagued. He goes on: “I thought I knew my life. I thought I knew who you were, who we were as a couple, who I was. Now, I question everything.” (Great news and a great benefit)  Infidelity — a violation of trust, a crisis of identity. “Can I ever trust you again?” he asks. “Can I ever trust anyone again?”

And this is also what my patient Heather is telling me, when she’s talking to me about her story with Nick. Married, two kids. Nick just left on a business trip, and Heather is playing on his iPad with the boys, when she sees a message appear on the screen: “Can’t wait to see you.” Strange, she thinks, we just saw each other. And then another message: “Can’t wait to hold you in my arms.”

And Heather realizes these are not for her. She also tells me that her father had affairs, but her mother, she found one little receipt in the pocket, and a little bit of lipstick on the collar.

Heather, she goes digging, and she finds hundreds of messages, and photos exchanged and desires expressed. The vivid details of Nick’s two-year affair unfold in front of her in real time, And it made me think: Affairs in the digital age are death by a thousand cuts.

8:26 But then we have another paradox that we’re dealing with these days.

Because of this romantic ideal, we are relying on our partner’s fidelity with a unique fervor.

But we also have never been more inclined to stray, and not because we have new desires today, but because we live in an era where we feel that we are entitled to pursue our desires, because this is the culture where I deserve to be happy.

And if we used to divorce because we were unhappy, today we divorce because we could be happier.

And if divorce carried all the shame, today, choosing to stay when you can leave is the new shame. So Heather, she can’t talk to her friends because she’s afraid that they will judge her for still loving Nick, and everywhere she turns, she gets the same advice: Leave him. Throw the dog on the curb. And if the situation were reversed, Nick would be in the same situation. Staying is the new shame.

 So if we can divorce, why do we still have affairs?

Now, the typical assumption is that if someone cheats, either there’s something wrong in your relationship or wrong with you.

But millions of people can’t all be pathological. The logic goes like this: If you have everything you need at home, then there is no need to go looking elsewhere, assuming that there is such a thing as a perfect marriage that will inoculate us against wanderlust. But what if passion has a finite shelf life? What if there are things that even a good relationship can never provide? If even happy people cheat, what is it about?

The vast majority of people that I actually work with are not at all chronic philanderers. They are often people who are deeply monogamous in their beliefs, and at least for their partner.

But they find themselves in a conflict between their values and their behavior.

They often are people who have actually been faithful for decades, but one day they cross a line that they never thought they would cross, and at the risk of losing everything.

But for a glimmer of what? Affairs are an act of betrayal, and they are also an expression of longing and loss.

At the heart of an affair, you will often find a longing and a yearning for an emotional connection, for novelty, for freedom, for autonomy, for sexual intensity, a wish to recapture lost parts of ourselves or an attempt to bring back vitality in the face of loss and tragedy.

11:33 I’m thinking about another patient of mine, Priya, who is blissfully married, loves her husband, and would never want to hurt the man. But she also tells me that she’s always done what was expected of her: good girl, good wife, good mother, taking care of her immigrant parents. Priya, she fell for the arborist who removed the tree from her yard after Hurricane Sandy. And with his truck and his tattoos, he’s quite the opposite of her.

But at 47, Priya’s affair is about the adolescence that she never had. And her story highlights for me that when we seek the gaze of another, it isn’t always our partner that we are turning away from, but the person that we have ourselves become. And it isn’t so much that we’re looking for another person, as much as we are looking for another self.

12:38 Now, all over the world, there is one word that people who have affairs always tell me. They feel alive. And they often will tell me stories of recent losses — of a parent who died, and a friend that went too soon, and bad news at the doctor.

Death and mortality often live in the shadow of an affair, because they raise these questions. Is this it? Is there more? Am I going on for another 25 years like this? Will I ever feel that thing again? And it has led me to think that perhaps these questions are the ones that propel people to cross the line, and that some affairs are an attempt to beat back deadness, in an antidote to death.

13:32 And contrary to what you may think, affairs are way less about sex, and a lot more about desire: desire for attention, desire to feel special, desire to feel important. And the very structure of an affair, the fact that you can never have your lover, keeps you wanting. That in itself is a desire machine, because the incompleteness, the ambiguity, keeps you wanting that which you can’t have.

