The State of Affairs
Iconic couples’ therapist and bestselling author of Mating in Captivity Esther Perel returns with a provocative look at relationships through the lens of infidelity.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. What are we to make of this time-honored taboo—universally forbidden yet universally practiced? Why do people cheat—even those in happy marriages? Why does an affair hurt so much? When we say infidelity, what exactly do we mean? Do our romantic expectations of marriage set us up for betrayal? Is there such a thing as an affair-proof marriage? Is it possible to love more than one person at once? Can an affair ever help a marriage? Perel weaves real-life case stories with incisive psychological and cultural analysis in this fast-paced and compelling book.For the past ten years, Perel has traveled the globe and worked with hundreds of couples who have grappled with infidelity. Betrayal hurts, she writes, but it can be healed. An affair can even be the doorway to a new marriage—with the same person. With the right approach, couples can grow and learn from these tumultuous experiences, together or apart.Affairs, she argues, have a lot to teach us about modern relationships—what we expect, what we think we want, and what we feel entitled to. They offer a unique window into our personal and cultural attitudes about love, lust, and commitment. Through examining illicit love from multiple angles, Perel invites readers into an honest, enlightened, and entertaining exploration of modern marriage in its many variations.Fiercely intelligent, The State of Affairs provides a daring framework for understanding the intricacies of love and desire. As Perel observes, “Love is messy; infidelity more so. But it is also a window, like no other, into the crevices of the human heart.”

The State of Affairs Details

TitleThe State of Affairs
Author
ReleaseOct 10th, 2017
PublisherHarper
ISBN-139780062322609
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Psychology, Relationships, Audiobook

