“This Is What Happens to Couples Under Stress”: An Interview with Esther Perel (2023)

Relationships are hard, even when we are not in the midst of a global pandemic. Nobody knows this more intimately than the Belgian psychotherapist and author Esther Perel, whose hit podcast, “Where Should We Begin?,” allows listeners to play fly on the wall as she conducts actual couples’ therapy sessions. Perel is also the author of the best-selling books “Mating in Captivity,” about sex within monogamous relationships, and “The State of Affairs,” about navigating infidelity. In late March, as countries across the globe were enacting social-distancing measures, she launched a special podcast series called “Couples Under Lockdown.” In the series so far, Perel has done therapy sessions with couples in Italy, Belgium, and New York City, counselling them through the challenges of this very anxious, and often exasperating, time. “If we want to look at the challenges of communication, of sexuality, of desire, of conflict in relationships, this is such a Petri-dish moment,” Perel told me recently over Zoom. During our conversation, which has been edited and condensed, we spoke about how to fight with your partner during quarantine, how to go on dates from home, what to do if your partner’s habits are driving you insane, and how to maintain a sense of self when you can’t escape each other.

I saw your husband just walk through the room. Are you together in the house?

We are together, yes.[laughs.]

How’s that going?

You know, right now we are both working, doing psychotherapy. We are in our own professional worlds and then we come together, at different times throughout the day, and have a lot to share. I think what helps a lot is that both of us feel like we’re doing something quite meaningful at the moment, with what we know, what we have practiced. We arephysicallyremoved, but we are professionally and psychologically very, very close to what’s going on and, therefore, to each other as well.

Read The New Yorker’s complete news coverage and analysis of the coronavirus pandemic.

I was thinking the other day about one of your first books, “Mating in Captivity.” With what we’re going through now, the captivity has become quite literal.

(Video) Was ist das Geheimnis einer guten Beziehung? - Heiliger Bimbam

“Mating in Captivity: The Quarantine Edition.”

You’ve often pointed out that too much is expected of modern relationships: your partner is supposed to be your best friend and your lover and your psychotherapist and your child-care co-worker and, you know, your dishwasher. Everything. And those roles, historically, used to be spread out within communal structures. And it seems like this pandemic has only magnified the degree to which we’re forced to rely on our partners.

I think that, really, what is essential at this moment,especiallywhen we have just one person to give us what an entire village should be providing, is that we create boundaries, routines, and rituals. There needs to be, as best as possible, a separation between daytime and evening, week time and weekend, working time and idle time, family time and individual time, moments that are task-oriented and moments where we stop for a bit. When we’re going to eat, are we going to reset the table or just push our work stuff away a little bit so that we have room to put a plate down? I think that, more thanever,the routine that creates a structure, that brings a certain sense of order in a world that feels so chaotic and so unsure, is crucial. The ritual is what separates the ordinary and the mundane from something that becomes more elevated, more separated, more sacred. All of these three things are essential.

The relationship expert offers wisdom for quarantine, via Zoom.

Some of my friends have commented that being at home with their partners has made some of the “invisible work” they do, which their partners took for granted, quite visible. For example, they’re, like, “Who did you think cleans the house and does the dishes? Suddenly, you see all that that I’m doing.” Or, vice versa, maybe someone says, “You have finally seen what I do at work. And you see how hard I work. And you’re not acknowledging it.” What effect does that have, to have these things suddenly visible in a new way?

What is happening now, in this expanded view of ourselves and of our partners, can go in two directions. In one direction, you say, “I’m curious. Tell me more. I never knew. I really appreciate it. I realize how clueless I was, how I let you do everything.” And it becomes really a source of connection. In theotherversion, it becomes a source of blame: “You want me to tell you how much I’ve been doing? I just did the laundry! I justcleaned the sinks! You would just live in a pigsty! What’s the matter with you?” You begin to complain in such a way that insures that the other person is going to try to chew you out as fast as possible, and you’re not going to get the help.

This brings me to the question of how people should fight. Couples are going to get into arguments and log jams during this time. But youliterallycan’t walk away. I’m wondering how you are seeing couples work through things when theycannot physically separate.

