The sexual revolution isn’t over and married women are less inhibited about having extramarital affairs.
Licensed marriage therapist and author of State of Affairs, Rethinking Infidelity Esther Perel says the majority of affairs are not about sex.
“They are about desire. The desire is for people to feel seen, understood, desired, appreciated, beautiful. It’s an experience where people talk about feeling alive way more than they talk about being excited.”
She says most people who have affairs are not promiscuous by nature.
“It is about being in touch with a different version of oneself. It is not so much about letting go of your partner and not wanting to be with the person that you’re with as much as it often is about not wanting to be with the person that you yourself have become.”
She says traditionally and historically, it was the privilege of men to cheat without consequence. But women lived in a far more constrained world.
“The consequences for women have always been quite dire: Pregnancy, mortality, ostracism, scarlet letter, destitution and there are still nine countries in the world where she can be killed.”
Perel was a guest on McIntyre in the Morning.