In reading this month’s copy of Happinez magazine, I stumbled across an eye-opener of an article about Relationships. It was a series of interview questions from a world-class relationship therapist, based in New York, who has written two groundbreaking books on modern love. Her name is Esther Perel.
Esther gave such a fresh perspective on today’s relationships and modern views on love, and has clearly lived a life of purpose teaching these perspectives to couples to help change the dialogue of love. She speaks of how love and the expectations or rules that may have existed in love just a decade ago, no longer exist or apply today because “the role of love in our lives has changed so fast”. Ester goes on to stress the importance of communicating about love and working with your partner to identify how you want to be together. In today’s day, those conversations aren’t likely to happen. Most relationships lack communicating about what their love will look like and feel like to them. Most couples assume the rules that society has applied to couples of years’ past.
Ester is dedicated to helping remove the pre-established rules of love and helping couples build their own views and rules (which will change throughout the course of a relationship – and should!). This view may work for couples today, but because the world is changing – and fast – these conversations must continue to happen.
When things happen in relationships, especially with happy-couples, such as infidelity, Ester is energized to help couples understand why this occurs and then helps them decide how to move forward. “In order to answer that question”, she says, “you have to move past the whole mentality of victim and perpetrator and look at the context of the affair. Often, when someone new catches your eye, its not because you want to leave your partner, but because you want to leave the person you’ve become.” She is most interested in affairs within good relationships because she believes that “Rather than the quality of the relationship or the wish to leave your partner, an affair sometimes reflects the desire for a missing piece of yourself.” She goes on to say, “It isn’t to meet another because there is no greater other than a newer version of yourself.”
The happening of an affair is not the end of a relationship. In our lifetimes, most of us will have several marriages, or long-term relationships, and some of those could be with the same person. Ester does believe, however, that the happening of an affair is in fact, the end of a marriage. But, she then asks her couples if they want to begin a new marriage with one another. By asking her couples this question, she says they have a sense of dignity, as though they can come out better or stronger, and not be defeated or feel powerless. Her goal is to help couples feel energized by their relationships, to feel in control of them and to determine the outcome and course, themselves, without any external pressures or societal expectations.
This all ties in so expertly well of the model offered by capitalism consumerism today, which is ‘Not enough’. This model applies to every area of our lives, and Ester is helping her couples have more control in the Relationship area of their lives. What I found most insightful in this article and Ester’s views, was her ability to shed light on the fact that while infidelity is wrong, by your own definition of both infidelity and wrongness, it shows these deeper layers of people and what they be missing from themselves or within themselves – which is exactly the model we are living in.
What this all meant to me, was that her work is to have people feel as though they are enough and to establish communication with the people they are in relationships with in their lives about their views and needs. She helps people grow, to understand themselves, and to have healthy, happy relationships – not only with others, but with themselves as well.
Spread the love and remember that we are all good enough. Pay attention to what you do on a daily basis; what actions are you taking that may be an indicator of you thinking you may not be enough in your relationship? What conversations do you think you need to have with your partner? Write these things down and then take action on them. Make the conversation happen and open up opportunities of happiness and love into your life!