« Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris

#213: Mating in Captivity, Esther Perel

Psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author Esther Perel is recognized as one of today’s most insightful and original voices on modern relationships. Perel provides her insight on such topics as: how to make a relationship work in today’s society, the real reasons why we cheat, and how political or economic shifts can affect our relationships. Her celebrated TED talks on relationships have garnered more than 28 million views and her international bestseller Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence became a global phenomenon translated into 25 languages. Plug Zone Website, Newsletter and Blog: https://www.estherperel.com/ Podcast: Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/where-should-we-begin-with-esther-perel/id1237931798 Podcast: How’s Work? With Esther Perel: https://open.spotify.com/show/0P13JasQfVZ1RiDCMZMYNU Book: Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence: https://www.amazon.com/Mating-Captivity-Unlocking-Erotic-Intelligence/dp/0060753641 Book: The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity: https://www.estherperel.com/store/the-state-of-affairs TED Talk: Rethinking infidelity… a talk for anyone who has ever loved https://www.ted.com/talks/esther_perel_rethinking_infidelity_a_talk_for_anyone_who_has_ever_loved?language=en TED Talk: The secret to desire in a long-term relationship: https://www.ted.com/talks/esther_perel_the_secret_to_desire_in_a_long_term_relationship?language=en The Future of Love, Lust, and Listening: SXSW 2018: https://www.sxsw.com/interactive/2018/esther-perel-interactive-keynote-at-sxsw-2018-video/ Relationship Skills and Workplace Dynamics at SXSW 2019: https://www.sxsw.com/interactive/2019/esther-perel-on-relationship-skills-and-workplace-dynamics-at-sxsw-2019-video/ Instagram: @estherperelofficial Twitter: @EstherPerel Facebook: @esther.perel, https://www.facebook.com/esther.perel/ Have a question for Dan? Leave us a voicemail: 646-883-8326
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Four may be seen as the ten percent happier vodka in her hello before we dive into fully fascinating and my impatience riveting discussion with a couples: counselor we dive into that if you're interested in relationships and by the way it such as relationships, romantic relationships also relationships that anybody in your life, if you're interested in doing a network of being a human being in contact with other beings. More successfully check out. There's your great course on our one of the most popular courses, we have on our app tempers and happier app the course called quite simply relationships. The teacher is orange. A sofa Oh, come up to me on the street and stop me to tell me how much they love or in sulphur so sudden about this guy do so not entirely surprised by that. But this course is a great way to teach you practical, actionable skills, for
cultivating a kind of more mindful communication, which is very often this currency of relationships, you don't have the app and you want to check it out. You can do so for free, there's, a cell, day trial that you can start at your leisure. Aren't, let's get to the episode they are guess this week is Astaire stair oh, who is a belgian born psychotherapist? She says she practices I hear near city, a big part of which she does is couples counselling, I urge there'll be As she has written a couple of best selling, including the amazing Lee titled book meeting in captivity, love and then she file that up with state of affairs given TED talks which have garner more views and she has a podcast where you can hear her kind of work in real time? real time it's called. Where should we begin I love this conversation sit with somebody who's, mind is so sharp and is a person who is clearly so brilliant
and talking about, an issue that matters to all of us was super in a for me and when I just emphasise how this does matter for all of us? I want to quote one thing: she says that you in here per se and also expand upon this. The quote: ultimate It is the quality of your relationships that determines the quality of your life, and that is not just mere opinion that is backed up by reams of some, so, in this episode, we talk about a term she's developed, called erotic intelligence. We talk about it her observation on the front lines of of marriage. is in and relationships what are the common denominators among successful couples with the role of internal reflection, including meditation in being a healthier relationship. We talk about the shifting stigma around couples therapy. She thinks the stigmas going down. And finally, we address a big question is, which is why do people cheat
and then stick afterwards. One of our we got a very brave voicemail question, a question submitted to us via voicemail from a listener, and we re, by us as their and she answered it so that that'll be after the interview. In the meantime, here we go Astaire Pearl was, I produce proceeded pheromone happy to be here, I'm just just by way of back story and background. How did how did you get interested in relationships and sexuality? So I have always thought of myself as a cross cultural psychologist, and what that meant. It specifically for me is that I have, for more than three decades been looking at how our relationships
change when large cultural, social or political shifts occur. So how do relationship chains when there is migration, forced or voluntary migration? How does that change child rearing practices or gender roles in a family? What happens when there is the fall of a political regime and a change from communism to capitalism in democracies? What happens when there is marriages, cultural, racial and religious intermarriage, which is often can migrating in one's own living room or what happens with the digital Revolution and serve always looked ass, a couples and family. fist at how these large cultural shifts affect what happens in intimacy of relationships, and then I took a step further, which was what happens when it also enters the bedroom and what
under the sheets way because sexuality that interests me he's not so much about what people do with each other. It's really the fact that the most our cake rooted aspects of a culture? I wrote a route allured located around its views, beliefs, attitudes towards sexuality and the most progressive, they could changes that occur in societies also take place around sexuality, This is very clearly understood in the United States, from gay marriage to abortion rights, to set two abstinence campaigns. We complete, I know that you can Look at a society through the lens of sexuality, and you will understand a lot so too for a relationship, a couple or an individual, and so putting sexuality and relationships together came in about twenty me. Twenty years later, but it make perfect sense. You use a few. I just do some backup
on reading that my friends have made this clear. What I just said yes- and it raises a bunch of questions at I'm- really excited his October. You use a bunch in reading about you Samuel, whose modem on our producers is that handsome guy seated in the corner of a therefore gave me a bunch of research, and there were a few phrases that really left out to me that I thought were really provocative. One is the modern ideology of love which popped into my head after your first it while you were speaking on that first question there. What do you mean by modern, idiotic of love and this ism and everything that followed. So what happens in romanticism is that the narrative and what happens in romanticism, is that the narrative of love becomes central to our committed relationships. We no longer have marriages that are primarily economic institutions. We bring love
to marriage, then we bring sex to love and marriage, and then we link even sexual satisfaction with marital happiness. we also want one person to give us security stability, predictability safety. Reliability, permanence, older rooted anchoring experiences of life, and we want that same person to give us passion and awe and mystery and repair and love and excitement, and No one and surprise, This notion that we going to find the right person. Which today is even called soulmate, which used to be good. Not a human being Give us what once an entire village used to provide in that ascension. That kind of enshrine meant of the relationship of that one and only person with whom I'm good to experience intimacy, which today doesn't mean that you share the vicissitudes of everyday life together. It means into me see they're going to reveal each other in it,