You don’t need to have a door to leave the house. You can be somewhere there without being absolutely present. I think that couples, by definition, go through harmony, disharmony, and repair. This is a dance that we do no matter what. By definition, we fight. What matters is how you fight. When you get really mad at something, can you afterward say, “O.K., got that out of my system—how are we going to solve this?” or “Look, I realize I was quite unfair. Let me first say what Idoappreciate about what you do before I dump on you the whole list of stuff that I don’t think you do”? That’s why I play this little exercise of ten yeses and ten nos, which my colleague Dan Siegel taught me. It’ssopowerful. Because, if you start with the yes, you will fight differently. You will actually have a different argument. You can defuse it with humor.

Begin by saying to yourself, “What are the one or two things that they have done that I can appreciate?”Otherwise, it’s whatever is negative I will highlight, and whatever is positive I will take for granted. If we made it on time, it’s because there was no traffic, and, if we got there late, it’s because ofyou.The negative is attributed to the other person, and the positive is just taken as “that’s the way it should be.”

And you can be all entitled about this and say, “Well, there’s no reason I should appreciate that, because I have done a whole bunch of things, and you haven’t appreciatedthemeither.” But the productive thing is to start with you. You want to change the other? You change you.

What else can you say about how to fight better?

Stay focussed on the task. When you want to talk about the dishes, don’t end up talking about five different things, two of which are years old. Don’t “kitchen sink” it. Keep yourself to the one thing that you’re upset about at this moment.

Also, make arequestand not just aprotest. Tell your partner, “I really wanted you to do this. I counted on you. Can we agree you’ll do it by twelve o’clock today?” Fight from a place of enlightened self-interest, as [the family therapist] Terry Real says, not just to get it out of your system. To get it out of your system, call your friends. Vent as much as you want. And then go back to your partner and be strategic about it. Because you don’tjustwant to get it out of your system. You actually want a change.

How about sex: There are jokes going around about how many babies will be born in nine months, justsomany babies, but how do you create space for sexuality when you are trapped indoors with pets, kids, jobs, etc.?

There are such myths that need to be debunked around what actually preserves erotic interest in a couple. The idea that there is no mystery because I’m in the same room with you is somewhat true, if you simply think that being away from the person is enough. By definition, we need to create that space. For those who have little kids in the house, look at what they do: they don’t need to leave the house to suddenly become the captain of a ship, or the officer of the fortress, or the driver of the truck. They just enter into a character, and, from that “play mode” through their imagination, they transcend all the borders and the limitations of reality. It is thesamewith the erotic mind. It is the adult version of what children do when they play.

There’s a couple you interviewed on your podcast, a married couple in New York City. They are nearing divorce, and the husband has a girlfriend, and even under quarantine he still wants to go out to visit her. What are you seeing or hearing about issues of infidelity while people are in lockdown? How is that playing out?

Look, the question of infidelity is the same as it always is. It starts with “What do people define as infidelity?” We know that people are spendinga lotmore time on porn right now. If you consider that an infidelity, well, then there is more of that. Do people have the opportunity to go and meet their lovers in physical terms? No, many don’t. But do they have access, online, to connect with hosts of people? Of course they do. Can they do it while they’re next to their partner? That’s the whole issue with modern infidelity: you can have a full-blown affair with somebody while you’re lying next to your partner in bed. So there’s not that much of a change in that respect.

For people who do have another partner and can’t go see that person right now, I think what’s happening is that, in some cases, people are reconnecting with their partner and disconnecting from their external interests, and, in other cases, people are disconnecting from their partners and becoming more eager to connect with all the other opportunities that they may have on the outside.

Yes, in another episode of the podcast, there’s a German couple where the woman has returned to the man after a period of painful separation because she wanted to be back home during the outbreak.

Before the lockdown, they couldn’t resolve their standoff. “You abandoned me,” she said, and he said, “You abandoned me.” And they were in a real lockdown. But the virus made the decision, and so nobody won. Nobody had to give in. It’s the virus who made it happen, and they could say, “Because of the virus, we are together.” And then, on top of it, once they are together, they realize how much they do appreciate each other.

