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Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel

Listen to the incomparable therapist Esther Perel counsel real couples as they reveal the most intimate, personal, and complicated details of the conflicts that have brought them to her door. This season Esther speaks to a constellation of new relationships: A couple wrestling with the guilt they feel over the happiness their infidelity created. Another trying to make space for their queerness in an outwardly appearing hetero relationship. A set of friends trying to sort out if their childhood friendship needs to continue into adulthood. And Esther checks back in with couples from seasons past to see where they are now as she creates a space for us to hear our own lives and struggles articulated in the stories of others. So....where should we begin?

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Motherless Women

[Contains mature themes] A couple with two small children are at physical and emotional odds in their relationship. One has given herself over entirely to the children, while the other struggles to find her place within the family dynamic. Esther helps them reframe each of their roles in terms of what they uniquely contribute. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

40mins

8 Oct 2017

Rank #1

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You Can Be Right or You Can Be Married

[Contains mature themes] They’ve been together for more than a decade, but this isn’t the first time they’ve separated. Stuck in a cycle of explosive escalations, a husband and wife want to make it work but can’t break their habit of going for the emotional jugular. Esther encourages them to start their conversations differently. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

48mins

13 Apr 2018

Rank #2

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I Want to Feel Wanted

After ten years, a husband tells his wife he no longer wishes to be married. A month later, stuck in limbo, they come to Esther. She helps them have an honest conversation about their expectations, desires, and the ways in which their role as parents has left little room for intimacy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

51mins

16 Mar 2018

Rank #3

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Speak to Me in French

[Contains mature themes] A husband and wife met while deeply committed to the evangelical faith and didn’t kiss until their wedding day; for her, that kiss felt like “kissing her brother.” Esther gets creative in an effort to help them create a new sexual relationship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

43mins

8 Oct 2017

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

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There's You There's Me and There's Us

[Contains mature themes] They have been together for 17 years, best friends and partners who, despite their loving and positive relationship, go months without connecting sexually.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

48mins

3 Nov 2017

Rank #5

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I Don't Want to Be Your Caregiver, I Want to Be Your Wife

 Almost two years ago her husband was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson's Disease. They have three kids, a mortgage to pay, and he has developed some compulsive behaviors he isn't proud of. Esther helps them learn how to turn off the caregiver, and remember they are much more than that to each other. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

49mins

27 Apr 2018

Rank #6

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Tell Me I'm Not Alone

[Contains mature themes] A young family, a ten-year age difference, and a wife who found independence through an extra-marital relationship. They’ve decided to forgive and rebuild, but the pain of the betrayal remains. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

44mins

10 Nov 2017

Rank #7

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I've Had 100 Conversations with You in My Head

[Contains mature themes] After a discovery in her doctor's office, a woman realizes her husband has been unfaithful. While betrayed and angry, she still feels a desire to stick it out for the sake of the kids. He, meanwhile, is desperate to find a way back to her. Esther takes them back to their upbringings and the years before the infidelities to find a place of mutual compassion. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

49mins

20 Apr 2018

Rank #8

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Questions You Aren't Allowed to Ask

[Contains mature themes] What began as an eight-year affair between two women has stretched into a 19-year partnership. But despite their private commitment to one another, they’ve never quite managed to move beyond the shame of their origin story. Esther takes a novel approach to revealing a long-held secret. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

49mins

6 Apr 2018

Rank #9

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You Need Help to Help Her

[Contains mature themes] A husband and wife are united in their desire to help their daughter, two years after she suffered a breakdown and moved home, shutting herself off from her family and friends. Esther urges them to examine the way pressure and expectations – no matter how well-intentioned – can shape a child’s upbringing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

49mins

9 Mar 2018

Rank #10

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Couples Under Lockdown: Sicily, Italy

They left each other emotionally years ago, but with three kids they have been trying to keep it together. For the last two weeks they find themselves confined to a small apartment in Sicily, Italy — he bears the brunt of the domestic duties at home all day. She must report to the hospital every day to help usher in new life as a midwife. Esther helps them come to terms with what these next few months could look like if they learn to communicate with one another in ways that might save their relationship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

49mins

24 Mar 2020

Rank #11

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The Addict

[Contains mature themes] They’re grandparents, with a 40-year love story and a stable, happy marriage. But one of them had quite a few secrets. Esther gives them some tools to navigate and support each other's experiences. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

43mins

20 Oct 2017

Rank #12

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Couples Under Lockdown: Bavaria, Germany

For the last year they have lived in separate countries. She took a dream job closer to where she grew up in Germany and he stayed behind with the promise he would follow soon. Six months turned into a year, which turned into a conversation that questioned the foundation of their marriage. It took the coronavirus to get them back under one roof again. While others might complain about the close quarters, this couple hopes to find themselves in each other again. Esther pushes them to worry less about the love that was, and focus now on the love that is. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

56mins

2 Apr 2020

Rank #13

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I Can’t Give You a Child

[Contains mature themes] A woman realizes she doesn’t want to have children and comes to Esther for help expressing this to her husband, who passionately wishes to be a father. But often the stories people come in with are not the ones they take home. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

45mins

1 Dec 2017

Rank #14

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Young Love

She lives in Mexico, he lives in the US. Their immigration status has forced them to consider marriage sooner than they might have planned. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

51mins

17 Oct 2019

Rank #15

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Impotent Is No Way to Define a Man

[Contains Mature themes.] A man has struggled with impotence for over two decades. His wife, in despair over her feelings of hopelessness in the bedroom, seeks relief for her sexual frustration and feelings of resentment.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

47mins

27 Oct 2017

Rank #16

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You Want Me To Watch The Kids While You Go Out With Another Guy?

They met as religious teenagers and married as virgins. It's the age old story — once you're allowed to be intimate, you no longer want to be. Deciding to open the marriage has brought about huge changes in their sex life, and ruptures in their emotional one.Programming note: This conversation was recorded before the COVID-19 lockdown. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

47mins

9 Jul 2020

Rank #17

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A Romantic Revival

He’s away a lot. She’s a stepmother at home to four children whose mother died by suicide. Is there anything left over for her? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

49mins

7 Nov 2019

Rank #18

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Couples Under Lockdown: New York, New York

They have three kids and their volatile marriage has fallen apart. She still hopes to rebuild. He can't get out of there fast enough. Two weeks before COVID-19 forced New Yorkers to shelter in place, they filed for divorce. Now they feel trapped. If he goes he risks not seeing his kids for weeks. If he stays he worries it will thwart his plans to finally leave. Esther urges them to think about this present time together and not about what kind of future they will have apart.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

50mins

16 Apr 2020

Rank #19

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In This Relationship What Is "I" and What Is "We"?

They grew up with traumatic backgrounds, met in college and immigrated to the U.S. together. They've built stability and security, and now one of them longs for more freedom.Programming note: This conversation was recorded before the COVID-19 lockdown. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

47mins

23 Jul 2020

Rank #20