Skurse have experienced the way we talk. Well, we look in deep into each other's eyes and you are going to help may become the best version of myself and vice versa. Dad is the modern ideology of love. So is this ideology at the root of the divorce rate. Now. Not the route of the divorce rate is that people finally could leave That meant primarily women. Marriage has always been an institution in which you did it once there was who exit, and it was till death? Do us apart? where romanticism enters is that it has become where love dies not when we die. That is different. but were changed, and what created a divorce was that there was so the threat of excommunication, that there was more economic independence for women and that there was no for divorce laws and that women could actually leave without
fearing that it would be destitute and without children. So I think that just making the divorce wit and matter of a reaction to the unprecedented expectations Therefore, higher disillusion is not fully complete them. The whole set of economic and political reasons that really influence divorce so interesting, so who so given just getting back to the overheated expectations, though, that be well, I don't know, but everybody ought to speak myself. I bring into my romantic relationships. Imagine many others do. How do we navigate that? What were you you're on the phone? lines you're on the on the couch or your actually and probably a cosy chair while the couples on a couch talking to couples. What do successful couples due to navigate this look first of all
I think that there is something very beautiful in the fact that we expect more from our partnerships and our relationships than many people did before I mean It's not a matter of, is it right and wrong were good and bad, but it means that you know what has happened in our secularized individualistic Consumer oriented society is that we have brought lots of expectations. Belonged to religion and to geographies and two institutions and to large families and all of those things have now been siphoned into our romantic relationship and our work for that matter, which is why, where should we begin and his work because all usually I do but guess yesterday they really highlight what I think
It happening in our society is that many needs that come where communal and that, where religious have been siphoned into loving work. So that's part of what these became such rich territories of of exploration. For me now I think that as a couple stirrup is that maybe that's an interesting way of asking of you know about couples and sixty Think of it covers therapy is rather recent profession. Why did emerge and become as central as it is today, because this is the first time in the history of humankind? That the survival of the family depends on the happiness of the copper and that's why couples therapy becomes essential as it is right. You had families, the family, primitive met mattered, You basically took whatever your relationship was gonna, be because, You were married into for the service of the family and that is very, very
different? So on the one hand, we demand much but we are also investing a lot more. We ve met are more in love, and then we do today as well. Therefore, when it doesn't happen, we often you know trail. But of disenchantment and, and we fall from very high there. Could he give many life single who says into the coffers of today that are good and succeed at what they are aspiring to are often much better than the couples of his but it's like climbing a mountain you know at the top. The view is really beautiful, but the air is also thinner and not everybody gets there now. Then, the question is: what makes us go there? I think one of the things for my end, that is very definitely a clear. Is the people Who come early on copper step? He used to be the thing you go literally as a last chance. You know last call before before the gates close and- and this is really changing,
People come earlier. They understand the older there. Ten years older than they were in the sixtys when they partner in oh indeed, on to make this they want to optimize the relationship did you want to make it a good, solid base and they come from the beginning? Before? Did they arrive with encrusted patterns that are completely rigid and facilities, so that is already a good resource? And then what really goes into relationships is basic things of how much people are able to deal with a lot of differ, ways you know to look to answer that question. I think a good relationship has a a foundational balance between how we meet our security needs and our commitment and how we deal with our need for freedom and individuality
that is actually one of the most important balance, togetherness and separateness, and in that respect touches on a lot of different things, but that he's a conversation from day one. What do we do today? What do we share? What are the decisions that we consider of joint decisions? What are the people that we must see together? the activities that we must do together the commitments, the loyalties and where do we still have some space for our own self expression for our own freedom for our own purposes and things that matter to us that the other person doesn't really care too much about. Then there is admiration? I think goes a long way because its different from compassion from respect because when you admire. You also have a certain element of idealisation and it means that you really are curious about the other, so curiosity is crucial, a sense of a likeness. I think that that is to me essential vibrancy vitality, because that means I do you still looking forward for something your
open footings, meaning you haven't yet gone around the block and that's it, and this is what it's gonna be for the next twenty five years. Is this it? Yes, those who say I don't know yet what still in store for us, they still and level of anticipation. That breeds tremendous energy into a relationship doing for the other, just because they care just a good dose of generous spirit. You know it doesn't matter to me, but it makes deal. Person happy and am happy to do that. Just for that reason, and then, on the other side, accepting that the other person is doing it just because you asked, I guess you were the of that, even if they couldn't care less, Then they should want what I want, because they should agree with how important it is that just a start the knock, I feel I hear I feel I hear some from people in
world. If you're in couples therapy it's over gas, it's you only go there to facilitate a break up and also there seems to be some stigma around it. If you admit you're in couples therapy well, then everybody knows ear. Rocks so I think it's changing alert it change, a lot and I would say that the but guess where should we beginning Helping me see this because what is this thing? It's literally listening to couples therapy of other couples and going behind closed doors,
and and listening in deeply on the experience of others, while in fact seeing yourself in your own mirror and beginning to reflect on what's happening to you? Even if you don't relate to the specifics, you actually related to do didn't central themes of these conversations, and so I think that that is being in couples therapy without being in my office, and I think that that's what needs to change is that the idea that you need to go in isolated. In a room that is described by being a problem driven space, it's very different than when I do a workshop and people come to a workshop. They come with the same issues, but they daunting that are coming to the problem ridden environment. it's even less so when they listen to the Butkus there listening to stories there listening to a buck gas, but there in couples therapy, and I did If you broaden copper steps to a practice rather than to a space you already,
beginning to redefine it. You know it used to be that going to a therapist meant you crazy mental health and madness have been deeply connected like that today you come to compress therapy or to individual derby for that matter, not just because of mental health issues or mental illness, but you're so come because it has become the new place where you are processing, identity and it bank to define yourself, your values, your aspirations? Your hopes, your fears in that process of identity formation that used to take place in other places then, in the community, because the community told you who you where you didn't have to go and sit somewhere to figure out? Who am I or ensure touring religious institutions. That is part of the new therapeutic practice. Its therapy itself has changed, meaning, so they are still quarters. What, if you go to cover syrupy, immediate silver, but then you say to them:
Firstly, you really only bring your car to the garage when it's a foot or do you understand a notion of maintenance gender. Stand that dishes Distingue, that you want to do for decades on end and without ever taking a check on what planet do you live You know there is no other to as in an intimate relationships where people thing, because I was in a high when I started, and I found the person- and I could delete, my apps? That's it. We're ok, of course, like that, it's just a level of an idea that is idealism seed. That is part of that. Myth of a variety of
