Our original audio series takes you into the antechamber of intimate moments.
The quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives - both at home and at work.
They grew up with traumatic backgrounds, met in college and immigrated to the U.S. together. They've built stability and security, and now one of them longs for more freedom. Programming note: This conversation was recorded before the COVID-19 lockdown.
They met as religious teenagers and married as virgins. It’s the age old story -- once you’re allowed to be intimate, you no longer want to be. Deciding to open the marriage has brought about huge changes in their sex life, and ruptures in their emotional one. Esther guides them towards a new conversation without labels.
In this special series of Where Should We Begin, Esther connects with couples under lockdown around the world. In the fourth and final episode, she speaks with a couple in Lagos, Nigeria. Last summer they left everything they'd built in Seattle for a dream opportunity to expand his company and be closer to home. As the threat of COVID-19 reaches Nigeria the couple must decide if they leave and walk away from everything or risk staying.
In this special series of Where Should We Begin, Esther connects with couples under lockdown around the world. In this episode, she speaks with a couple in New York City. Two weeks before COVID-19 forced New Yorkers to shelter in place, they filed for divorce. Now they feel trapped.
In this special series of Where Should We Begin, Esther connects with couples under lockdown around the world. In this episode, she speaks with a couple in Bavaria, Germany. While others might complain about the close quarters, this couple hopes to find themselves in each other again.
In this special series of Where Should We Begin, Esther connects with couples under lockdown around the world. In this episode, she speaks with a couple in Sicily, Italy. They left each other emotionally years ago, but with three kids they have been trying to keep it together.
Almost two years ago her husband was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson's Disease. They have three kids, a mortgage to pay, and he has developed some compulsive behaviors he isn't proud of. Esther helps them learn how to turn off the caregiver, and remember they are much more than that to each other.
After a discovery in her doctor's office, a woman realizes her husband has been unfaithful. While betrayed and angry, she still feels a desire to stick it out for the sake of the kids. He, meanwhile, is desperate to find a way back to her. Esther takes them back to their upbringings and the years before the infidelities to find a place of mutual compassion.
They’ve been together for more than a decade, but this isn’t the first time they’ve separated. Stuck in a cycle of explosive escalations, a husband and wife want to make it work but can’t break their habit of going for the emotional jugular. Esther encourages them to start their conversations differently.
What began as an eight-year affair between two women has stretched into a 19-year partnership. But despite their private commitment to one another, they’ve never quite managed to move beyond the shame of their origin story. Esther takes a novel approach to revealing a long-held secret.
A young couple has endured a series of crises early in their marriage, from a benign brain tumor to a serious car crash to the husband’s near-fatal heart attack. Following his recovery, he’s adapting to new physical limitations, while she says the children bear the brunt of his frustrations. Esther coaches them through an honest conversation on anger, parenthood and the power of apology.
An on-again, off-again couple in their fifties, dating in a post-divorce landscape, are struggling with different world views, priorities and sexual interests. Recognizing that their polarized dynamic takes the fun out of spending time together, Esther guides both towards less rigid perspectives.
After ten years, a husband tells his wife he no longer wishes to be married. A month later, stuck in limbo, they come to Esther. She helps them have an honest conversation about their expectations, desires, and the ways in which their role as parents has left little room for intimacy.
A husband and wife are united in their desire to help their daughter, two years after she suffered a breakdown and moved home, shutting herself off from her family and friends. Esther urges them to examine the way pressure and expectations – no matter how well-intentioned – can shape a child’s upbringing.
A couple with two small children are at physical and emotional odds in their relationship. One has given herself over entirely to the children, while the other struggles to find her place within the family dynamic. Esther helps them reframe each of their roles in terms of what they uniquely contribute.
One is the creative guy, the other runs the business. While their bakery is thriving, their relationship is falling apart. How much of this has to do with the fact that they don't show the same love and attention to one another that they show to their macarons? Esther helps them sort our their romantic selves so they can sort out their business.
They are identical twins, inseparable since the start of life, now too in business. One brother has dreams of pursuing a career on his own, but is afraid of being left behind. While the other has never realized quite how much he leaned on his twin. Esther helps them rewrite the history of their partnership so they can move forward on a new path.
A large and scattered network of journalists meet for a virtual session with Esther. Over the past year, they've reported on the biggest stories of their careers, but they are burned out, isolated, grieving, and disconnected from the very thing that supports and energizes them all: their newsroom.
From day one, they’ve described their relationship as “tumultuous." One is new to the workforce, the other is new to this particular workplace. One manages the other. And while they like each other on a personal level, they clash over their fundamentally different approaches to getting the job done.
Married for ten years and co-owners for seven, they bring their home dynamic to work with them. Their employees are sick of the fights and the struggles for power and control, and so are they. Meanwhile, she also worries their roles at their gym have been divided along gender lines.
He’s a doctor, she works for the government. Her job is one thing on paper, and another thing in secret. He wants to leave his job, but doesn’t know how. When their busy careers come crashing to a halt because of the pandemic, they face a new reality at home. Who gets to be the one to leave a job during uncertain times? And can they rely on their 19 year marriage for stability and support?
Husband and wife who are co-owners of a winery and restaurant. He loves the colleague that she is at work, but he likes less the wife she is at home. As their marriage ends, they wonder if the future of their business depends on the future of their marriage.
They’ve been hairdressers for many years in a job that feels like a cross between salesperson and therapist. They vie for new clients and commissions while absorbing the anxieties, frustrations, and burdens of their regulars. How they each handle this balance is a study in contrasts.
She’s been unhappy at her job for more than 20 years and doesn't know how to leave. Her sister, a successful entrepreneur, wants to help, but this only makes her feel less-than. Family tensions and resentments, both at home and at the office, keep her frozen in place. Esther walks the sisters through an exit plan.
She owns a successful restaurant. He was her bar manager for six years. Now they’re going into business together as co-owners of a taqueria. They turn to Esther for guidance on how to transition from employer-employee to partners in a new venture. But they walk away with a deeper understanding of the ways their different cultural backgrounds and previous working relationships influence their partnership.
They were mates in university before co-founding a successful communications company. They still work together from different coasts, but they barely speak. One wants to move on; the other is grasping for his former friend. Neither can find the words to talk about it.
She started a real estate company 30 years ago. Her son, who calls himself a Mama’s Boy, recently joined the business. They think their close mother-son relationship hurts the brand. With Esther’s help, they start to explore the many gender and familial biases at play...both in the office and around the family dinner table.
Friends and fellow dancers at a strip club: one brings years of experience, the other a youthful energy that turns angry at times. They’re here to talk about boundaries that are crossed, educating “civilians" about their work, family acceptance, and how they'll transition from the sex work industry into professional careers. Can sex work be a bullet point on a resume?
They flew fighter jets together in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then they co-founded a successful business. Now, for the first time in their adult lives, they’re ready to part ways professionally, but they don’t know what their lives would look like without their "brother of choice." Side-by-side on Esther's couch, they talk about letting go of the fierce loyalty bonds forged in the cockpit.