Sex, Marriage, and Business: Relationship Therapy with Esther Perel – #456

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. Her celebrated TED talks have garnered nearly 20 million views and her international bestseller Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence became a global phenomenon translated into 24 languages. Her newest book is New York Times bestseller The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity (HarperCollins). Esther is also an executive producer and host of the popular Audible original podcast Where Should We Begin? Learn more at or by following @EstherPerelOfficial on Instagram.

In this episode of Bulletproof Radio, you will learn when to call an attorney, and when to call a therapist, and how we have shifted the definition of monogamy from one person for life, to one person at a time.

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Show Notes

Links/Resources for Esther Perel:


  • One of the leading relationship experts Esther Perel
  • Dave and Esther talk about what drives infidelity, what happens if someone cheats. When do you call an attorney and when to call a therapist.
  • Cool fact of the day: Today’s cool fact of the day is that scientist are now using virtual reality to reduce phantom pain in paraplegics. Just allowing them to see with virtual reality their body reduces the pain and it can do it actually permanently.
  • Bulletproof ice cream recipe: and how it is an aphrodisiac!
  • When Esther came to the states, she discovered systemic therapy, general systems theory which underlines a lot of the things that you do as well and the notion that relationships occur in the context that families are systems, that relationships are systems.
  • Esther argues that affairs can teach you about relationships. “If your partner has an affair, or you have an affair, what are you actually going to learn from that?”
  • How the breakdown of the relationship, A betrayal, l can help us understand what it takes to experience repair and resilience.
  • What does it take to define boundaries, what does it take to heal trust once it is broken.
  • How an affair really encompasses the entire human drama.
  • How to “let it go.”
  • The ones who break usually go to the lawyers. The ones who remake come to a therapist.
  • How forgiveness, acceptance, and integration is part of one cluster.
  • Why people cheat in the first place. What drives the behavior.
  • Esther and Dave talk about some examples of being loyal, but also cheating.
  • Esther explains why we don’t need a model that’s one size fits all. “We need something that captures the complexities of life, rather than the way we just often go black and white and massively judgmental.”
  • Do you know where the highest rates of growth of HIV is happening at this moment?
  • How we have shifted the definition of monogamy, that used to be one person for life, to one person at a time.
  • Esther discusses why women have always hidden their sexual lives, and men have always pretended they had sexual lives they didn’t have.
  • Do the Americans or the French cheat more?
  • Explaining the big difference, that traditional cultures that are more collective oriented and don’t see the marriage as only being between two individuals, but see a marriage as being between two families have always compromised around infidelity in order to prevent divorce, in order to keep the family together.
  • In other cultures the primary value is persevering the family, in America Esther thinks preserving the individual is the primary value.
  • What values people want in a marriage today.
  • Why it is important not to try to change the other person, but you try to go and try to change yourself first.
  • Ester and Dave talk about how there is no way to escape personal growth, either you can hide from it in your relationship, or in other parts of your life, or you can just face it.
  • How even a world class therapist reaches out for help and keeps herself sane.
  • Why Esther decided to “step outside of her four walls” and share her knowledge with a bigger audience.
  • Is there such thing as “love hacking.”
  • If you like today’s episode, check us out on iTunes at and leave us a 5-star, positive review

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