of the nuts, not a single other relationship that people really go in there like that with such an eighty, actually, my opinion. This is my opinion. I think you're doing a great thing. I think normalizing couples therapy is incredibly important thing to do, especially given the stakes you elucidated several minutes ago that the survival of the family depends. On the happiness of of the parents showed to normalize this. To get the word out, that this is maintenance and that you can do it when you're on the rocks, you can do it pro actively and protectively improve and in a preventive way that seems to be, in my opinion, enormously healthy, because I've had I have a psychiatrist or psychologist friend who said to me- and I respect you grew this- that we get no training for how to be in romantic, relate wit
do. But it's called our family have not always regret. Generally, yes, that's it or the movie correct, but you know I'll city like this being held He isn't just not being sick, and Most of your heads, you dont acquire at doctor, you acquire in the way that you live your life, and you know that very well, oh. This is true for mental health and I understand that mental health is deeply influenced by relational health, that, ultimately, it is the Why did you of your relationships that determines the quality of your lives? This is why we do this Oh, I don't want to lecture ideologists, Madrid. I D. I just want to put a pain in the importance I wanna sorry, I wanna amplify the importance of what you just I don't wanna, let it go by your head to quickly the quality.
of our relationships determines the quality of our language so that it is not just a passing bromide that is deeply based in evolution. We our social creatures current and you know, a lonely. I've said this before and on my show that allow a lonely person on the savanna was a dead person. We are deeply wired for intimate interpersonal, connects the corral, and I think people forget that, especially in this Adam Ized Tech, driven age. Where were you know looking for likes on Facebook, instead of actually having a conversation, so I wits completely agree we dead and I will Expand on this, like that. This is about the foundation belief of all my work, that equality of your relationships determines the quality of your life, and this is true at home. Where should we begin but gas? And this is true at work housework, but guess it's really bored,
that's what took me a moment to understand the location changes but the same nano at work, no amount of of purpose or money, or even free food, will compensate for a poisonous relationship in the workplace. Everybody gets done so something is changing about relationships relationships. Undergoing massive change, and this is where my work as a cover step is familiar with intersects with what's happening in the world at large and the way I look. That is two ways one you know I gotta Europe a lot. I go to small villages where the neighbors literally are a meter away from each other S, lettering system. Kids have three feet: yeah, sorry and Anne. But what happens in the village like this? Is everybody knows what's happening in the neighbor's house? You not alone. You know that day fight and reconcile. you know what to say to each other. In today
You have no idea what is going on in other people's relationships and therefore you dont know if what you are experiencing is unique, is different, is marginal or is actually part of a larger collective experience. Number one number two in the village relationships: where we clear there was a clear structure. Everybody knew who they were. Everybody knew what was expected of them sense of identity in your sense of belonging was very clear and it was regulated by a set of institutions too large, a family to school, to the religious authorities, etc. We have completely shifted from structure to network and in our network society, you're digital society, where you won't lose threats that you can go in and out of where commitment is much more fluid You have a lot more freedom than you ve ever had before, but you also have a lot of uncertainty and a lot of self.
when you now have to become the master of your own identity. What do I want? What do I believe in who's gonna, wake up to feed the baby whose career matters more who has a right to demand for sex. Everything is up for negotiation and the rules and a duty and an obligation of the best system are now replace, basically by conversations and that's why suddenly, this becomes very relevant wise is exploding Aggies because people need to have conversations about stuff they never needed to her. Did you ever have to discuss? If you want a child now you had sex, you probably will have children at some point. Nobody asked you if you ready today it's an existential question, not just a biological question and one all of these things become part of conversations. Then you need to learn and terribly at this point is a part of that psycho educational experience you brought
tax. There's another quote that I really like four or another of coin a phrase. I believe you coined that I think is provocative and worth dicks exploring erotic intelligence. Yes, so it's a very interesting thing right. I, my first book is called meeting in captivity. with a region and red, it's a one of a kind. I tried with state of affairs. It's not bad either. The second robots are either you're right, there's something truly magic about meeting. But dear regional, when I wrote about meeting I wrote about erratic intelligence and at first it was a bit of a spoof because I was thinking of Daniel Gonna men who wrote about emotional intelligence and Colbert, corrode about moron intelligence and unite, and my husband whisky said we gotta, do it you, you know
because we know that the US there is erratic arts ass erotica to get exists throughout human history. let us think of it as an intelligence, a made it more contemporary, the two now I had to define it. So here's how I would define animals have sex and it is the pivot, and it is our instinct and it is the basic biological component, but we have an erotic mind. We are actually capable of making love for hours having a blissful experience. Touching nobody just because we can imagine it and we are the ones who can dream about it and can make meaning to it and give the poetic touch to it. And that is what makes this the erotic experience. It is pleasure for its own sake. It is
central agent of the erratic use our imagination. It's not that what we do physically and it is utterly not related to reproduction and that notion of. Patrick Intelligence, which is how do you maintain? This is beyond sexuality. You know it's ever seen the sense of life force who maintain yourself alive, vibrant vital what the due for relationships and what is the difference between Relationships at a dead end relation so they're alive. What's the difference between surviving and thriving, we know it in physical terms. We don't always think of it in relation of terms and that erratic intelligence is our ability to stay connected to that end, did she so that you don't sit there next to your partner feeling lonely and there is no worse loneliness than the one you feel next to the person with whom you should actually feel connected and think is this: how trapped Emma
be here and for many more years rather than you know, I still have a lot to lose a lot to look forward to this story isn't over, and that is the antidote to death. That is the erratic as an antidote to death. Renault simply simply put people know it when they experience something that feels like they are locked their true They can't get out, they barely breed did not look forward to anything, there's no horizon and when you live in a relationship like that by definition, it also taps into Europe. relational health is directly connected to stress, which is directly connected to any other physical symptoms you may get, and we don't like to think about it in this kind of integrated way, but it happens to be, case stay tuned. Moreover, conversation is on the way after this better help offer licensed professional councillors specialised in a week
array of issues like depression, anxiety and grief, conduct with their profession counselor and a safe private online environment. It's a truly affordable option and listeners can get ten percent off your first month by going to better help dot com, slash happier, fill out a questionnaire to help them assess your needs and get matched with the counselor you'll love when couples company and say there having problems in their intimate life generally speaking, water, Why do they want yet more or what? What do you advise? Look most coppers me once more sex. That's the intimate party talking about right or you talking.
