The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity

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

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.”

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Additional Information

Publisher
HarperCollins
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Published on
Oct 10, 2017
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9780062322609
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Family & Relationships / Marriage & Long-Term Relationships
Psychology / Human Sexuality
Psychology / Psychotherapy / Counseling
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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What constitutes “normal” behavior among happy couples?  What steps you should take if that “normal” is one you want to strive for?  To help answer those questions, wellness entrepreneur Chrisanna Northrup teamed with two of America’s top sociologists, Yale Ph.D.  Pepper Schwartz and Harvard Ph.D. James Witte, to design a unique interactive survey that would draw feedback from around the world. 

What has resulted is the clearest picture yet of how well couples are communicating, romancing each other, satisfying each other in the bedroom, sharing financial responsibilities, and staying faithful – or not.  Since the Normal Bar survey methodology sorts for age and gender, racial and geographic differences and sexual preferences, the authors are able to reveal , for example, what happens to passion as we grow older, which gender wants what when it comes to sex, the factors that spur marital combat, how kids figure in, how being gay or bisexual turns out to be both different and the same, and –regardless of background -- the tiny habits that drive partners absolutely batty.

The book is dense with revelations, from the unexpected popularity of certain sexual positions, to the average number of times happy – and unhappy -- couples kiss, to the prevalence of lying, to the surprising loyalty most men and women feel for their partner (even when in a deteriorating relationship), to the vivid and idiosyncratic ways individuals of different ages, genders and nationalities describe their “ideal romantic evening.”

Much more than a peek behind the relationship curtain, The Normal Bar offers readers an array of prescriptive tools that will help them establish a “new normal.” Mindful of what keeps couples stuck in ruts, the book’s authors suggest practical and life-changing ways to break cycles of disappointment and frustration.
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Men are right. The “relationship talk” does not help. Dr. Patricia Love’s and
Dr. Steven Stosny’s How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It
reveals the stunning truth about marital happiness:

Love is not about better communication.
It's about connection.

You'll never get a closer relationship
with your man by talking to him like you
talk to one of your girlfriends.

Male emotions are like women's sexuality:
you can't be too direct too quickly.

There are four ways to connect with a man:touch, activity, sex, routines.

Men want closer marriages just as much as women do,but not if they has to act like a woman.

Talking makes women move closer;
it makes men move away.

The secret of the silent male is this:
his wife supplies the meaning in his life.

The stunning truth about love is that talking doesn’t help.

Have you ever had this conversation with your spouse?

Wife: “Honey, we need to talk about us.”
Husband: “Do we have to?”

Drs. Patricia Love and Steven Stosny have studied this all-too-familiar dynamic between men and women and have reached a truly shocking conclusion. Even with the best of intentions, talking about your relationship doesn’t bring you together, and it will eventually drive you apart.

The reason for this is that underneath most couples’ fights, there is a biological difference at work. A woman’s vulnerability to fear and anxiety makes her draw closer, while a man’s subtle sensitivity to shame makes him pull away in response. This is why so many married couples fall into the archetypal roles of nagging wife/stonewalling husband, and why improving a marriage can’t happen through words.

How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It teaches couples how to get closer in ways that don’t require “trying to turn a man into a woman.” Rich in stories of couples who have turned their marriages around, and full of practical advice about the behaviors that make and break marriages, this essential guide will help couples find love beyond words.
A revolutionary approach to male sexuality offers the keys to achieving sexual fulfillment

• Teaches how to retain semen for increased vitality and longer lovemaking

• Explains the relationship-strengthening benefits of deep, sustained penetration

• Includes foreplay approaches and position sequences

Fulfilling sex nourishes love, increases vitality, and boosts mental health. Unfortunately, prevailing attitudes about male sexuality and what is good sex work against these innate features by focusing on the excitement of ejaculation as the one and only goal.

Using the tantric guidelines they have practiced for more than 25 years, Diana and Michael Richardson show men how to move beyond their preconceptions of sex as a goal-oriented--and often unintentionally stressful--event so they can relax into sex as a meditative union of complementary energies. They explain how retaining semen allows for increased vitality and extended lovemaking sessions and show the relationship-strengthening benefits of deep, sustained penetration. They also explain how to perform soft penetration and how to avoid premature ejaculation.

Tantric Sex for Men includes tried-and-true foreplay approaches, diagrams of sexual position sequences, ways to increase sexual sensitivity through awareness, and how to have ecstatic experiences through reaching a woman’s body on a sexually deeper level. The authors also demonstrate how the sexual organs can be used to heal both men and women physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
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