Esther Perel’s second TED talk is just as brilliant as her first. In her latest talk, she tackles the common issue of infidelity.
Challenging culture’s assumptions about cheating is just the beginning. She then goes on to question the very nature of infidelity and proposes that it often isn’t really about sex at all. Perhaps cheating is about seeking the feeling of being more “alive” and “awake.”
In this podcast, Charlotte shares some of her favorite excerpts from Esther Perel’s TED talk on infidelity and then challenges you to adopt certain behaviors and attitudes that may prevent cheating in your life, and are surely going to make you feel more alive!
“So if we can divorce, why do we still have affairs? Now, the typical assumption is that if someone cheats, either there’s something wrong in your relationship or wrong with you. But millions of people can’t all be pathological. The logic goes like this: If you have everything you need at home, then there is no need to go looking elsewhere, assuming that there is such a thing as a perfect marriage that will inoculate us against wanderlust. But what if passion has a finite shelf life? What if there are things that even a good relationship can never provide? If even happy people cheat, what is it about?
Affairs are an act of betrayal, and they are also an expression of longing and loss. At the heart of an affair, you will often find a longing and a yearning for an emotional connection, for novelty, for freedom, for autonomy, for sexual intensity, a wish to recapture lost parts of ourselves or an attempt to bring back vitality in the face of loss and tragedy.
When we seek the gaze of another, it isn’t always our partner that we are turning away from, but the person that we have ourselves become. And it isn’t so much that we’re looking for another person, as much as we are looking for another self.
Now, all over the world, there is one word that people who have affairs always tell me. They feel alive.”