Generally knows life sucks, so most people may want more sex, but all people would like better and when they talk about better it is the erratic they're talking about. What do you want to feed is eleven of intensity of pleasure, of playfulness, of curiosity, of imagination, of mystery of all did don't just want to do. Sex sixes do something you do it's a place, you go and so did the questions you ask is not what do you do? You know how often how hard how strong, how long the stuff you can measure what you ask is: what's the quantity of you experience, how do you feel about yourself when you engage with you partner? You know what what what parts of you do you connect with to express what, because six, what it is, a language. What is it you say when you are intimately connected with you burn? Is it intimate what kind of intimacy do you actually signal lots of different types of intimacy that are not only about gazing into each other's eyes, when do you release? What is that
I'm sure you wanna keep, and when do you like to surrender there is no greater power than voluntary surrender, giving yourself over two somebody is the greatest gift you can give and also the greatest sense of agency you can have and its debt that you talk about. You talk about health, you talk about description, desires with one person who is still longing and feeling a real sense of loss and you're the one who says over my dead body. I couldn't be bothered. What do you do endorse situations? You talk, bud. Monogamy exclusivity. You talk about what it's like when you have an affair, because your partner is how timer and you go to visit three times a week and you are deeply loyal, but you also want to steal stay connected to the world of the living in the loving. You talk about the
black cities of life and how sexuality intersects. With all of that you talk about abuse, talk about sexual trauma, this it's it's actually restore newly rich and vast way beyond. Just how often do you have sex with our use of Airbus can dig into your towards Us But why did dont want it, so they are small hacks like this, that you can do you know? What are you talk about if you're not talking about why you don't want you wanna have more sex. Don't talk about why you dont have sex, never and people wanted more from talking about, why did dont want it? So there small hacks like this, that you can do you know? What are you talk about if you're not talking about why you dont want what it would be like to have it when the time when you actually feel deeply connected in what was it like? And what did you feel like? And what freeze you up? You ask people, you know, I turn myself off how
how do you shut yourself down? That's a very different question that one turns you off is or u turn me off when so then people start to talk about how they did they. Basically, you know Numb themselves because they are self critical because they are not happy with their bodies because they are exhausted because they are bloated, because because because, but you see what they do to themselves, because if I close myself ass, you can. All the beautiful things that I've told you I want you to do to shop would be closed and you asked him when do you turn yourself on what makes you feel awake? You know I ignite myself when and how by which is not the same, as you turn me on when or what turns me, it is. You explained that desire is to own the wanting, and what do people talk about? They feel alive. When did care of themselves and doing nature window connected to our two music to movement, to dance when they talk much more with each other when they laugh when they're out of their routine. It's not that they give you a specific.
Sexual turn, arms the sick, return on comes because this actually someone who's willing to notice them. The same Duffy's around you all the time. Some days you see, some leaves you don't it's not because the stuff itself changed its because you are available in a week and interested. So how do you can? would you run to says? That's a very conversation than you know. You should first with the ear and then moved to shoulder, or maybe what I'm here, it's got to the death of Gordon limiting their levels? To this conversation, that sounds like the the most important level is you're, saying to each partner. Look inward for a moment here. The it's not going to be useful for you to say you know when you click your nails at seven o clock at night. Will then I'm I'm turned off and then then were done. It's more like looking inwards from here, you correctly and get a sense of what makes you alive. That's a major piece is to really do the. What does it? How do you
connect with your own sexual self. That's one major piece, the other one is ok, let's take the clip you know now. Do you want me, as is five ways you could handle this clipping? Your typical one is again but another one would be. Imagine you ve made a beautiful tree and you put an entire. You know males set of access works on the tree and you just brought it to your pardon. You said for you darling, You know, let me know when you done, or would you like me to help you? You know. Everybody is always understood that there is no better way to diffuse something than to exaggerate the exaggerated make it into a human right and laugh at it and create a complicity together about in another These may be to say you know what let me do all the dishes, or you met me clear. everything so that parliament can go into room themselves. This so many ways to subvert is that you say you did this well now there would be nothing. You know this is the kind of if you hadn't done this, we would be together, but because of you, this is a day
This is a way of gave getting an excuse, I'll, find anything that you do to explain why I am not interested in you and I will pay and I'm not interested in you when, in fact it is me who doesn't find myself desirable enough to think that you could be interested in me. This is the hidden store Greece, what people say and what people feel or actually think about themselves are three intersecting categories, but they're, not one and the same, your I just I just heads. Of course you can because when you talk your conjuring up theoretical partner whose not interested in her or his lover spouse, because he or she or they really can't. Imagine that there are worthy of sexual desire, but you did in a really sort of incisive, tough way, and I'm just wondering when you're in therapy
Will you bring the hammer down? Yes, what I just said to you, I would say in a session I will channel the person and I will speak the unspoken. I will speak the inner voice that frightened little child. That really is actually trying to pretend something else when in fact, they're not zero, and I will give voice to its end, and I will watch to see the hit or miss hot or labelling. It really matter you very rarely, because when people feel scene and understood that what can I do? It kindness and humour, but people attack- I just see hotter called, is this it and you know,
Then they just shake their heads, sometimes being Gore yeah. That's it that's what you do with kindness, humor and humility, because you're not sure your ran Liddy. Yes, I will tell you in the first five minutes you are here. I will try to tell you everything that I think is worthy of sharing with you, I'm never right. It will only be true if you tell me this fits for me. This feels right, but that gives me the freedom to say and to try to Kenneth channel you and imagine Is this your experience? What what exactly? Are you really feeling here? You know many of the people that I see don't have sexual dysfunctions. They have erotic dysfunctions. They can do it, they did it they used to do it. those people visit if it doesnt range. Nobody does are the ones I am talking about at this moment. Do people they once had it so when they lost it, it's not because they don't know what to do it because they don't feel like doing it. So then you want to find out. Why not? What is it?
