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The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity Hardcover – October 10, 2017
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“Sexologist Perel, a marriage crisis ‘first responder,’ excavates the messy psychology of infidelity, digging into such charged topics as the ‘new shame’ of wives—staying with a cheater—and why even happy partners sometimes stray.” (O Magazine, 10 Books To Pick Up Now)
“The State of Affairs takes 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.” (The LA Review of Books)
“In her opinion, confronting and unearthing the why behind an affair with honesty and courage, can steer a relationship back from brink—possibly towards a place of erotic rediscovery.” (Esquire)
“[Perel] deals with the mess and pain of fractured relationships with searing honesty, astute observations and compassion… If your marriage were in trouble, you’d want her help.” (The Guardian)
“Relationship therapist Esther Perel is probably the world’s foremost authority on infidelity.” (GQ, UK)
“Esther Perel is America’s first clear-eyed public intellectual on love.” (Quartz)
“Esther Perel is widely recognized as the world’s leading expert on marriage.” (Sunday Times Style by The Times of London)
“The State of Affairs examines infidelity from all points of view – the person who cheated, the person who was cheated on, and the third party – in an attempt to understand how to make modern relationships more resilient.” (Washington Post)
“Perel is a master at what she does.” (The New Yorker on podcast Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel)
“Since publishing “Mating in Captivity” in 2006, Ms Perel has become a globe-trotting guru on sex and relationships... [In The State of Affairs, Perel dispels] myths and to show that affairs can sometimes even fortify relationships, so long as they spur a couple to discuss what has long been left unsaid.” (The Economist)
About the Author
Esther Perel is a couples and family therapist with a private practice in New York City. She is on the faculty of the International Trauma Studies program at Columbia University, is a member of the American Family Therapy Academy, and has appeared on many television programs, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Day New York, CBS This Morning, and HBO's Women Aloud. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.
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Esther Perell has been studying the psychology of affairs and relationships for quite some time. In this book, she shatters a lot of myths about the reasons behind affairs, love and the whys of it all.
I was skeptical about the book at first, but I am really having a hard time putting it down. I keep finding myself looking back at passages and rethinking the relationships I have seen, the people I have counseled, and understandings or judgments I have had about others, rightly or wrongly. Yeah, as a pastor I try the judge not lest ye be judged. But as a sinner, I find myself crafting the stick by which I will be judged more often than I like to admit.
The book is somewhat cathartic in that respect. Often opening up new avenues of understanding. It’s not that she ever seeks to justify affairs. She doesn’t. But often our preconceived, worst construction on everything the cheater did, stands in the way of ever finding the ability to forgive the person, or see them as human, even when we pay lip service to forgiveness.
For some reason, I begin to think of John Updike as I read this book. He explores many of these issues through the use of fictional characters. Esther, brings in real people, real situations, with pseudonyms, and their real thoughts and feelings. With these, she mines the mechanics of it all.
I highly recommend this book o anyone who deals with people.
It's a highly charged topic that everyone has definite opinions about because most people have been touched by it in some way.
But what truly lies beyond the emotion, beyond the pain, beyond the preconceptions?
This is the territory that clinician and researcher Esther Perel covers in this important new work. Through working through the pain of infidelity with hundreds of couples, interviews and feedback from hundreds more across a broad swath of cultures and situations, and analysis of current research she tries to construct a picture of infidelity for all of us to look at and learn from.
In fifteen chapters that progressively work through defining different types of infidelity, the emotions of pain, jealousy, and guilt, processing, rebuilding, and constructing meaning, and the nature and challenges to monogamy in this culture, Perel brings her points home with clinical vignettes that illustrate both the ravaging damage and the potential hope that characterize walking through infidelity.
Perel challenges the reader to rethink their views, whatever they are, and realize that infidelity is rarely as simple or as straightforward as we think. There is no one single path to healing, there is no one pat answer as to why people cheat or what they should do when they're caught. Trying, really trying, to deeply understand the deep issues involved for all the parties is the only path to real growth, real healing.
I don't know anyone, whether "cheater" or cheated against or friend or family who would not greatly benefit from this important work. Highly recommended.
Most recent customer reviews
Great to read even if you aren’t in a relationship. Very insightful