Let’s talk about other positive stories. Are there ways in which this could be anamazingtime for couples?

I think that, in times of distress, our priorities get reorganized, and the superfluous often gets thrown overboard. And disasters function as accelerators as well. So people are making decisions: “We will move. We will change jobs. We will go live closer to our parents. We will have another child. We will start to do the thing that we’ve been meaning to do for so long.” These things are happening a lot. There’s a lot of wonderful, positive things going on. There areso manynew openings. But they often don’t get the same media time as the bad stories.

I think, in general, when people live in acute stress, either the cracks in their relationship will be amplified or the light that shines through the cracks will be amplified. You get an amplification of the best and of the worst.

I want to hear your thoughts on people who have recently started dating. How are you advising them to spark new relationships during this time of isolation?

Things are much slower. You’re talking more, a lot more than the typical dating has allowed us; you’re not able to hook up soquickly, so you actually want to have conversations. And the conversations are deeper. New couples talk instantly about “Where are you? Are you safe? How’s your family? Have you had contact with them?” People are sharing a lot more important parts of themselves.

Are you saying that relationships are deeper when you don’t have sex right away?

You know, one of the beautiful sexual formulas is attraction plus obstacles equals excitement. This is what happens in affairs all the time. It’s what people who are apart from each other do. They pine. They gush. They fantasize. They dream. When you can’t meet the person right away, you are prevented from doing the shortcuts, and everybody has their own versions of shortcuts—maybe you have hookups where you don’t even know the person’s name. But, in this moment, people are really in the mood to meet somebody. And I am amazed by how many people are starting real love stories.

There was a great essay in theTimesby an editor whose husband got very sick with the coronavirus, describing the incredibly intense experience of caring for him. What would you say to people who are suddenly having to care for each other in this new and incredibly anxiety-making way?

Look, thirty-seven million Americans are caregivers at home on a daily basis, in normal times. [The actual figure is more than forty million.] So we shouldn’t idealize the world before COVID-19 and suddenly think that all of this is new. You need three things: you need help for the person who is sick, you need help for the person who is taking care of the person who is sick, and you need structural support. Right now the ones you’d normally rely on may be living too far to actually come to you. So your support system is no longer just your familial group or your friend group. It has to be whoever is physically able to come to you. And since so many people want to be helpful, want some sense of purpose, want to feel less guilty about the fact that they have more than others right now, it’s about engaging people around you like that. You have to geo-locate strangers. Andthat’snew.

I want to do a kind of lightning round of some current lockdown scenarios I’m hearing about, to hear what you would recommend off the cuff.

Let’s do it.

O.K., this one comes from my mother. My father, in his retirement, has become really obsessed with playing his banjo, and my mother cannot stand the sound of the banjo. They are together all the time now, and she feels like she cannot get away from the noise. And yet playing is his stress relief. What should they do?

If you start with “I can’t stand the noise of this thing,” then you know exactly what conversation you are going to get. But if you start from “I know this gives you tremendous joy,” you can say that, “At the same time, it’s hard to listen to as often, and can we come up with a schedule of some sort? Maybe I can put some headphones on. Maybe you know not to do this in the morning when I haven’t even had my first coffee.” You say to the other person, “Look, I totally get that this is your thing, and I’m so glad you have that thing.” But then you tell them, “As much as I appreciate it for you, I would like to find a way for it not to become the instrument I have to listen to the whole day.”

This is good. I’m going to pass that along to my mom. O.K., next. There is a couple in a studio apartment. One person has a very high libido right now; the other person has no sex drive. How do you suggest they deal?

Does the one who has more interest want to engage with the other one, or are they O.K. with self-stimulation?

Let’s say they’d be O.K. with masturbating, but where do they even go?

Look, you can be under the sheets, you can be in the bathroom, you can have the other person turn their head. The first thing to say is “I’m not into this; it’s good you can take care of yourself.” Or “I can take care of you sometimes, too; it doesn’t have to turn me on to take care of you—I’m happy to please you.” It’s a bit of generosity here. What people will do has a lot to do with what people think about sex, what people think about the sexual desires of the other, what people think about the auto-erotic self of the other in their presence. I mean, there are people who don’t want to know that their partner even masturbates, god forbid.