that has happened in new relationship in your life and in yourselves. That is making you want to close off on this, and that What do you do with the losses, because, as normal, Two people are agreeing. Ok, then they switch to an affectionate companion, a relationship that is a deep partnership for life, and that is just as beautiful, but if one person once more and the deprivation and of touch is really been. You know you can live without sex. You can't leave without touch. Dutch is biologically. You know it's been. Dick and you want to do you become irritable or depressed or angry, and then you create other issues. since egg, but in fact You need is just to put that hand on the shoulder and the person would just go. You know, but because that's not happening, then you get an armor and under armor stats to fight and anything that that's the issue
that's a good metaphor for couples therapy its playing pool one of the most important things. My teacher managing ever told me in. I can't take him enough because it doesn't mean it means that your counting linear, if you want to kick a ball in a whole when you play pool that is the one you kick, and so the whole point is to look at, which is the one that you need to kick. That is actually gonna get this one down and that's what you looking at its? What is it that is actually going on that this one is doing. for his today had a woman and she was presented as hysterical explosive one very convenient and she's good he's always been good you know, and then you understand that when she says to him, just simply, you know I'd love it. If you brought me coffee in the morning. He could answer a lot of different things, but of difficult thing. He says you don't bring,
Haiti at night, you know that kind of a you. Are you an and then, of course, she gets all upset, because you could. She can't see meeting about her that he doesn't make about him and then gets mad and now she's presented as the hysterical unless I'm smiling, because I really resonate with the fact that we where the stars of our own movies and were casting our spouse or or boss, or whatever, as the villain or the hero. We were creating these stories and putting people in that book. It reminds me of a very close friend of mine, close couple that my wife and I am brings with it the husband and I would even saying the following facetiously, but we're talking about how they were doing some preventive care work in an couples counselling, and he said what do I want out of this I just wonder to be cool usb cooler of effects they. She was happy every day with defiance. Yes,
What you also highlighted is that relationships us stories, and I do work very much from a narrative perspective, which I think is part of white lend my approach Linda did send when to put guess format and gold when you come to therapy in a first session on the good, not just in first session, and couple or alone is that you come in. We, the story and you ve been there a long time in your relationship, your stories rather encrusted. By now and make good to help. You leave with a different story, because if you have it open story, you change the vocabulary to change the vocabulary. You change the experience to change the experience you change your body, state and etc, etc. It's all interrelated, and that idea
that people had waited to their stories, even if their miserable is very powerful, for is a very powerful human thing. We do one of the alternate stories and I'm guessing here, you'll tell me from writing. It appears to come The research that I've done on you is the idea of being in. Second marriage with the same person yeah, you know It is an interesting thing, a lumber and its some of the codes that you heavier sentences that I just wondered throughout, and then they became part of the Erika, the thing, and now I have to justice This was a sentence that I just joked with you know, but then I saw how people respond to it and how much it give them hope when they were in crisis. We duly twice long as we did a hundred years ago when we say long term relationship, it just doesn't mean the same, no, we use the same words. Put. The clock is a very different, so.
I do think that most people in the West today will have to a tree marriages or committed relationships in their adult lives, and some of us will able to do it. The same person. We will be able to somehow reinvent ourselves the structure of the relationship, the balance of interdependence, division, that we have together our goals of life and that others will have to find a new partner in order to go in right next story in those fundamental called you listed at the beginning of our discussion. Admiration is the one that I remember that released it over me. I do admire my life are how's the qualities in a relationship that allow for the reinvention that you ve just described to get to the second or third romantic relationship with the same person.
The piece of it out. You know this is an exercise. I love to do that. I've done all over the globe actually, and I ask people when do you find yourself most drawn to your partner, not sexually attracted but drawn to in broad sense, what's to a treating said, come up right off the bat feel at you're asking me right now: compassion, intelligence, beauty. but if you were to put it in narrative form, you would say I am most drawn to my partner when she is being an incredible doctor. Incredible mother and when she we work out together, she's just really great athlete point now: listen when she's being an credible doktor means when she's in her element, she's, confident she's good at it- she's regent, she's trying, and she doesn't need me. I don't need to take care of her. Therefore there is that space where I can desire her
she doesn't need me and I can want, but all three of the things I listed have that all of us all of them. What you're describing is I'm looking at this person who is already sofa? biliar, but first it was momentarily once again mysterious unknown and draws my attention. I'm curious about her. I still don't have the full picture, because every time there's something else I haven't seen kids grow up. So I'm going to see new situations. Patients do you know where to dream you're describing play some situations. Shared experiences, competence and confidence is no greater turn on than concert basically, whatever form it takes it become is confidence she can be on stage. Can Vienna horse, you can be in her medical practice, but its confidence. It seems
somebody who who you know you at that's, had me racial, that's where the admiration actually resides and when people described is when you meet people who have been sixty years together and steal, you feel like there is that energy between them. You share those kinds of descriptions, many others, but this false ride into that category, its origin, because what you're describing is how she can you you, you ve talked thank. You talked earlier here about how we are asking of one, visual to perform the role that entire villages to perform, so the stability, the comfort and also the unknown, and the adventure and its it its demand experiment right, modern love, right beautifully put, and it is in what you just described that I can watch my wife in these various contacts.