14:04 Now some of you probably think that affairs don’t happen in open relationships, but they do. First of all, the conversation about monogamy is not the same as the conversation about infidelity. But the fact is that it seems that even when we have the freedom to have other sexual partners, we still seem to be lured by the power of the forbidden, that if we do that which we are not supposed to do, then we feel like we are really doing what we want to.

And I’ve also told quite a few of my patients that if they could bring into their relationships one tenth of the boldness, the imagination and the verve that they put into their affairs, they probably would never need to see me. (Laughter)

14:55 So how do we heal from an affair? Desire runs deep. Betrayal runs deep. But it can be healed. And some affairs are death knells for relationships that were already dying on the vine. But others will jolt us into new possibilities.

The fact is, the majority of couples who have experienced affairs stay together. But some of them will merely survive, and others will actually be able to turn a crisis into an opportunity. They’ll be able to turn this into a generative experience. And I’m actually thinking even more so for the deceived partner, who will often say, “You think I didn’t want more? But I’m not the one who did it.”

But now that the affair is exposed, they, too, get to claim more, and they no longer have to uphold the status quo that may not have been working for them that well, either.

15:55 I’ve noticed that a lot of couples, in the immediate aftermath of an affair, because of this new disorder that may actually lead to a new order, will have depths of conversations with honesty and openness that they haven’t had in decades. And, partners who were sexually indifferent find themselves suddenly so lustfully voracious, they don’t know where it’s coming from. Something about the fear of loss will rekindle desire, and make way for an entirely new kind of truth.

16:29 So when an affair is exposed, what are some of the specific things that couples can do? We know from trauma that healing begins when the perpetrator acknowledges their wrongdoing. So for the partner who had the affair, for Nick, one thing is to end the affair, but the other is the essential, important act of expressing guilt and remorse for hurting his wife.

But the truth is that I have noticed that quite a lot of people who have affairs may feel terribly guilty for hurting their partner, but they don’t feel guilty for the experience of the affair itself. And that distinction is important. And Nick, he needs to hold vigil for the relationship. He needs to become, for a while, the protector of the boundaries. It’s his responsibility to bring it up, because if he thinks about it, he can relieve Heather from the obsession, and from having to make sure that the affair isn’t forgotten, and that in itself begins to restore trust.

17:38 But for Heather, or deceived partners, it is essential to do things that bring back a sense of self-worth, to surround oneself with love and with friends and activities that give back joy and meaning and identity.

But even more important, is to curb the curiosity to mine for the sordid details Where were you? Where did you do it? How often? Is she better than me in bed? — questions that only inflict more pain, and keep you awake at night. And instead, switch to what I call the investigative questions, the ones that mine the meaning and the motives — What did this affair mean for you? What were you able to express or experience there that you could no longer do with me? What was it like for you when you came home? What is it about us that you value? Are you pleased this is over?

18:37 Every affair will redefine a relationship, and every couple will determine what the legacy of the affair will be. But affairs are here to stay, and they’re not going away. And the dilemmas of love and desire, they don’t yield just simple answers of black and white and good and bad, and victim and perpetrator. Betrayal in a relationship comes in many forms. There are many ways that we betray our partner: with contempt, with neglect, with indifference, with violence. Sexual betrayal is only one way to hurt a partner. In other words, the victim of an affair is not always the victim of the marriage.

19:28 Now, you’ve listened to me, and I know what you’re thinking: She has a French accent, she must be pro-affair. (Laughter) So, you’re wrong. I am not French. (Laughter) (Applause) And I’m not pro-affair. But because I think that good can come out of an affair, I have often been asked this very strange question: Would I ever recommend it?

Now, I would no more recommend you have an affair than I would recommend you have cancer, and yet we know that people who have been ill often talk about how their illness has yielded them a new perspective. The main question that I’ve been asked since I arrived at this conference when I said I would talk about infidelity is, for or against? I said, “Yes.” (Laughter)

20:32 I look at affairs from a dual perspective: hurt and betrayal on one side, growth and self-discovery on the other — what it did to you, and what it meant for me. And so when a couple comes to me in the aftermath of an affair that has been revealed, I will often tell them this: Today in the West, most of us are going to have two or three relationships or marriages, and some of us are going to do it with the same person. Your first marriage is over. Would you like to create a second one together?

Riad Houeiss shared this link via TEDxSKE
Infidelity is the ultimate betrayal. But does it have to be? Relationship therapist Esther Perel examines why people cheat, and unpacks why affairs are so…
ted.com|By Esther Perel

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