O.K., next: If a member of a couple is doing virtual therapy, or talking to their friends on the phone, should the other member of that couple put on headphones?

I think that couples need to regulate togetherness and separateness all the time, with confinement or without. In a situation like this, whether you are in your tiny studio, or whether you are on the verge of separation, you need autonomy. You need space for yourself and space with other people that are not shared necessarily with your partner, regardless of conflict. Your therapy session is private. Your conversations with your best friends are private.

How about a couple where one person always cooks? Should the other person always do the dishes?

You can say, “I know we both have a lot of things we have to take care of. Can we sit down and make a division of roles here? I don’t expect things to be fifty-fifty, but I expect them to feel fair.” Like, I hate to do the garbage, you know?

Does your husband do the garbage then, Esther?

Yes. We divide by the thing that the other person minds the least. Like, I don’t mind emptying the frickin’ dishwasher. I know he really doesn’t want to do it. We have thirty-five years together, and we joke, like, “I don’t do that.” “I don’t fold,” he says to me. And then he comes up to me jokingly and says, “Thank you for folding,” when I haven’t done anything yet. So I get the message. You need a dose of humor, or you are going to take each other by the throat.

What’s the one thing that everybody could do daily to improve their relationship while they’re stuck together during this crisis?

I would say that it’s really important to normalize this. You need to know thatthis is what happens to couples under stress.They will turn on each other and they will take things out on each other, because they don’t feel that they can control the bigger picture. This is normal. Instead of fighting about it and getting into the “who has it worse here,” just admit it together, and go from the “I and you” to the “we.” “What is this doing to us? What does ‘us’ need at this moment?” If you can think about that third entity called the relationship, and do certain things because the relationship needs it, even if it’s not whatyouneed, that will give you a very hopeful framework.

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“This Is What Happens to Couples Under Stress”: An Interview with Esther Perel? ›

“This Is What Happens to Couples Under Stress”: An Interview with Esther Perel. The therapist, author, and podcast host offers wisdom on navigating romantic relationships under quarantine. Relationships are hard, even when we are not in the midst of a global pandemic.

Is Esther Perel still married? ›

Personal life. Perel is Jewish, and says of it, "You can't know me without it." Perel is married to Jack Saul, Assistant Professor of Clinical Population and Family Health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

How much is a session with Esther Perel? ›

If you would like to subscribe to Sessions, you must pay a subscription fee in any of these three ways: (i) a yearly payment of $630, or (ii) a monthly payment of $70, or (iii) a monthly payment of $40. Payments will occur at the end of each period (yearly or monthly) until cancelled by the user.

What is the relationship between love and desire in a relationship according to Esther Perel? ›

Here's the thing: While love is a biological need, desire is more centered on a motivation and drive. Desire is a fundamental human experience that we want to be present in our lives, and when we lose it, we lose an important connection with ourselves.

What is stable ambiguity? ›

These tactics of maintaining unclear relationships and prolonging breakups all produce what I call stable ambiguity: people are too afraid to be alone, but unwilling to fully engage in intimacy building.

Does Esther Perel still practice? ›

She has run a private practice in New York City for more than 35 years.

Is family systems theory evidence based? ›

Effectiveness. Research suggests that family systems therapy can be an effective treatment for a number of different conditions including substance use disorders, depression, child and adolescent behavior problems, and relationship issues.

How many sessions is Gottman couples therapy? ›

The process of Gottman Method Couples Therapy is explained here. The length of treatment depends on the severity of the problem we are addressing. The average length of treatment is from 6 to 12 sessions (including assessment).

What do Esther Perel couples fight about? ›

It's not even about sex or money, really. Every fight is about one of three things says Perel: i) power and control, ii) care and closeness and iii) respect and recognition.