and in a way that she doesn't need me, I'm still curious fascinated admiring. She can do all that and we can have this stable comforting. Really she can be the whole village in the way you just threat. So you good, you have heard death and you know it. Somebody so surprised, I'm not, I don't know you are too, but I know when I recognize it I mean I know and a person describes it because when you, when you get it, you describe it, and you know exactly the pieces that we're talking about and not everybody is lucky. I would put it like that envy is able enow, because, what's on the reverse of what you just described, this put it. This is the positive description on the other side of this is no I'm not drawn to my partner when she's of being a terrific doktor, because what I have primarily experience is that
of them. Her entire medical career is one big deprivation of me all. I experiences that she's never home or she comes home late or she gives the best of herself I heard that she's, an amazing doktor, all her patience, love her and she has nothing to say to me when she comes home cause she brings to light,
stollivers home or she so attentive and presents to them, and I feel so often that she pays no attention to me and she just give me a little tap on the shoulder but when's the last time. She just really helped me the way I want to be held, which I know is the way she holds her patience, even though its none in the physical holding it's it's a completely different experience of the same. My wife is a doktor or my wife is a fantastic mother. You know, and I love to watch her just do not run the whole thing with the kiddos and unarmed and you haven't. Instead, what you see here is you know she pleased with them. She talks to them. She's she's, all engaged redemption and that's all that matters, and I've been waiting here for seventeen years earlier from experience that but Europe. I think that you understand. That's the flip side of the same ingredients. That's what's so powerful lobbies in relationships that the same thing
can be experienced as a gift, or is it the privation? Sometimes that and in an it's that thing that makes this so rich and complex and and and and that's easy to decipher all the time. But a couple that is striving is a couple where everything you just said is mentioned and a couple,
It is not trying in some them surviving is talking about the same specifics, but with a completely different experience of them. Before we go. Let's talk about this. A big subjects will see how far we get cheating yet so stay you mentioned Perforce state of affairs is a state of affairs. Why do we treat ok? Let me put it a tiny bit in context. I think that, and also that would also explain why, in fact, there was in stood in the subject of infidelity, because I am interested in the subject of man and relationships, as I said, and I thought infidelity will be a very powerful window through which to study relationships. The same way that
First book was about the challenges of desire on the inside of relationships. This one became the book that looked at what happens when desire goes looking elsewhere and because the instruments of infidelity has betrayal duplicity, lies secrecy, jealousy possessiveness vengeance, passion love. You just generally have to go to the opera for all of this, so it had the entire human drama. I didn't need another topic to really explore in depth. Some of that now in the past. We didn't talk so much about this. Type of cheating, because it primarily was a meal privilege, women are still able to be killed in nine countries if they look in the wrong direction and men have basically had a privilege, a licence to cheat off supported by all kinds of biological and evolutionary theories that justify why they need it and she doesn't and in fact we have
no idea what women really want, because they ve generally done what they can and are allowed to, rather than what they want. So the thing changed and then in the First, you cheated because marriage wasn't about love and passion, so you went outside to look for the loving passion and why since you broad Levin passion to the marriage when you cheat it changes, meaning completely. It becomes the ultimate violation, the ultimate betrayal and basically the shattering of the grand ambition of love. So why do people cheat? I would collected in two main directions. One has to do with all the discontents interrelationship, neglect, resentment, violence, indifference, sexual rejection, for kids on end conflict, miscommunication and longing for basically being seen feeling important feeling that you matter being touched being made. Love to the basics.
And sometimes because you are a person who is constantly trying to prove yourself. But most people do a lot of other things and, amongst that they cheat, but that is not their sole thing. What was really more interesting for me- and I think most of my colleagues- is that the vast majority of people that we work with and not chronic flanders they're, not cheaters, they are people who have been exclusive and grateful for years decades and day, one day will cross the line that they themselves never thought that they would cross. And then you ask yourself: why would a person risk losing everything everything that they build for a glimmer of? What? What makes people do? This thing you know and then it becomes an interesting thing in the most there's a lot a lot to say, but I would say that the most important word that came up that came up in so many countries that I when is, I felt alive that now I'm if to explain
this doesn't mean I'm justifying or condoning you're. Not order of voting. Can you people affair submits his leg. You know. no longer I'm no more gonna recommend you to have an affair that I'm gonna recommend you to have cancer. But I understand that experiences of stream like that, will jolt people reorganise their priorities in their lives on all sides, but sing about alive made me curious than what are we talking about people who sometimes hadn't touched. Anybody then did, the person was somewhere an invisible. You know digital wave, you know, and what people talk to me. but was it wasn't that I wanted to leave the person that I was with? He was that I wanted to leave the person that I had myself come right, so you have. You have in your TED talk this incredible insight that it's about not about
the partner off about the said. Yes, I knew so you want to experience a new. So it's about the self it's about reconnecting with lust parts of oneself. It's about mortality, it's about its those things, and that is a very different story than those we have problems. The relationship, some affairs at the rector related to the relationships and some have nothing to do with the relationship, and this is a weird thing to say that even people in happy relationships will at times find themselves acting recklessly contrary to every principle they ve ever had any the herds bag. It is really one of the most painful breed does that people experience to date, because we no longer expect that it would happen. While also because of what you said earlier about how much we are investing in relationships or its replaced. The church as you every for many people are replaced, God and now, when your earthbound deity.
