The State of Affairs The State of Affairs

The State of Affairs

Rethinking Infidelity

    • 4.5 • 258 Ratings
    • $13.99
    • $13.99

Publisher Description

"A fresh look at infidelity, broadening the focus from the havoc it wreaks within a committed relationship to consider also why people do it, what it means to them, and why breaking up is the expected response to duplicity — but not necessarily the wisest one.” — LA Review of Books

From iconic couples’ therapist and bestselling author of Mating in Captivity comes a provocative and controversial look at infidelity with practical, honest, and empathetic advice for how to move beyond it.

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.”

Health, Mind & Body
October 10

Customer Reviews

CTRunnels ,


No other words. Simply fantastic.

twd healing ,

Handles human relationships with grace and dignity

What a wonderfully written, beautifully eye opening read. This book explores the alternatives to the once idealized, perfect scenarios of marriage, affair, divorce, and ever after with grace and dignity. Hopefully, Perel’s nonjudgmental, but logical and straight forward ideas will trickle down in society to offer aid and sanctuary to those suffering through the typical fallout from affairs. Written in language that is relevant, honest, and real, Ms. Perel courageously provides new avenues for framing relationships and lovers’ feelings.

FurbTunes ,

Don’t Expect Dogma

Trying to put this book into a category of “pro” or “con” relative to affairs would be a mistake. Instead, expect honest evaluation drawn from many interviews, conversations, and counseling sessions — but not from religious, moralistic, or tradition-bound bases. The conclusions aren’t data-driven either.

More Books by Esther Perel

Mating in Captivity Mating in Captivity
El dilema de la pareja El dilema de la pareja
Je t'aime, je te trompe Je t'aime, je te trompe
L'Intelligence érotique L'Intelligence érotique
Lust Lust
Così fan tutti Così fan tutti

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