Why do Happy People Cheat? (feat. Esther Perel)

I sat down with the incredible Esther Perel, relationship expert and psychotherapist, to get to the real truth about cheating.

Our conversation was mind-blowing, and taught me some huge, powerful insights into relationships that I just had to share with you…

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62 Replies to “Why do Happy People Cheat? (feat. Esther Perel)”

  • Wow, I love Esther’s fire! Woke me out of my complacency. I was telling my mom something similar on Thanksgiving. How men want smart women but then try to bullshit them. You wanted a smart woman? Well, you’ve got one and she sees through your crap, buddy!

    We all have that fire. Fight for yourself. And fight for that relationship only if you clear-headedly can see it’s *worth* fighting for.

    Wisdom to know the difference. ;-)

  • That is flat out b/s. Yes, I will “throw away” a relationship – no matter HOW well it went before he cheated on me. It’s not fair to throw it away? Well, guess what! It’s bot fair to cheat on me either! If someone cheats on the other one then there is clearly something wrong in the relationship in the first place. She said “maybe the other one tried to say something for a long time” – well he/she shouldn’t have tried but actually should have said clearly what’s bothering them. Once someone cheats on me, I will NEVER be able to trust that person again and I’ll NEVER stay in a relationship in which I can’t trust my partner for 100 %.
    I might be able to forgive but I’ll never forget. You seek something outside our relationship – fine with me, but then there’s no relationship with me anymore. Period!

  • Everyone thinks I’m crazy that I have always felt this way. I broke it off with my lover for not respecting my need for sleep when I worked 65 hours a week to put myself through my masters but I quickly got over an affair he had. He made a drunken mistake because he was lonely with me working so much, but he chose time and again to bring friend around while I was sleeping only four hours a day. I understand that people make mistakes but I can’t abide disrespect. An affair needs to be taken in context. It’s nice to know another woman feels this way. All my friends think I’m nuts to be so logical.

  • This woman is brilliant. This is such a difficult topic. I guess each of us will have to decide what we will accept in a relationship. And of course that will change over time depending on how the relationship has developed. Isn’t it lovely Matthew is tackling difficult subjects. I agree that reading her material is crucial in keeping a relationship on track.

  • This is the most interesting aspect I have ever heard regarding relationship. It’s like I have been given new lenses.

  • I agree, that especialy long life relationship is more value that to quit it just for an affair… but if affair seems to bean option to have not one stand affair but rather complementery relationship( In the firs is something esentional missinig and a new one offers different quality of person – not just that is the newand more triggering… but for example you live with an introvert gor 20 years and than have an affair with kind extrovert andthet is the most atractive point of an affair….i will choose to stay for some time with intimate relationship and expirience it as long as possible :-)

  • I love that you interviewed her. Heard her being interviewed in the Tony Robbins podcast. Look forward to see the whole interview :) Yayy! Thank You Matthew

  • When you take a snipet of a conversation it’s hard to get view of the big picture. It is of my personal opinion that Esther peddles a very desdructive way of thinking… funny Mathew that you called it evolved. There is no justification for cheating, period! Offering up a skill set of mental gymnastics to make your own devaluation justifiable, is not only humiliating, it is teaching the other person that your deal breakers are in fact flexible if given a good enough reason. If I am not mistaken you recently did a piece on unrequited love, and said, “Unrequited love is not love, it’s worship!” People who value you do not purposefully do things to hurt you. I am telling you from experience that Infidelity is the most painful thing I have ever been through in my life, and like so many women who are devastated and reaching for hope to save a relationship, I bought into the hope model, only to have waisted a valuable portion of my life on false promises. Infidelity is not a relationship issue, it is a character issue.

    I am often receptive to most of your advise, but on this one I am going to have to disagree. Know your worth and walk away. If someone is willing to take the chance at destroying all that you’ve built together, is that really a person who is worth fighting for? I personally say no. If you strip away all the extenuating circumstances, you are left with someone who knowingly made a choice to play a game of Russian Roulette with your heart, Home and health.

    1. Jenna your reply was articulate and well expressed. But I would respectfully disagree with your opinion of Esther. She doesn’t condone infidelity. She ellucidates the various reasons and circumstances in which it can happen.. which is part of the human condition. Anyone in a relationship that has encountered infidelity needs to make a decision based on their individual situation. Since I wasn’t cheated on, it could sound hypocritical of me to say I could forgive a single act or two of indiscretion. But I know in my heart I would have fought for my marriage had this ever occurred. Sadly I can’t ever test the theory because after 32 faithful years (high school sweethearts) he died from cancer. The fact that this involves sex makes it a highly charged subject. But I forgave him for other betrayals that happened in out time together (lies that affected us financially mainly) and he forgave me when I made a multitude of mistakes as well..errors in judgment,acting out/immaturely, my character flaws. I would have taken the opportunity to try to repair what led to the act and tried to salvage all the other wonderful things we shared together (parenting two boys, working as partners and confidantes in life, etc.). I think that was what Esther was saying. I wouldn’t want to give up my friend and teammate in life only because he messed up as a sexual partner (although serial infidelity would be an indication something else was going on). I’d never wish anyone the pain of betrayal from cheating, but I can unequivocally say there is grief that can be much worse to live with. Blessings to all who read my humble opinion.. L

  • um no. F that…I did not stay and I NEVER would. lol. Go ladies, don’t listen to being a carpet or door mat for anyone. You’re worth more than that!!!

  • Infidelity, loyalty, respect…all lost when a partner ‘cheats’. Is the guilty partner repentant? Genuinely so? Or are they only apologetic because they got caught?
    Marriage or monogamy is not for everyone, so don’t make vows/promises that you cannot expect to keep.
    Scripturally, the only reason for divorce is ‘adultery’…no reason for any innocent partner to put up with a partner that breached their promise regarding fidelity. The ball is completely in their court, and the innocent party has the absolute right to play it as they determine and see fit.
    Interesting perspective from this video…thanks!

  • So glad you did this! I watched Ester’s ted talk years ago and read her book. Loved it and love that the two of you have done something together. I look forward to watching the rest in the fast track. Thanks! :) I would love to hear other books and authors who you are reading have influenced both of you.

  • Triggered!
    Made me remember the text conversation that started the end of my long term relationship.
    Me:Hey, someone is flirting at me!
    Him: Flirt back!
    I really felt like he didn’t care about me and he won’t fight for me and our relationship.
    “And what? Do you want me to engage a first fight with her?” He said,(Because a girl was flirting at me) I hadn’t a clear idea about what he can do to fight for our relationship, now I know if he showed that he carer would be enough. Too late,bro!

  • Me again….I’ve heard that once someone cheats, it’s that much easier for them to do it again. I cheated in a past relationship several times – trying to find a way out. I went through a phase where I had to “find myself” and have an inner dialogue. I came to the conclusion that cheating hurt me more than the other person, it lowered my self-esteem and I didn’t like who I was. So now I’m trying to get out of a 10-year relationship, where the guy has betrayed me multiple times and I have been totally 100% faithful and loyal, not to him, but TO MYSELF!

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