How do you give space in a relationship without drifting apart? ›

Here's how to give someone space without losing them:
  1. Ask how much time they need. ...
  2. Find out what “space” looks like. ...
  3. Don't ask for an explanation. ...
  4. Thank them for communicating their needs. ...
  5. Honor their request. ...
  6. Encourage them to do their favorite things. ...
  7. Avoid constant texting. ...
  8. Do your own thing.
Jun 23, 2022

How long does it take to reconcile a relationship? ›

Statistical research shows that the average length of separation before reconciliation is six to eight months. Thus, it is a safe period when the spouses can cool off and decide whether they want to give their marriage another chance or get a divorce.

How do you keep desire in a long term relationship? ›

Desire can dwindle for many reasons, but there are also many ways you can rekindle it in a long-term relationship. Here are our tips:
  1. Have 'me time' and 'us time'. ...
  2. Touch each other. ...
  3. Be present. ...
  4. Look good. ...
  5. Indulge each other. ...
  6. Sleep. ...
  7. Have date nights. ...
  8. Communicate.

What is simmering in a relationship? ›

What is this couple doing? In sex therapy we call it "simmering." Simmering means taking a quick moment to feel excited with your partner, even under conditions where sex is not going to be practical. That generally means no orgasms, no rhythmic stroking, no heavy breathing.

What are the symptoms of lack of accountability in relationships? ›

Common symptoms or sources of a lack of accountability in relationships include the “blame game,” selfish behaviors, and overall disconnection from arguments or tensions.

How do you tell if someone is icing you out? ›

Here are a few signs to look out for if you feel you're being put on 'ice':
  1. Your partner's behaviour is confusing; you're never sure where you stand with them.
  2. They disappear every once in a while and then return like nothing happened.
  3. They can't commit or make things 'exclusive' with you.
Oct 23, 2021

How successful is Gottman therapy? ›

Many couples benefit from the Gottman approach, with Gottman therapists being able to predict the success of a relationship with 94% accuracy. Therefore, the Gottman method is one of the most popular types of therapy for people wanting to increase intimacy using intense, tailored couples therapy.

What is quality of life Esther Perel? ›

The quality of your life ultimately depends on the quality of your relationships . . . which are basically a reflection of your sense of decency, your ability to think of others, your generosity.

Is Gottman therapy religious? ›

The Gottman Method is based on research, not on a particular philosophical or religious ideology. Similarly, passages from the Bible are not intended to be a scientific treatise on relationships, but reflect how God designed humankind to live in peace and harmony with each other and in our intimate relationships.

Who is the best book seller in the world? ›

Having sold more than 600 million copies worldwide, Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling is the best-selling book series in history.

Who is similar to Esther Perel? ›

Layla Saad is a globally respected writer, speaker and podcast host on the topics of race, identity, leadership, personal transformation and social change.

Is Esther Perel a psychotherapist? ›

Psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author Esther Perel is recognized as one of today's most insightful and original voices on modern relationships. Fluent in nine languages, she helms a therapy practice in New York City and serves as an organizational consultant for Fortune 500 companies around the world.

What are family systems theories criticized for? ›

Critics argue that the utilization of family systems theory in this area can lead to the perception of a shared responsibility for violence between the victim and perpetrator and less accountability by the perpetrator for his or her actions (e.g. Whitchurch and Constantine 1993; Finkelhor 1984).

What is circular questioning in therapy? ›

Circular questioning is a technique used in systemic family therapy to “invite participants in a conversation to consider relational aspects of the topic being investigated” (Evans & Whitcombe, 2015, p.

What are the techniques used in systemic family therapy? ›

Systemic (Milan Model)

The primary systemic family therapy technique is called circular questioning. Circular questions aim to make someone think about the connections between family members. They introduce a person to other people's perceptions and the differences in how family members view situations.

What not to say in marriage counseling? ›

3 things you should never tell your marriage counselor
  • "Don't tell my husband/wife this, but ..." Sorry, as marriage counselors we're not supposed to take sides and we can't keep important secrets from your partner. ...
  • 2. " No, I think you're wrong" ...
  • 3. " That's it; I want a divorce"
Feb 1, 2016

What does stonewalling look like? ›

Rather than confronting the issue, someone who is stonewalling will be totally unresponsive, making evasive maneuver such as tuning out, turning away, acting busy, or engaging in obsessive behaviors.

