Rethinking infidelity a talk for anyone who has ever loved Esther Perel
Why do we cheat? And why do happy people cheat? And when we say quot;infidelity,quot; what exactly do we mean? Is it a hookup, a love story, paid sex, a chat room, a massage with a happy ending? Why do we think that men cheat out of boredom and fear of intimacy, but women cheat out of loneliness and hunger for intimacy? And is an affair always the end of a relationship?.
For the past 10 years, I have traveled the globe and worked extensively with hundreds of couples who have been shattered by infidelity. There is one simple act of transgression that can rob a couple of their relationship, their happiness and their very identity: an affair. And yet, this extremely common act is so poorly understood. So this talk is for anyone who has ever loved.
Adultery has existed since marriage was invented, and so, too, the taboo against it. In fact, infidelity has a tenacity that marriage can only envy, so much so, that this is the only commandment that is repeated twice in the Bible: once for doing it, and once just for thinking about it. (Laughter) So how do we reconcile what is universally forbidden,.
Yet universally practiced? Now, throughout history, men practically had a license to cheat with little consequence, and supported by a host of biological and evolutionary theories that justified their need to roam, so the double standard is as old as adultery itself. But who knows what’s really going on under the sheets there, right? Because when it comes to sex,.
The pressure for men is to boast and to exaggerate, but the pressure for women is to hide, minimize and deny, which isn’t surprising when you consider that there are still nine countries where women can be killed for straying. Now, monogamy used to be one person for life. Today, monogamy is one person at a time. (Laughter) (Applause).
I mean, many of you probably have said, quot;I am monogamous in all my relationships.quot; (Laughter) We used to marry, and had sex for the first time. But now we marry, and we stop having sex with others. The fact is that monogamy had nothing to do with love.
Men relied on women’s fidelity in order to know whose children these are, and who gets the cows when I die. Now, everyone wants to know what percentage of people cheat. I’ve been asked that question since I arrived at this conference. (Laughter) It applies to you.
How Movies Can Make a Marriage Better
Man quot;Then why did you marry me?quot; Woman quot;Iquot;m beginning to wonderquot; Ronald Rogge The early years of marriage are a risky time for couples. We know that about half of couples in the United States divorce, but a lot of those divorces occur in the first four or five years. And so we wanted to try and find ways to help strengthen those marriages, and hopefully prevent some of those divorces. Man quot;Here’s to a good marriage.quot; Rogge So in this study, we had two groups of couples that we gave actual workshops, we brought them in, we taught them skills on how to communicate. And compared to a group that didn’t get any treatment, we found that after three years they had far lower divorce. Woman quot;Just.
Trying to discover where the strings are attachedquot; Rogge But we wanted to see, if we did a very minimal intervention, having these couples watch movies and talk about it, would lead to benefits Man quot;What kind of people would just sit like that without a word to say to each other?quot; Woman quot;Married people.quot; Rogge The amazing thing is that with just watching five movies together, and talking for a halfhour, 45 minutes at the end, we got benefits over three years, we cut the divorce rate in half. Man quot;Do you ever think of marrying just for fun?quot; Woman quot;Marriage, fun? Fiddledeedeequot; Rogge We wanted to give the couples in the movie condition some choice about what movies they were going to watch together, Woman quot;If I push too.
Hard itquot;s because I want things to be betterquot; Rogge There are lots of romantic comedies out there about a man and a woman falling in love, but it doesn’t really show them having fights as a couple, or giving support to each other after a long stressful day, because they don’t end up together until the last frame of the movie. So it needed to be a movie that showed a longterm relationship so it would make sense to talk about, well how did the couple on screen provide support, and how are we doing that? How did the couple on screen fight, and how are we doing that? Man quot;Well thatquot;s not the point.quot; Woman quot;It certainly isquot; Man quot;Notquot; Little girl quot;Bicker, bicker, bickerquot;. Rogge People watch movies all the time,.
And yet they still get divorced. We actually don’t think that it’s the movies that’s the magic here, I mean don’t get me wrong, movies are pretty magic, but to strengthen your relationship, we actually think that it’s the time that the couples took to spend together and focus on their relationship that mattered. Manquot;You make me want to be a better manquot; Rogge And taking a moment out of their busy life to think about, how am I acting to my partner, this person that I love the most in the world, and is that the way I really want to be acting? Man and woman arguing Man quot;Could I please get a word in edgewise?quot; Woman quot;Go ahead.quot; Rogge What really excites me about this is that it gives us a way that we can reach out and help couples.
On a wide scale, without needing thousands of therapists trained to work with each of the couples. We can offer couples a way of strengthening their relationships they can do completely on their own, and it’s not like theyquot;re just, they have to do it with five movies and stop, they could make it a yearly thing they do around their anniversary, watch a movie together and talk about it. That would be a fantastic thing to do, and a great present to give themselves each year. Woman quot;Know what you are?quot; Man quot;What?quot; Woman quot;Lovablequot; Man quot;I know, I knowquot;. A production of the University of Rochester. Please visit us online, and subscribe to our channel for more tutorials.