The State of Affairs Review

  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    Everyone in a relationship should read THE STATE OF AFFAIRS: Perel is a wonderfully engaging writer, and raises so many thought-provoking questions and opportunities for deep thought and reflection. Marriage in America has gone through so many changes in a relatively short period of time, and this book gives both those who are happily coupled language to start a conversation and those who have dealt with infidelity an incredible perspective. Not to be missed.
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  • Mehrsa
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a huge fan of Perel's super realistic view of marriage. I've been following her work and this book did not disappoint. I know she's a sex therapist and so her focus on sex obviously makes sense and when you are a researcher focused on one thing, you tend to think that that thing is the most important thing. But I wish she had given a more holistic view of marriage apart from the sex/desire angle. Because I think this is part of the problem with some of our modern thinking about a marriage th I'm a huge fan of Perel's super realistic view of marriage. I've been following her work and this book did not disappoint. I know she's a sex therapist and so her focus on sex obviously makes sense and when you are a researcher focused on one thing, you tend to think that that thing is the most important thing. But I wish she had given a more holistic view of marriage apart from the sex/desire angle. Because I think this is part of the problem with some of our modern thinking about a marriage that has to provide all things, which is an issue she highlights. But yet she keeps coming back to the importance of desire and sex as though it is of central importance. That is a culturally specific view.
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  • Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    An incredibly well written and readable book on our long standing institution of marriage and the infidelity that has come along with it through the centuries. I found this books so helpful in providing new language and frameworks for beginning to articulate where I stand in the midst of this shifting institution both for myself as well as someone (pastor) who speaks with couples about to get married, in the midst of infidelity, hurting years after an affair and with people just trying to unders An incredibly well written and readable book on our long standing institution of marriage and the infidelity that has come along with it through the centuries. I found this books so helpful in providing new language and frameworks for beginning to articulate where I stand in the midst of this shifting institution both for myself as well as someone (pastor) who speaks with couples about to get married, in the midst of infidelity, hurting years after an affair and with people just trying to understand the various new commitment frameworks surrounding them. With as much objectivity as possible, a ton of stories and insights everywhere Petel made a hard subject accessible for me.
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  • Marisa
    January 1, 1970
    Library Request. It was a real thought provoking insight to affairs and why people do it, accept it or are hurt by them. It was very insightful.
  • Anamaria
    January 1, 1970
    "No woman should give any man all the power to shatter her romantic ideals."
  • Naeemah Huggins
    January 1, 1970
    Full of information about human behavior in love and relationships. So dense, that I think I might have to read it again.
  • Kristal
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book from Goodreads. This book should be read by everyone in a serious relationship or maybe before marriage. Very thoughtful and full of insight.
  • Cristine
    January 1, 1970
    It's hard to rate this without getting too personal because so much of it resonated at an intimate level with me. I will try to take myself out of it and from a sociological point of view review it that way.I found it brilliant. Her insights and research and truths about human relationships was fascinating and resonated strongly with me (there I go, not taking myself out). She articulated incredibly well beliefs I have always had (that made me feel like a bit of a freak in out society) that went It's hard to rate this without getting too personal because so much of it resonated at an intimate level with me. I will try to take myself out of it and from a sociological point of view review it that way.I found it brilliant. Her insights and research and truths about human relationships was fascinating and resonated strongly with me (there I go, not taking myself out). She articulated incredibly well beliefs I have always had (that made me feel like a bit of a freak in out society) that went against what we are taught. (one person should be able to fulfill all your needs, 'infidelity' is the worst thing you can do to another person, if you are happy in your relationship you will have no attraction to any other person ever for the rest of your life, strict monogamy is what everyone really wants )I didn't give it 5 stars because the first half of the book was about how destructive affairs can be but I think that's been covered a million times in a million ways. It was the second half of the book that really appealed to me.
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  • Sam Stone
    January 1, 1970
    The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity follows up on Esther Perel's previous excellent book Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence. These two books are really well paired! This book addresses such questions as: Why do good people in happy marriages/relationships cheat? And, why do people, even in open & polyamorous marriages/relationships, cheat?Perel explores human nature (and our paradoxes) and how we human beings crave adventure and novelty as well as safety and security. The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity follows up on Esther Perel's previous excellent book Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence. These two books are really well paired! This book addresses such questions as: Why do good people in happy marriages/relationships cheat? And, why do people, even in open & polyamorous marriages/relationships, cheat?Perel explores human nature (and our paradoxes) and how we human beings crave adventure and novelty as well as safety and security. And, most importantly, she explores the question, how do we appreciate and keep the adventure and mystery in our ongoing relationship(s). This should be required reading for all people interested in monogamous or nonmonogamous relationships. This is not just for people dealing with or having had to deal with infidelity. Highly recommended!
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  • Nicole Polk
    January 1, 1970
    Love Esther. Her perspective feels like a fresh take on the subject of relationships. We can learn a lot about what drives desire and intimacy by diving into the subject of infidelity. I love how while she doesn't condone infidelity, she takes the judgement out of it to examine it closer. She also brings up a lot of questions to reflect on as the time we're living in has changed the game. A great read for anyone in or interested in having a long committed relationship.
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  • Allison Sparrow
    January 1, 1970
    Not as good as Mating in Captivity, and there is a fair amount of overlap between the two books. Felt a little long, but maybe it was because I can't relate to the subject (not in a long-term committed relationship). Would love to see her write about sexual/romantic communication between two people, as that would relate to everyone!
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  • Shabnam Curtis
    January 1, 1970
    A thought provoking book. Looking at partnership with a realistic and analytical approach, analyzing what works and what doesn't. Not everyone would be ready to read the entire book but I wish everyone would read this book and would think about what Esther Perel offers. Necessary and revolutionary food for thought!
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  • Wendy Phraner
    January 1, 1970
    An insightful read into subject matter that EVERYONE has had touch their lives in some, way, shape or form -- yet no one talks about. I love the real talk, the real-life examples portrayed, and the thoughtful wisdom shared around each scenario of infidelity. There are a lot of good takeaways for anyone in any kind of serious relationship (straight, gay, or otherwise.)
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  • Sally Labonte
    January 1, 1970
    An interesting book for anyone that has been involved with an affair in any capacity or a therapist that works with couples on the subject. Esther has very straight advise and great suggestions to work with couples whether staying together or divorcing. If you listen to the Audio it is Esther, herself that reads the book.
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  • Hom Sack
    January 1, 1970
    True to her approach and advice on the inquiry of the subject, they are the investigative questions rather than the detective ones. Her talk yesterday afternoon with Robin Young was just delightful: Esther Perel - Boston Book Festival 2017
  • Fiona
    January 1, 1970
    Esther Perel writes intelligently and coherently about sex and relationships from the therapeutic perspective. 'Where Should We Begin?', her podcast, also comes highly recommended. It's an intimate and gripping offering by a psychotherapist at the top of her game.
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  • Kent Winward
    January 1, 1970
    Perel gives relationships the nuanced look that applies far beyond the titled topic of infidelity. This book is more about dealing with the give and take required in long term relationships by the contradictions inherent in being human.
  • Arno Mosikyan
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting book, ahead of its time...at least for the society I live in, provokes thinking about many fine prints of the relationship between woman and man. Always enjoyed Esther's talks and wasn't disappointed with the book as well.
  • Nazila Malekpour
    January 1, 1970
    Esther Perel nailed it again.
  • Lili
    January 1, 1970
    Something that I needed to read and gave me some insight into my own situation. A really good read.
  • Lily
    January 1, 1970
    Should be required reading for all humans.
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