AIF Blog

Infidelity and the Future of Relationships

Oct 10, 2017
CATEGORY: Society, U.S.A.

Hanna Rosin speaks with Esther Perel at the Aspen Ideas Festival.


Couples therapist Esther Perel says relationships are crumbling under modern expectations. "We are asking one person to give us what once an entire village used to provide," she says. Are these heightened expectations combined with our pursuit of happiness to blame for infidelity? 

In Perel's latest book The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity, she examines our personal and cultural attitudes about love, lust, and commitment. Perel, who is fluent in 9 languages, spent a decade traveling the globe and counseling couples who struggled with infidelity. She says an affair is an extremely common human experience, and yet it's poorly understood. Betrayal hurts, she says, but it can be healed.

In this hour-long discussion with NPR's Hanna Rosin (Invisibilia), Perel talks about the history of affairs, and how infidelity is often an attempt to reconnect with lost parts of ourselves.

Discover more about what's discussed in this episode by clicking the links below.

“Aspen Ideas to Go” is a weekly show featuring fascinating speakers who have presented at the Aspen Ideas Festival and other public programs offered by the Aspen Institute. For a curated listening experience, subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or find an archive of episodes here.

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