Video: Rethinking Infidelity–A Talk For Anyone Who Has Ever Loved

May 22, 2015 by Justin Lehmiller

“Affairs are way less about sex and a lot more about desire–desire for attention, desire to feel special, desire to feel important. ” – Esther Perel

In this TED talk, therapist Esther Perel gives a fantastic presentation on infidelity that is rooted in both scientific research, as well as her own clinical observations. She addresses a number of interesting questions, including: Why would someone who is happily married and loves their partner deeply end up cheating? Why do affairs hurt so much? What can a couple do when an affair is exposed to heal and move on? As hurtful and destructive as affairs can be, can any good ever come out of them? Perel comes to some provocative conclusions and challenges us to think differently about infidelity. Check it out and weigh in with your thoughts below.

If you’re interested in learning more about the science behind cheating, check out this article for statistics on how common it is, and this article for a look at how people define it.

Watch more videos on the science of sex and relationships here.

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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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