What is contempt in a relationship? ›

About Contempt

Contempt comes from a place of superiority and makes the other feel inferior. Deep down, it stems from a sense of feeling unappreciated and unacknowledged in the relationship. It can take the form of verbal or non-verbal language, which can include sarcasm, mockery, and facial gestures.

What are the top 3 things couples argue about? ›

The three most common arguments with couples are about sex, money, and children.
  • Sex: This is probably the most frequent source of conflict between couples. ...
  • Money: The issues related to money that couples argue about are numerous and many. ...
  • Children: The last topic couples are especially passionate about are children.
Mar 12, 2022

What is the number one issue couples fight over? ›

Sex and money consistently rank as the top two reasons why couples fight. In both cases, one member of the pair just can't seem to get enough of what they view as a scarce commodity.

Why do couples who fight stay together? ›

According to psychologists, arguing can improve our relationship, and increase our understanding of each other. Not only this, disagreements with your partner can also serve as reminders of your own core value systems, and what is truly important to you in a relationship, and in life.

When to give up on someone? ›

Here, experts explain some of the signs that indicate it may be time to let go:
  • Your needs aren't being met.
  • You're seeking those needs from others.
  • You're scared to ask for more from your partner.
  • Your friends and family don't support your relationship.
  • You feel obligated to stay with your partner.
Aug 27, 2018

How long can a man go without talking to the woman he loves? ›

Some guys can go on three days without talking to you. Others might even need a week and that's ok too! As long as you're comfortable with the amount of space that he needs, you don't need to worry about this.

How to please a man mentally? ›

Keep him emotionally happy
  1. Learn toUnderstand him. ...
  2. Communicate withhim. ...
  3. Be satisfied,emotionally & physically. ...
  4. Don't play mindgames. ...
  5. Never set rulesand stop advising. ...
  6. Make him feel a betterperson.

What percentage of couples get back together after separation? ›

Coming Together After a Legal Separation

According to U.S. statistics, 87 percent of couples who legally separate eventually get a divorce, while only 13 percent choose to come back together.

Why is silence powerful after breakup? ›

Staying silent can also help you feel empowered. You're taking charge and showing your ex that you're capable of and willing to live life without them. Whether you're the one who was hurt or the one who ended it, cutting off communication after a breakup puts you in control.

Does space help a broken relationship? ›

In short: yes — as long as both people in the relationship want it to. “Space can heal a relationship,” explains Jason Polk, a licensed clinical social worker and couples therapist in Denver, Colorado, “especially if the couple is currently toxic or verbally abusive to each other.”

What is intimacy to a man? ›

Intimacy in a relationship is a feeling of being close, and emotionally connected and supported. It means being able to share a whole range of thoughts, feelings and experiences that we have as human beings.

How do you get the spark back in a broken relationship? ›

How do you bring the spark back into a relationship? 7 tips
  1. Reminiscing. Revisiting your relationship roots can help rekindle the romance. ...
  2. Focusing on communication. ...
  3. Bringing back the romantic gestures. ...
  4. Practicing gratitude. ...
  5. Scheduling date nights. ...
  6. Try new things together. ...
  7. Kissing more often.
Aug 19, 2022

What is pocketing in a relationship? ›

What is 'Pocketing' in a relationship? Just like the name sounds, the practice refers to someone hiding you from others when it comes to your relationship. 'Pocketing', or 'Stashing' is when someone you're dating hides you from their friends and family and is, unsurprisingly, a very toxic practice.

What is a backburner relationship? ›

According to the study, a back-burner is “a person to whom one is not presently committed, and with whom one maintains some degree of communication in order to keep or establish the possibility of future romantic and/or sexual involvement”.

When should you keep quiet in a relationship? ›

Healthy silence can show a level of vulnerability and comfort within a relationship. At other times, one or both individuals may need a break from verbal communication, just being content in each other's space. Healthy silence can also be utilized when a person is angry and escalating.

What type of person doesn t take accountability? ›

The true narcissist will not hear it. They can't be accountable or provide empathy. They instead deny, say they don't remember, or make you the one who is wrong for approaching the subject.

