The State of Affairs

  • by Esther Perel
  • Narrated by Esther Perel
  • 11 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Iconic couples' therapist and best-selling author of Mating in Captivity Esther Perel returns with a groundbreaking and provocative look at infidelity, arguing for a more nuanced and less judgmental conversation about our transgressions.
An affair: It can rob a couple of their relationship, their happiness, their very identity. And yet this extremely common human experience is so poorly understood. Adultery has existed since marriage was invented, and so, too, the prohibition against it - in fact it has a tenacity that marriage can only envy.
So what are we to make of this time-honored taboo, universally forbidden yet universally practiced? For the past 10 years, master therapist Esther Perel has traveled the globe and worked with hundreds of couples who have been shattered by infidelity. In The State of Affairs she asks, why do we cheat? And why do happy people cheat? Why does infidelity hurt so much? And when we say infidelity, what exactly do we mean? Is an affair always the end of a marriage?
Affairs, she writes, have a lot to teach us about relationships. They provide unusual insight into our personal and cultural attitudes about love, lust, and commitment. Betrayal hurts, but it can be healed. An affair can even be the doorway to a new marriage - with the same person. With the right approach, Perel argues, couples can grow and learn from these tumultuous experiences, together or apart.
Fiercely intelligent, The State of Affairs provides a daring framework for understanding the intricacies of love and desire. As Perel writes, "Love is messy; infidelity more so. But it is also a window, like no other, into the crevices of the human heart."
After listening to Esther read The State of Affairs, continue on as she opens the door to her office and invites you to listen in on actual couple sessions. These are unscripted conversations of real, anonymous couples grappling with infidelity from her Audible Original podcast Where Should We Begin Begin? (courtesy of Audible Originals, LLC). As you enter this raw, intimate space with Esther, we hope you find the vocabulary for the conversations you may wish to have.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Insightful objective and helpful

Esther Perel writes with insights and realism, objectivity, kindness and empathy. Her own reading is wonderful and adds to the substance of the content.
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- Roberto Guidetti

Re-victimizes the victims in infidelity and almost praises the cheater for their journey of self discovery.

I never write reviews but felt compelled to do so for this book. I am someone who is in the business of listening to couples grapple with infidelity on a near daily basis. This book takes an incredibly tolerant View of the cheater. The author talks about the great things a cheater must’ve learned in their affair. The author is very empathetic and forgiving of the cheaters actions. At times I almost felt like the victim in infidelity was The person who committed the terrible act. I doubt this was the authors intent, but it was one of the major things I took away from this book. If you have been betrayed in your own personal relationship, I would definitely not read this book. Especially in the early stages of affair recovery this book will cause much more harm than good. It will be incredibly painful to hear that something that has caused so much hurt and pain was a great and even amazing thing for the person who cheated. Given my line of work, I have read over 20 books on the subject of infidelity and this particular book is definitely the most “pro cheater.” I suppose if you are a cheater who wants to justify your terrible actions, this is the book for you.
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- Eric

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-10-2017
  • Publisher: Harper Audio