One of the most radical changes left behind by the pandemic is how the two live. It is Esther Perel (1958, Antwerp), a distinguished Belgian psychotherapist, a prolific writer and who, among other ideas, imposes amorous intelligence (under the concept of not feeling in relation to closed sex), a long-term desire. and a new way of understanding infidelity (his podcast on this topic has almost 10 million views, although Covid is not sure to destroy solid relationships, it has acted as a “bond accelerator increasing the stress of existence”).
“Events of this kind – he says in an exclusive conversation with Clarin – touch you with the priorities of your life, with a real balance of what you have proposed and what you have not yet been able to do, highlight errors and erase the idea. There is still time for what you want to achieve. But before everything, it occurs you need to know yourself better and understand that you cannot wait for what you want to be or have.
Specializing in working in the tensions of love – dichotomies like “I want to be with you, but I want freedom” -, he speaks nine languages and is one of the hundred members of Oprah Winfrey’s list of influential visionaries and leaders. Among his books are “Captives of the Morning: Unlocking the Erotic Intelligence” and “Public Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity.”
– Could he say that we are in a kind of new connection?
-Doubtless. We are faced, I think, for the first time in history, with the honest questions of who we want to be with us and how we want to do it. The pandemic is very helpful in a particular sense: giving us time to deliberate. When we were two, we used to blow everything too quickly, risking a loss, which could be appropriate for a large part of our life; otherwise we stand in a position where the two have tried to stay together at all. The daily dynamic of modernity has not given us much time to think: I continue because it is too complicated to separate or separate because trying to fix things involves too much effort. It’s not a throwaway option, but they’re not thinking about it.
-Doesn’t he want us to be together or alone, but without thinking of each other?
-Something like that. I think the goal is to help those involved find clarity and responsibility, together or separately. Both cases are vital experiences that teach us not to pass. We learn the bumps. It is good to be able to learn to say goodbye, to separate, to untangle that knot, to be able to have an account for what has been given and taken away, and the ability to recognize the positive that remains. feel free to move on to another scene. The length of the relationship does not matter. I have seen hundreds of eternal couples who were very miserable.
-You have said several times that one of the steps is the most complex because of the plan that places the blame on the other. What?
-Because we find the steps in that dance we accept that is to live the yoke. Couples have become the epicenter of success or failure. Let the miseries perish, if the others are changed. Because he doesn’t have it, I still feel miserable. This circle, in which one person waits for the other to control something that does not happen, does nothing but generate anger and pain. Why does he who is supposed to love me, and who sees me in sadness, not do what I know will make me happy? This is a modern phenomenon: people are looking for a partner with whom they can experience a sense of fulfillment and a feeling that gives them transcendence.
A very mystical aspect.
It seems that he took up religion or spirituality with his marriage. We have become interested in the “saints of romanticism.” In our generation, we didn’t expect couples to fill in all the gaps. We knew that we were going to fight alone. Marriage was not easier at that time, but less attention was paid to the outside. The current phenomenon is relatively ambiguous: it is too good to go, but too bad to stay. My mother’s philosophy is based on the fact that relationships are about will and duty. We may not recognize it, but we all know the difference between a relationship that is not dead and one that is alive: a relationship that survives and one that thrives. Maybe it’s time to leave the question “how to find the right person?”, for “am I the right person?”.
-In your last book you talk about the lack of emotional discipline. How important is childhood in this process?
– It is the key, because it is there, where the abdication, and the true teaching of receiving and asking, communicating and even touching other affective contexts were. The quality of your relationships is the quality of your life. Not pain, not pleasure. And that is born in childhood. Is it converted? Of course, but in addition to educating ourselves, we have a responsibility not to repeat history.
– The story of your parents (a married couple who survived the camp after the war) was a strong inspiration in your work. What?
– Because they have learned to connect with their vitals as a source of trauma healing. In the camp the people made theater, sang, sang, drew, made love in the most important things. They didn’t wait to get out of there, that kept them alive.
– He was in a relationship with the same person (Jack Saul, a psychologist, with whom he has 2 children) since he was 23 years old. Do you know who is right?
-We were good friends two years before they introduced us. I realized that we had a deep connection, no one had ever spoken to me on that level. Afterwards we had the agility to moderate our movements and recover ourselves. We often joke that most of us will have three or four great relationships in our lives, and some of us will have them with the same person.