How to deal with a partner who never takes accountability? ›

If someone will not accept responsibility, change your approach, or table the issue. Continuing to push them to take responsibility or apologize will only make them more defensive. Instead, see if you can agree on solutions.

How do you hold a narcissist accountable? ›

Call Them Out. Sometimes, the best way to hold a narcissist accountable is to take the proverbial bull by the horns and directly, and (unwaveringly) address their behavior. Many narcissists lack self-awareness, so they may try to push you to the wall until they find out what they can get away with.

How do you know if your friend doesn't value you? ›

One of the definite signs your friend doesn't care about you is if they mostly respond negatively to news about your success or accomplishments, or never seem excited for your growth. Real friendships are based on mutual admiration, support and encouragement.

How to know if someone doesn t want to be your friend anymore? ›

While a friend might use relaxed language, share a few jokes, or otherwise interact in a light-hearted manner, a person that doesn't consider you their friend may sound more official or formal, giving clipped responses when you meet up with them in person or otherwise engage them in conversation.

Why do people stay in unhappy relationships? ›

There are many reasons why someone might stay in a relationship they suspect has run its course. Maybe they're still clinging onto hope that things will improve. Possibly they feel they've invested too much time, effort and money into the partnership to simply call it quits.

Does Esther Perel have a child? ›

Relationship expert Esther Perel on modern masculinity and how she raised her two sons. How are we raising our boys for tomorrow?

Where does Esther Perel live? ›

Perel is a practising couples and family therapist who lives in New York.

How many languages can Esther Perel speak? ›

Psychotherapist and bestselling author Esther Perel is recognized as one of today's most insightful and original voices on modern relationships. Fluent in nine languages, she helms a therapy practice in New York City and serves as an organizational consultant for Fortune 500 companies around the world.

What kind of therapy does Esther Perel use? ›

Esther Perel: I was originally trained in psychodynamic psychotherapy, but my real home for many years has been in family systems theory—I trained with Salvador Minuchin, and then in psychodrama, expressive arts therapies, and bioenergetics.

What ethnicity is Esther Perel? ›

Belgian psychotherapist Esther Perel is the New York Times bestselling author of The State of Affairs and Mating in Captivity.

What languages did Esther Perel speak? ›

And I think that one of the pieces that really defines me is that I'm multilingual. The fact that I speak nine languages facilitates my curiosity, and my traveler spirit. We spoke five languages at home: French, Flemish, Yiddish, German, and Polish.

How do I get in touch with Esther Perel? ›

Esther Perel, MA
  1. Phone: (212) 889-8117.
  2. Fax: (212) 226-8403.
  3. Web: http://www.estherperel.com.
  4. Email: support@estherperel.com.
  5. Degrees: ...
  6. AASECT Certifications: ...
  7. Profession/Job Title:

Does everyone have 2 love languages? ›

Most people have more than one love language, and they can also change and shift over time. That's because our needs and wants are constantly shifting, and the way we experience, receive and give love can change, too.

Is it possible to have 4 love languages? ›

Each love language exists on a spectrum, and it is possible to learn all five languages. Your primary love language will likely be connected to how love was expressed in your family of origin. Telling your partner how you prefer to love can increase your ability to feel loved and appreciated.

Are the 5 love languages real? ›

Despite millions of individuals having taken the quiz (according to 5lovelanguages.com), there are no published findings as to the reliability and validity of the measure.

Is there intimacy in therapy? ›

A certain level of intimacy is necessary in psychotherapeutic relationships for them to be effective, but it can sometimes develop further into more intimate feelings and behaviors related to friendship and sexuality, into friendship, or even into sexual relationships.

How does emotionally focused therapy work for couples? ›

Basic premise: Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples (EFT) is attachment based and conceptualizes the negative, rigid interaction patterns and absorbing negative affect that typify distress in couple relationships in terms of emotional disconnection and insecure attachment.

What type of therapy is most commonly used in couples counseling? ›

Emotion focused therapy

By focusing on those patterns and behaviors that create a disconnect in the relationship, two people can begin healing and bonding in a more positive manner. The American Psychological Association (APA) states that EFT is effective and helpful for about 75% of couples who use it.


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