Yesterday I finally watched the Esther Perel TEDTalk titled: ‘Rethinking infidelity… a talk for anyone who has ever loved,’ which had been floating around my Facebook feed. I hadn’t seen it linked on any of the blogs I follow, but it was linked to my Take Your Life Back Seminar Facebook page. It was kind of long, so it did take me a couple days to actually watch it. It was well worth the watch in my opinion, so I link it here. Also, I love her accent.
Esther Perel has many interesting and intriguing things to say about infidelity after her decades of education and experience in the field, and working with couples and their stories of betrayal. I forwarded the link to Blue Eyes to watch.
I thought it was interesting how she talked about how divorce used to carry shame, but now staying in a relationship after your spouse has cheated on you is thought of as “the new shame.” Only a weak person would stay. Yeah, a lot of betrayed spouses feel this judgment from the world, that and the fact that much of the world feels like somehow our spouse cheating is our fault. It is humiliating and dehumanizing, but nothing new.
I found her three component definition of an affair thought provoking: an affair includes a secretive relationship, with an emotional connection, and sexual alchemy (alchemy being the key word and she used the example of the imagined kiss being as powerful and enchanting as hours of actual lovemaking). In other words, it’s about the fantasy and she used the Marcel Proust quote: “It’s our imagination that is responsible for love, not the other person.”
She validated my feelings in terms of how devastating an affair can be and how it threatens our emotional security. How we have a romantic ideal of marriage in which we turn to one person to fulfill an endless list of needs, be our greatest lover, our best friend, the best parent imaginable, our trusted confidante, an emotional companion, and our intellectual equal. And how we feel we are that for our partner. We feel, “I’m it, I’ve been chosen, I’m unique, indispensable, irreplaceable. I’m the one! And then, infidelity tells me I’m not, and it’s the ultimate betrayal.” It is a devastating feeling.
One element of the talk that I found most helpful and that I relayed to Blue Eyes while we were walking the dogs last night, was when she talks about what the cheating partner needs to do to heal the marriage. She says the healing begins when the perpetrator acknowledges their wrongdoing, they end the affair, they express guilt and remorse for hurting their partner. That the cheater needs to hold vigil on the marriage, be the protector of the boundaries, bring up the affair, and talk about it so the betrayed knows the affair is not forgotten in the betrayer’s mind. I believe this is what I did not get. For 15 months I waited for this healing to occur. I believe Blue Eyes not being able to bring up the devastating behaviors and assure me that he had not forgotten them or pushed them into the deepest, darkest recesses of his addicted mind held me back from my healing.
She also talked about how of the people she interviewed, “95% say their partner lying about infidelity is wrong, but the same percentage of us say that is exactly what we would do if we were having an affair.” I only add this last part in here because early this morning, right before waking up, I had a very strange dream. Me being a person who likes to try to make sense of everything, I really struggle with dreams. Frankly, to me, many of them do not make any sense at all. Some make a little more sense, or have elements that make sense, with crazy shit thrown in for entertainment value? I do not understand dreams.
I have also been counseled (told?) many times that I should not be so glib (cavalier, confident?) about saying I would never cheat on my husband. I have actually heard these comments from cheaters and betrayed alike. Apparently betrayed spouses are exceptionally vulnerable to becoming a cheater. Really? I mean I get it if you allow yourself to be sucked deeply into the low self esteem dumpster, if you feel you need a man to validate you (kind of like the woman who cheated with your husband in the first place???) but sweeping generalizations of this sort don’t work for me. I call horseshit, bullshit, poppycock, malarkey, hooey, bunk, rubbish, nonsense, hogwash!!!!
And then I had this crazy ass dream this morning.
I’m lying in bed with another man.
The man looks suspiciously like a grown up version of Rob from my Japanese class back in college. After posting my blog entry the other day with Rob in it, I had googled both Rob and Michelle and found pictures of both on LinkedIn. They both look quite nice and I really do hope they are both happy and healthy. they are not with each other obviously, ha. Googling them was not in my dream, I actually did this, but this is how I know what Rob looks like now.
The bedcovers are completely rumpled from making love with my husband twice the night before and then apparently once with Rob.
There is no question in my mind, that in my dream, Rob and I have just had sex. Crazy enough, there is no actual sex in my dream, just the knowing that I had sex with both of them and that Rob is my lover.
What I do know in my dream (somehow, I just know this all) is that Blue Eyes has taken a job in a strange town. I have never been to this town before. I have no idea where this town is, but I do know the dream is current and it snowed the night before. Snowed? In May? Blue Eyes and I are renting the house that I am currently in with Rob. I hate the house. It is very dark with little natural light. It is a ranch style house, most likely built in the 70’s with little character, large rooms, but I only see the master bedroom, the dining room, and the kitchen, in my dream. There is something draped over the window in the bedroom with the shapes of flowers cut out of it. It’s not really a curtain. I’m not sure what it is, but it is orange and it covers most of the window, but allows the shapes of two flowers, a daffodil and tulip, to reflect on the wall across from the bed. I cannot remember having such a vivid dream in a very long time. I hate the fact that it is so dark in the room. Normally the first thing I do in the morning is open the draperies in our home and let in tons of light from the large picture window that has a view of two mountains, a river, etc… (this is real). In my dream I love my house back home and I do not want to be in this house. I find it so strange that Blue Eyes has brought us to this town for a job as he is the CEO of our company back home.
