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The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity

Category: Book
By (author): Perel, Esther
Subject:  FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Marriage & Long Term Relationships
  PSYCHOLOGY / General
  PSYCHOLOGY / Human Sexuality
  PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / Counseling
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: October 2017
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 336
Size: 9.00in x 6.00in x 1.09in

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

Iconic couples' therapist and bestselling author of Mating in Captivity Esther Perel returns with a provocative look at relationships through the lens of infidelity.

Affairs, she argues, have a lot to teach us about the human heart-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.

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? 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.

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."

Review Quote*"The book is sure to spark intelligent conversations that will have readers everywhere examining their belief systems… a thought-provoking take on relationships and essential reading for couples dealing with infidelity."
Review Quote*"The real-life examples and quotes from people who are working through the aftermath of a discovered affair offer insights into the sadness, betrayal, innocence, resentment, love, and denial that are part of this complex package. Perel's advice to these couples will resonate with anyone going through a similar situation, providing comfort and guidance without the need for an actual therapy session. Poignant stories of couples facing the aftermath of an affair and the highly knowledgeable analysis and advice they received from a well-trained couples' therapist."
Review Quote*"Sexologist Perel, a marriage crisis "first responder," excavates the messy pyschology of infidelity, digging into such charged topics as the "new shame" of wives-staying with a cheater-and why even happy partners sometimes stray."