My husband and I have a weekend ritual when we sit down for a ‘check up’ with one another. During this time we talk about how we are feeling about our relationship and ourselves. We tell one another if we have struggled with trust, anger or resentment. We announce the thing we did during that week that most improved our relationship and on the flip side the one thing we each did that hurt our relationship. Sometimes the conversations are stimulating and go on forever – other times they are a little lackluster and neither of us have much to talk about. I never know where these meetings will take us.
We like to go to our favorite coffee shop for these weekly discussions – it makes it feel more like an event or a date. Since we had brunch plans with friends later this morning we decided to hold this weeks meeting at home, giving us the perfect opportunity to watch Esther Perel’s TED talk entitled “Rethinking Infidelity” about why people cheat. This talk was such a great catalyst to conversation. Both my husband and I found so much of what she said to be of interest. It raised incredibly interesting points and questions and led to another very honest discussion about my husbands addiction-related infidelities as well as my own affair and what the two had in common. We talked about how we felt during and after our trysts, we talked about the fantasy aspect of our actions, we talked about the power of our disclosures, we talked about anxiety and longing and desire and regret and sex.
Seeking out sources of smart, insightful information is so important when confronted with an issue such as marital infidelity. I have gotten a lot of help from books and therapists in the past – but somehow, Eshter Perel can cut to the quick in a riveting 20 minute video. If you haven’t already seen it, and are in a relationship, it’s worth watching. I highly recommend watching with your spouse and see where the conversation takes you.