Turn around and says that won't you used to be the one, maybe you're, still the one, but there's another one. When you not do one. Actually, we ve been romantic love. We begin believe we are the one and once you are replaced, you not unique you nothing spend civil and it hurts terribly. And then you are lie too for so long and then you'd think that your whole marriage was fraud, and then you wonder if you ever had to wear right to believe. Even in the beginning, I mean just shatters your entire sense of reality. Can you come back from yes, citing that actually divest majority of couples stay together after after breaches and infidelities, but I think that you need to be able to turn the rupture into a repair. You need to be able. Some affairs will basically killer relationship that was dying on the vine and some affairs
actually liberate the wounded partner, who already wanted to leave for a long time, but didn't want to do it, and now they have the justification to finally go so it's it's a big messy, but some affairs actually become a powerful alarm system that George people and remind them why they care and why they should put an effort and why did completely forgotten about each other and and how they completely lost touch and and why they actually don't really want to lose each other. So some affairs, we kill some affairs will become a source of a new relationship with the same person. That's really where this message really came up for me, final question, which is a very short question, which is I like to give my guests and opportunity to plug everything, remind us of the names of your books, your pod, cast where we can find you in social media. Anything or your TED
talks were where, if we want a binge, have you an unjust airports? Air? How do we do that, but because You asked me about the affairs in the sexuality and collect cup, as I would say that, where should we begin to put cast is really the book yes for anyone, who's ever loved and is a vast array of it. We are going into season for now worldwide of people going into the needy greedy of of relationships and then the new but guest houses, is for anyone who has ever had a job, and that means everybody has never worked knows the kinds of me. Creative relational dynamics that can take place at work and in its gripping the two books are meeting in captivity and the state of affairs.
The debt talk. One is the secret of desire in long term relationship and the other is rethinking infidelity a talk for anyone, who's ever loved, and then they are the two talks at sought by South West, citing that are the more recent ones that talk about the future of relationships and what coppers therapy can teach business leaders about relationship dynamics and work, because a lot of my work now is really taking what we ve learned from home and a plate into the workplace with family business. Colleagues, co founders.
for workers and unsocial. I am at a separate official on Instagram. I think the best thing would be to actually join Mitchell, the newsletter and the blood which is at a step or in that, come because because I did this week, just as an example, we did a letter, you never know you know it was about how helpers can sometimes feel helpless, and it's about all of us who have a brother, a friend, apparent her colleagues whose stuck troubled either mood mental else issues, either with seven
destructive behaviour and how we ve been trying for years to help these people and everybody always talks about the less able to persons the child who needed the attention that we don't talk about the others who were then put decide to just take care of themselves and raise themselves alone? And that is just as many of us and it's an incredible thing, because it becomes public health about relationships outside of the therapy office, because these conversations actually should not be in a closed office. They really belong under public Square Facebook and Instagram and the typical channels, there you can find me. I don't even know my hundreds by hard for those, but it's a step rendered come is really do the gates to the Heavens, you're doing great work. It's a pleasure to meet you, I didn't on you for honestly,
four hours, which may mean that I have to bug you to come back on, but I'd be happy to this was amazing. Thank you. Thank you, big. Thanks to us. There, like, I said, I'd, love than interview. We need ever back on the show incredible and, as I mentioned in the introduction, we got a voice mail which you're about to here, which we were able to run by a stair. So first, let's play the voice. Mound then wash play for you after that, a stairs response, here's the voice, now cried Wall College and chemicals go and, first of all other part podcast on the listening to all the guests in their unique insight into meditation. How it seems there live really. Aspiring any book is great and the artist had been so happy to have found you on my question is: does the export so I'm just gonna go for it. I am finding that time when
I had been, and I are in command my mind starts to Lily dive into self judgment. download and worry, and I've been meditate, now for a month pretty solidly but often on fur probably about two years, and I am just wondering at thirty specific meditation that you can do to help combat that I am sure, I'm not the only person whose mind it's true, without way, but I'm just wondering Have any answer: or or specific meditation that can be used for that or if I should be focusing on my breath, it does seem a kind of I don't know what I'll bet force. If I'm thinking
about how I must messing up there or not. Now it's such a thing, I did wonder They are present in the moment during that time, obviously an angel- I really wanna get away from, the three thing. Minden and considering all of insecurity is so. If you have any guidance, I would really appreciate it yeah keep doing you're doing look forward to hearing from you think
there is an amazing we brave voicemail. I just wish. I send you a ton of respect for Sunday. Madame. Thank you. I have something to say about up of Papa, for I do, let's bring himself, who really knows what you're talking about here. Here's what Astaire said when we told her what you said tell her to read: Emily Nuggets Keys book come as you are nonetheless keep in a GEO S. K way come as you are, because one of the things it's very important in whatever he talks about its executive, the brakes and the accelerators the inhibitors in order not to ignore inhibiting cognitions like him that some fat and there's an old in another directive in his statements about the eggs, whatever dots you have that, just basically when deflate you and then what would be thoughts cognitions that actually connect you too, you sexuality to your desirability into you
desires, and what she describes is what the she has fantastic exercises to help women Facebook for women really too to distinguish and to understand that for many women desire is responsive and not initiative, rather than thinking I'm not into it. Do you not into it? You did you are. This is a way of being in that your words and then something wakes up and then you respond and then you get involved and then the more you get involved more you get into mood. It doesnt start with the mood it's very good book. Ok, that's what is there had to say, I want to just answer the question from a sort of meditative standpoint. I just picked up on a few. Phrases. You used in describing this issue, which I have to agree with you it's I would imagine this is very common, but you you described wanting to get away from this inner critic.
