This post may change your thinking about affairs!
It may get your thinking about igniting desire in your relationship(s).
It will get you pondering about guilt, shame, connection, competition, self-sufficiency, reliance, how we BE …
I like having heroes. Just as much as i like having teachers.
A hero text: Tao Te Ching.
Any opportunity i get to encourage people in these people’s directions – i embrace.
E S T H E R P E R E L.
Do i need to sum her up here?
She’s a radiantly articulate woman who’s worked as a psychotherapist for years (particularly with couples). She says daring things. She’s attractive and engaging. She meets this world and the people in it. What she has to say is sometimes funny, always provocative and desperately sharp.
When i watched the first of the 3 videos i will post here my brain said to me: Emily go work with this woman, somehow, sometime.
I also spent a silly amount of couch nights scribing her interviews.
If you were as enthusiastic as i you could get her book “Mating in Captivity” and read that!
Here are some of her goodies (just as much for my own resource as to entice you). I’ve ordered them in from top to bottom – most relevant to desire & relationships to general interest.
Thank you Esther Perel for your brilliance.
“Treat your partner the way you treat your client: with the same charm, the same seductiveness, the same humour, the same kindness, the same…you will have a great marriage.”
“The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your relationships.”
“To experience pleasure you cannot be worried. It just doesn’t go together. You cannot be at the same time anxious and vigilant and experience pleasure. Pleasure comes with an element of freedom and un-self-consciousness. A surrender. And that surrender, you can only do when you have a modicum of trust in the world, yourself and the people around you.”
“Can we love what we already have? What does it mean when your partner is actually only on loan with an option to renew and doesn’t belong to you? And what would it be like if I can’t have what I already want – actually we never have it. Hence if we can live with that we probably will want it more. It’s an illusion to think we HAVE and then to complain of boredom. No you don’t HAVE, in fact your partner can leave any moment, from death, from illness, from falling in love somewhere else, from any other reason. And if you live with that, which is a certain anxiety, because we have enough unknowns and enough anxiety in our business life and our other aspects of life and our partner should just become a piece of furniture on which we can reliably sit and it will always receive us in the same way. Errrrr (buzz sound like on a TV gameshow). Not true. If you know that the persistent mystery of your partner is right there. If you know that they’re not for granted and that they actually could leave at any moment. You’d make an effort. You’d make the kind of effort with your clients, you’d make an effort you’d make with your business partners. Because they wouldn’t take this stuff.”
“Desire needs Space, Difference, Otherness.”
“When do you find your self most drawn to your partner…[she lists a lot but this i found interesting], when I see them vulnerable. When they see me vulnerable – which usually means that I’m not.”
“Who doesn’t wanna come back to someone who gives them freedom, who doesn’t just give them freedom but encourages their freedom. We want to come back, because we want both. We need freedom and we need security.”
“We are asking one person to give us what once an entire village used to provide, in numbers of people and in multiple meanings and I think it’s crushing us, it puts way too any expectations on our partners.”
“The average American today has about 1 or 1 and 1/2 person(s) to turn to in the time of crisis. That is tragic. That’s the level of people we reach out to.”
“The research about what people regret, or what people wish they had done differently when they are about to die is basically all about relationships. I work too much, I didn’t spend enough time with my children – is the number one for men. I didn’t do enough of what I really wanted to do. I didn’t trust my gut. I did what was expected of me more than what I really wanted. I didn’t spend time with my friends and I didn’t cultivate my relationships enough.”
And here the quotes become more general, and for me just as golden, but for you ? perhaps not so relevant…
“There were different kinds of families. There were familites who were very silent about what had happened [the holocaust]. There were families who spoke. But, among the speakers there were those who had victimisation stories and there were those who had heroic stories. Of course, it’s not always so clear cut but let’s say that my family were definitely into the heroic stories.”
“When I see certainties, when I see truths which are basically constructs, when I see rigid patterns, I question them. When I see a certain way where they think this is how it has to be, anything that could resemble fascism, authoritarianism – rigid structures that don’t make room for freedom, for questioning, for challenging the authority, the word, that’s where I enter. But I did it long before disruption ever came to be. Things could happen because totalitarian systems were ruling. The totalitarian system can be a school, it can be your parents, it can be the romantic ideal, it can be set gender roles, it can be a cultural framework. It’s the rigidity that defines it, it’s not the particular content. Whenever I see stuff that sits there like that, [I ask] is it really like that? Is this because we have come to agree with it, maybe more than is true?”
Read “The Search for Meaning” by Victor Frankel.
“We are creatures of meaning and that ultimately what will make us feel good is meaning. And one of the things that gives us meaning is our accomplishments, our achievements, our legacies. But the other register of what makes us feel meaningful it what we represent for others. It’s how others carry us inside of them. After all, that’s why I can have done lots of things, the legacies will last, because somebody will remember what I did, but if you don’t remember it, it will no longer exist after I go. So we need others. We are creatures of meaning. We are also wired for connection. So, we want others to matter to us and we want to feel that we matter to them. It’s what allows us to move around in the world. I can walk around freely in the world because I know that there are people all over the world thinking of me. So that I am alone and never fully alone. On the one hand we are really alone and on the other hand we are not really alone. And it’s that thing that makes me say: Relationships give you both the connection and the meaning. The meaning not just of the connection itself but of everything else you would have done. If noone knows about it has it really happened. Yes, I can do a lot of things by myself and for myself but does it exist differently if others know about it, share it, distribute it, create a legacy.”
“Which one among the two of us is the better to provide materially and which one has a value addition that is not financial, as in making money, but is in every other aspect a value addition – and then we are partners in a home economy.”
“We are born women and we become men. There is not a single culture where women have to go into the bush and the woods to prove her femininity. This is across civilisation. Whereas boys have to continuously prove they are not women and that they are real men. There is no real women. And maybe it has to do with their ability to have children. And therefore this is just a given fact. We start XX and then we become XY and so men are continuously having to prove they are men. What are the attributes – it is like to be a man? Generally it goes with fearlessness, competitiveness, self-sufficiency. Things that ultimately have made men often quite lonely. Lonely even if its lonely at the bottom or lonely at the top. The place where they probably are the least lonely is in the military. Because in the military men are allowed to care for each other, they HAVE to care for each other. They’re allowed to weep for each other. They’re allowed to die for each other. They’re allowed to have love for each other. And maybe sports next. In sports they’re even allowed to touch each other without having to fear their homosexual panic. The business world is the opposite of the military. The business world everybody has to climb above the other. In the military everybody understood the strength of the pack or the team – the two places where male bonding it normative rather than a bi-product or a threat.”
“The millennial generation are the children of the divorced. The vast number of them grew up with single mothers and they are much more fluent in the language of emotions than the boomer generation, the traditional generation. They want a place for authentic communication, authentic connection with other men which isn’t about numbers, isn’t about pretending that everything is great when you’re not sleeping and you’re awake and you can’t say it cos then they won’t do business with you.”
“Shame is the big big dark spot for men. Guilt is more for women.But shame is for men.”
“And nothing will match face to face. Something about us, we are embodied people. We want touch. We want eyes, eyes that take us in. The same eyes – that gaze. It’s the foundational gaze (mother to baby). I think people will online book their tickets so they can fly somewhere else in order to meet in person.”