Esther Perel invites us to think about infidelity in terms of both/and as opposed to either/or. She asks us, as well, to make sense of a good number of contradictions.
“Those who are faithful know only the trivial side of love: it is the faithless who know love’s tragedies.” – Oscar Wilde
While she is no way recommends that people have affairs, experience has shown her that some good things can come from them.
Affairs are almost universally devastating and many couples use them to revitalize their relationships.
She says that 95% of us will say it is terribly wrong for our partner to lie about having an affair and the same number of us will say that’s exactly what we would do if we were having one.
And while many people who have affairs may feel terribly guilty for hurting their partner, they don’t feel guilty for the experience of the affair itself.
As Esther says, she looks at affairs from a dual perspective: hurt and betrayal on one side, growth, and self-discovery on the other.
“When you betray somebody else, you also betray yourself.” – Isaac Bashevis Singer
Some of you may be offended by her talk. You may think she makes light of what may well have decimated your marriage. Others of you will be made curious. You may find it illuminating, refreshing. You may be relieved that there’s a way to talk about infidelity that reaches beyond villains and victims. You may understand your own longings and behaviors in a new way.
And maybe you’ll pause to consider her final thought: “Most of us are going to have 2 or 3 relationships or marriages, and some of us are going to do it with the same person. Your first marriage is over,” she tells her clients. “Would you like to create a second one together?”
Here’s an insightful video on infidelity by Esther Perel that you may find interesting:
Cheating hurts, but you can overcome it
Cheating can cause a lot of pain to the partner who has been cheated upon. Whether it’s emotional infidelity or sexual betrayal, the pain feels the same. It can even affect your sense of self-worth and self-esteem. However, you have to realize this is not a result of what you have or haven’t done. You have to value yourself and love yourself first if you wish to get over this and make things better with your partner.
“Deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.” – Oscar Wilde
If you decide to make things work, then infidelity can be a great opportunity to revive and even strengthen your ‘happy’ relationship. However, you will need to get over the pain and the unpleasant memory of cheating. Make sure you have an open discussion about this and you don’t raise this issue every time you have a small fight with your partner. Despite what they might say, your partner does feel guilty and ashamed for the pain they have caused you.
The only way to move forward and make your relationship work is to let the ‘old’ relationship go and start a ‘new’ relationship with the same partner.
You may also like:
10 Things No One Tells You About Cheating
4 Reasons Why Men Cheat And Signs He is Having An Affair
The Unedited Truth About Why Couples Cheat
The #1 Reason Most People Cheat in a Romantic Relationship
10 Cheating Myths You Need To Stop Believing