and so the meditate her and me the bell goes off. Well, that's that's aversion, you're! You know that, one of the classic hindrances in meditation the bullet used to talk about this is a version You know I just struggling with not wanting something. That's here right now to be here in this case you try the internet, with your partner and you're you're, noticing this self judge rant and then that's worse than you you're. Your wishing, your criticise yourself for being caught up in your own head when you should be paying attention added, despite our spirals into, I just have so much empathy for that but just as I can see how that could happen, any of us in any situation, but the fighting with it, though, not wanting to be here That strikes me as classic aversion and so I don't know what I'm about to suggest. I dont know that it's a silver bullet per se, but but just me
in making us off mental note of of you, no judgment or self criticism and then you're shifting, just if only for a nettles in two out of aversion and into just a mindfulness have like add. This is what's here right now and Maybe over time is as you practice this, maybe you'll be less caught up in this self judgment which, by the way you didn't invite so your fault, and maybe over time that can shift into being able to be more in the present moment then than caught up in these stories so maybe that'll work, but I'm sure a stairs advice is way better. Thank you again for that question. I really appreciate it was due voicemail number two either many of us, I'm from Rochester Minnesota- and I am a pot capture insider
I am wondering about something that I've noticed through my practice over the last few years, which is I am so proud, should have, and so grateful or finding a little bit of space between myself and the absolute nonsense that runs through my head on a daily basis. One thing in particular that I spend a lot of time with. Is I find I've got this kind of closed feedback loop? Where I try not to turning to the harsh with my judgments by the people and then somehow that kind of Morse into something internal, and I can go after myself and then it can offer the races. I'm wondering if there's, if there's something that some advice that I just referred Jack would prefer just helping me to
gotta that look appreciate it. If we vote for us all. Thank you very much for being a pie cast insider. Just for those view have unaware of this that these hundreds of folks who signed up to give us feedback on every episode or as many besides as they can and- and we really integrate this into- how we're doing our work here so really push that. I know you would prefer to have this question answered by Jack Warfield or Joseph Goldstein, who were were guests over the last couple of weeks and months, but That would make an actually. My answer is gonna be similar to the answer I just gave, which is had to say I hands experience on the last one of the last retreat. I was only a couple years ago where I realise that, if I'm so fearing there's something I'm not mindful of that.
Even no matter how bad a situation is usually for me, I'm retreat it's like wanting to get out of their dropping back into mindfulness. Just the non judgmental awareness of the thing just invest. Getting how's this restlessness, showing up in my body, Renault, a kind of thoughts or come up looking at the raw data of the of the current situation is opposed to the getting stuck in the story in my head. There is no suffering in that in the nanoseconds during which you can actually conjured the Mai fulness. Of course you get lost quickly and that's the way the mind works, but over time, get better and better at recovering from from being lost and spending more time in just noticing? A loud super sad, but instead of being stuck in the story being sad and get curious about. So what what is this field like in my body, etc, etc. So seems to me that that what's happening for you right now is in the chair, I quite understand a mechanism at these said something about how you trying to not be so judgments
other people and maybe that's sort of theirs like out draft their of you being board judging Yourself, whatever it is, I think I found this may be. The answer is not the answer may be an answer and of course there are a couple levels that, as there are the things that you can deal with men, a meditative way which is through my fulness or send yourself compassion. The other is, of course, some of stories that you're tell yourself may be addressed best addressed through psychotherapy, I'm up as I have said before, a maximum list when it comes to mental wellbeing, and so I think, bowling all the levers that makes sense. You can often be the best approach, but meditative speaking. You know that in the moments when you're noticing a ton of self judgment but modulation. First step is just a notice. I add the sacks of her suffering that doesn't really were from its kind of alluded to. This is like why ouch you are. This
in encouraging a lot of what I am about to encourage you to do another one, to do it is through self compassion. We know we had Kristen F on the show recently and she's got this three step: Oh, you can do when you notice you're engaged in a robust round of self regulation. First step is just an oath. I add this. Usher verbiage. Her verbiage like this is a moment of suffering that doesn't really work. For me, it sounds a little formal, so I'm obvious like why ouch you are this sucks, You are really go and at it you're really it s sort of Eden each chewing yourself up here. The second step is you're, not alone, like a lot of people deal with either this specific thing of self criticism or just a lot of people are suffering. So anguish is three suffering is dead as part of the human condition and there are any number of human beings in this exact same situation or similar one right now, so just
widening the aperture a little bit. So you can have some perspective on your own movie, the third is just the same a little if it is work, it's a little cheesy but can works and there's a lot of research to suggest a definite works is just send yourself a little little love. You know I may you be free of suffering. I found a better way to say that, but whatever somebody with theirs, I heard a court recently from somebody who's complaining about compassion practices to meditation teacher in the teacher said to this woman, if you're afraid of being cheesy, Then you never gonna be free. I love that quote so. Yeah this stuff is little little cheesy. Some people have been actually been criticising me for calling out the genius of this content. I apologise to those you. You don't find this cheesy There is a large number of us who who do it and and- and I think it's healthy to acknowledge that anyway
whatever your stances towards this stuff is useful and Christian said not a study on this, so that three part move along with some? I'm fulness and by the way my voice is embedded in. Those three part of the first step is just noticed that it's happening, that that might be useful for you, so give it a try. I found it to be useful for me thanks again, for the questions are very love them and, as as I said, really appreciated having Esther Astaire for EL on the show this week. Wanna. Thank all the folks who make this show possible. Ryan Kessler, Samuel Johns, Grace, Livingston, Lorn hearts, activity home hundred like the dusky are pie. asked insiders and all of you who listen if you like what we do do as the salad and share it on so from media or just share with one friend, because that's how will grow we'll be back next week with the new shovels there's not a person in America who hasn't been impact it in some way by the corona I was pandemic, but it every community there are pockets of people who were soon.
Every day. This is my last day of the cylinder stretch to drive off about photos from one of our Visa or America's essential workers, the people who are keeping moving. I turn into a home school mom and now in a new programmes. From eighty see news you gonna hear from damage. I she went back to my office and so unkind because he is not here, and I can assure you that our community has found faintly worrying. This is essentially inside the from the emergency room. The police cruiser to the Czech outline Yuki one. This pandemic sounds like the people putting themselves no one's way, there's always a risk. Brain is home to re. Kids are my husband or maybe errands, listen to the essentials inside the curve on Apple podcast, river, pod, costume.