"Affairs are not about sex — affairs are about desire for connection, for intensity, for physical touch, for feeling alive.
In decades of relationship counseling, psychotherapist, relationship expert, and author Esther Perel has seen quite the gamut of experiences on cheating and infidelity. Though she's Belgian (not French), Perel recently sat down to answer questions about her book and her views on how cheating should be reframed at New York City's French Institute Alliance Francaise. Perel's dealt with infidelity extensively in her career as a therapist, and while she maintained she hasn't , she's seen most things.
Perel's latest work of non-fiction, cheekily titled "" is basically a convincing crash course in rethinking the strict American standards on monogamy and shame around cheating. Cheating is way more complicated than most people think.
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Treating cheating with shame only hurts people more.
Perel said the judgmental nature with which people in this culture approach cheating is ultimately harmful to the people who've experienced it (which is pretty much everyone).
Here are eight key reasons why we should all relax our views on infidelity a little bit, from probably the foremost scholar on cheating that the world has to offer.1. At one point during her talk, Perel asked the audience to raise their hands if they've experienced infidelity in any capacity — whether by being of the three primary actors involved, having a parent or parents who cheated, having a friend confide in you about cheating, etc. Perel said acknowledging how common cheating is is an important step in breaking down the taboo that exists around it in U. And from that wealth of knowledge that she has on why people cheat an what cheating looks like, she has drawn a strong conclusion: "It really can't be summarized in black and white," she said. This conversation is wrong." Perel added that the conversation of right and wrong is incomplete and leads to a fundamental misunderstanding of cheating.
The narrative that a cheater is bad and the person who was cheated on is a victim erases all the emotions and experiences that play into a decision to cheat, and by better understanding all those things, people are more likely to take a compassionate approach to infidelity, rather than prematurely cutting a person out of their lives because of it.3.
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Perel likened this to the way people only feel antsy and want to leave a place when they feel enclosed in it.