We Started As An Affair

Click here to view this episode's transcript.

The pursuit of happiness and its discontents.


In this episode of Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel, their relationship is great. The challenge is the mess they left around them in the process of building their relationship.         

We Started As An Affair begins as a discussion about their quest for personal fulfillment and ultimately raises questions about personal loss and the challenges of reshaping a family.


What to listen for in this episode of Where Should We Begin? With Esther Perel:

  • What does it take to prioritize oneself before a relationship? The question begs another question: What makes the pursuit of happiness an acceptable goal for which someone would dismantle the life that they’d built? 
  • For an interracial couple, differences in child rearing practices often stem from the different experience of being Black or white in America. Each partner’s calculus of danger, risk and protection plays a role in their parenting style. 
  • Ending a marriage and developing a new love require dealing with the relationships that are left behind. A certain level of tolerance is necessary for the negative and residual emotions that come with reshaping a family. Slow down to validate the challenging feelings, especially with the kids.
  • It’s tough to see your partner in a bad mood. Even more so when they resist delving into the details with you right away. Simply acknowledging difficult emotions can sometimes be more helpful than having to explicitly unpack them.      
  • “I can tell something’s going on. You always know I’m here for you. Just sit next to me.”— This statement can be a powerful moment of connection for a loved one who is going through something, while at the same time alleviating the pressure on them to discuss a solution right away, or at all.
  • We often think of a love story as being between two people. Yet the making of a marriage, and in turn the dissolution of a marriage, affects an entire community.

Sharpen Your Relational Intelligence

Sign up for letters from Esther, a monthly newsletter.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.