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  • nmw 14:04:34 on 2017/04/08 Permalink
    Tags: , , , divorce, infidelity, , , , reliance, seduce, , ,   

    If we see Cuba as a representation of our essential human need for connection, it’s clear that loving and leaving someone still happens in person 

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    even though we live in a digitalized world where our screens are glued to our hands, human connection is all-powerful: at some essential level we still need to meet someone, to talk to them, to interact, especially in order to seduce them.


  • feedwordpress 12:53:33 on 2016/11/04 Permalink
    Tags: , , Donald Trump, double standard, gender inequality, Hillary Clinton, infidelity, presidential election, sexual infidelity   

    Infidelity: The Unlikely Star in the 2016 Presidential Election 

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    When it comes to relationships, why is divorce more acceptable than infidelity?

    That’s one of the questions that we will continue to ponder after the voting polls close Tuesday night.

    Next week, I have the privilege of voting in my first American Presidential election. My work on couples and sexuality began 20 years ago in the midst of the Clinton scandal. I was curious as to why America was so tolerant of multiple divorces, and so intransigent of infidelity. In contrast, the rest of the world has generally opted the other way around. To preserve the family, compromises are made around the infidelity, primarily through the courtesy of women.

    Many years later we’re back to the same conversation.

    Secretary Clinton has been criticized on many fronts. But one attack crosses the political divide: her decision to remain with her husband through his infidelities.

    Blessed with resources, the law, and economic independence, why would she stay rather than throw him to the curb?

    I’ve worked as a therapist in several countries for 33 years and seen hundreds of couples in the trenches of divorce and infidelity and I believe some assumptions need addressing:

    1. When sexual infidelity happens, there is no option but divorce. 
    Why favor the dissolution of family bonds across generations rather than work through the crisis of an affair? That is not to say divorce is always wrong, but it is often an overreaction to a problem that evidence suggests can often be reconciled (and in some cases even lead to renewed trust, greater intimacy and appreciation).

    Whatever happened to perseverance and grit; reconciliation and repair, not to mention love?

    2. Women who choose to stay must surely be masochistic or Machiavellian. They’re seen as weak, calculating or “stupid.”
    Why is it hard to believe that Hillary may have stayed with Bill because she loves him, or because she didn’t want to throw away a whole lifetime? The person you marry is not just a sexual partner: they are the person you’ve grown up with, with whom you’ve raised your children, buried your parents, and who cared for you when you were sick.

    The truth is, we don’t really know what happens under couples’ sheets.

    3. Sexual infidelity is the ultimate betrayal.
    I’ve witnessed people who have been scornful or contemptuous to their spouses for 15 years, yet we do not consider that a betrayal. I’ve known couples who have avoided or denied sex to their partner for years, but we also hesitate to call that a betrayal. For people addicted to porn we have a diagnosis to help soften the blow. But, have intercourse outside the marriage? That’s the ultimate betrayal.


    In the past, it was divorce that carried the stigma. Today, choosing to stay after an affair when you can leave is the new shame. In the 2016 elections, we have one candidate who opted for repeated divorce, and one who chose to stay in the wake of her husband’s transgressions.

    It is old news that marriage requires work. Recovering from the crisis of an affair (which many couples do) is a sign of resilience, steadfastness, strength, respect and humility. Couples who turn a crisis into an opportunity, become resilient architects of a solid foundation. These are characteristics of an effective leader, and I for one respect the tedious accountability of a long-term commitment.



    The post Infidelity: The Unlikely Star in the 2016 Presidential Election appeared first on Esther Perel.

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