‘The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity” by Esther Perel

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‘The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity” by Esther Perel

In this book, New York Times bestseller author, speaker and psychotherapist Esther Perel delves into some of the complexities of infidelity. 

Perel offers insights into why people cheat and why it hurts so much when you find out about your partner has been unfaithful. She explores the meaning of infidelity, a time-honoured taboo that is universally forbidden yet practiced worldwide.  

She challenges the reader with a series of questions: 

  • Do our romantic expectations of marriage set us up for betrayal? 
  • Is there such a thing as an affair-proof marriage? 
  • Is it possible to love more than one person at once? 
  • Can an affair ever help a marriage? 

Perel skilfully weaves real-life case stories with clear psychological and cultural analysis to make sense of this complex topic that robs couples of their relationship and happiness. 

Betrayal hurts, she writes, but it can be healed. An affair can even be the doorway to a new marriage—with the same person. With the right approach, couples can grow and learn from these tumultuous experiences, together or apart.

Affairs, she argues, have a lot to teach us about modern relationships—what we expect, what we think we want, and what we feel entitled to. They offer a unique window into our personal and cultural attitudes about love, lust, and commitment. Through examining illicit love from multiple angles, Perel invites readers into an honest, enlightened, and entertaining exploration of modern marriage in its many variations.

The State of Affairs provides a daring framework for understanding the intricacies of love and desire. As Perel observes, “Love is messy; infidelity more so. But it is also a window, like no other, into the crevices of the human heart.”

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