When I'm Manic I Cheat

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In this episode of Where Should We Begin with Esther Perel, we meet a couple who appear to be polar opposites. She is the stereotypical good girl. He’s the bad boy who breaks all the rules. Despite this fact, their union was an example of a good, solid relationship—until it wasn’t. He, unable to commit to monogamy, strays from the marriage. She, rocked by the infidelity, loses her sense of identity and sense of herself as a woman.
The aching question they bring is “are we still compatible?” Can Esther help them realize their fundamental marital disconnect goes far deeper?


What to listen for in this episode of Where Should We Begin with Esther Perel.

  • She loves his spontaneity because she is not spontaneous. When she’s with him she has the chance to ride the wave of what she’s unable to express. She too possesses qualities he admires and wants for himself. Have you experienced this with a romantic partner?
  • He believed thinking about sex all the time was “his problem” and not hers. Does the my problem and your problem separation exist in a relationship?
  • The wife served as an anchor for the husband at one point in their relationship. He both needed the anchor and resented the anchor. This need/resent is a universal experience. Can you think of a time you simultaneously needed/resented something from a partner?
  • Esther uses the empty chair technique in this episode. The empty chair is a powerful tool therapists use so clients can ‘speak’ to individuals who are not physically present.
  • Is infidelity the ultimate betrayal in a relationship? Is there a definitive answer to this question? Do we as couples need to decide our individual answer? Do you believe fidelity to be the only sign of commitment?

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