He Loves Her, His Family Rejects Her

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In this episode of Where Should We Begin with Esther Perel, we’re introduced to a couple who met online in the midst of unhappy marriages. She was in Brazil; he was in the United StatesThey connected and a mutual flirtation ensued. After ending their respective marriages, she left everything familiar behind and joined him in small-town USA. 
In He Loves Her, His Family Rejects Her, what initially felt uncomplicated soon began to feel problematic as the couple realizes their love story and their life story are not one and the same. 


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

  • In describing her relocation to the United States the wife says: I don’t have family. I feel vulnerable. Have you ever considered the idea of family as a source or a sense of protection?
  • Before I met her I was unhappy with my life. ‘Unhappy’ is a very personal word. How would you explain what the ‘unhappy’ means to you? 
  • Episode 7 explores the double standards placed on women (e.g. a man will pursue but it’s incumbent upon the woman to place limits). The term “home-wrecker” is an example of this double standard as it does not exist in the masculine. Can you think of other similar terms?
  • The wife uses the computer metaphor ‘I have so many tabs open’ to describe a feeling of being stuck. Does this resonate with you as it did with Esther?
  • Esther introduces the concept of structural hand me downs. These are the pieces of our lives we bring with us to relationships that we cannot control (i.e. other humans). What might be examples of structural hand me downs in a current or past relationship?

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