I am lying in the bed tangled around Rob, and I unexpectedly pick up a large manila envelope that is on the bed near me with test papers spilling out of it. Rob is a college professor (the real Rob is NOT a college professor) and he has brought some test papers to my home to grade them while he is here, and as it turns out, I am taking his class. I’m pretty sure he is a literature professor, but the tests that are spilling out of the envelope are multiple choice. I say to Rob, “do you know you have three of us taking this class? Me, my 21 year old Sammy, and even my college graduate son, The Pragmatist.” He says no, he had no idea, that I was the only one he was focused on.” I say, “yeah, even The Pragmatist has decided to take your class and he is a college graduate.” He kind of scoffs at that and I say, “no, seriously, he graduated from XXXXXXX College a year ago this week with a literature degree, high honors.” Rob is really surprised. He says, “wow, XXXXXXX College? That is really impressive.” I say, “I know.” Then I get up from the bed and say, “oh yeah, it snowed last night. I want to go look at the snow. It never snows at home.” He kind of chuckles and says, “wait, it snowed last night?” I say, “yes, you drove here this morning, how could you have not seen it?” He says “he must not have been paying any attention.” I wonder why I am in bed with this man, but I instinctively know, I will never tell Blue Eyes about him or the affair.
I cannot believe I didn’t wake up from my dream out of BOREDOM.
I get up out of bed and try and look out of the window with the strange orange cloth. I can’t see much and it frustrates me and I move from the bedroom into the kitchen. There is a picture window looking out to the neighborhood, but it is still quite dark in the room because there is a little front porch with an overhang that blocks a lot of light and it makes me even more frustrated with this stupid house. I look to the left and there is this new ranch style four-plex next door and I wonder why we couldn’t have rented something newer and nicer. The house is on a cul de sac and I am surprised at how many people are out and about on this little street in the middle of the morning. I am only wearing underwear and nothing else (which is how I sleep in real life) I was actually wearing the same underwear in the dream that I was wearing while having the dream! Briefly I wonder if people can see me since I am practically naked. Rob is wearing underwear and a t-shirt and he steps up beside me and puts his arm around me. I look out at the super large doug fir trees all around the neighborhood and although there is no snow left on the street, there is a light blanket of snow on the grass and on all the trees and it is beautiful and it makes me feel good, but I still cannot remember what town we are in. As I am looking out into the neighborhood, there is a couple cleaning their garage across the street. The mail man stops at the mailbox to deliver the mail, but he is not driving a normal US style mail truck, he is driving a small slate gray pick up truck with a large silver tool chest in the back. He is not wearing a mail carrier’s uniform either. I begin to wonder if we are still in the United States. In the driveway next door, a guy gets out of his little sedan and carries a large recyclable carrier full of Starbucks coffees into the four-plex next door. I mean, there are maybe eight different drinks in that one carrier and there is quite the combination of hot and cold cups with drinks. In the see-through cold cups, I can see that two of the drinks are some caramel colored drink with swirls of caramel and whipped cream (I don’t drink coffee). I am mesmerized by the drinks. I say to Rob, “wow, I have never seen so many different drinks… ” and he finishes my sentence with “in a Starbucks carrier before.” I look at him and he has this huge smile on his face and he says, “see I can even finish your sentences now. We make such a great pair.” And in my head I am thinking, this is the most boring conversation and Rob is the most boring man I have ever met. Why am I here? Why am I with him? I know I am still married to Blue Eyes, so why am I having an affair with this boring college professor.
Suddenly, my good friend Dee walks up to the door and instead of ringing the bell, she just walks right on in. At home, she always rings the bell before walking in, ha. I cross my arms over my naked breasts and she acts like nothing is out of order. Rob is standing back away from me now, like a statue and I am confused. Dee does not even mention or acknowledge that Rob is in the room. She hugs me tight and says, “hey, girl, let’s get you dressed.” As I walk by Rob he gives me this strange look and then he slowly morphs into Camilla, my husband’s last affair partner. Camilla is naked, but she seductively covers herself in what looks to be a beautiful silk knee-length robe with magnolias on it. She wraps it around her large breasts and I think to myself, I wonder if she got that beautiful robe at a second hand store. Then I glance back at her and think, wow, her hair looks so much nicer now than when I saw her in person.
And that is the end of the dream. WTF?
24 thoughts on “Why are dreams so freakin’ weird”
A lot resonated with me too. I’d send the link to The Player but he once talked about how he doesn’t like when I do that, that he’s finding his own thing.
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Yeah, they do need to find their own thing and hopefully that thing works. I have definitely come to the conclusion that what I say holds much less weight and importance to my husband sometimes than something a perfect stranger says to him. It’s tiring.
Funny, I watched it last night too. Thanks NotHate! I did find it interesting, but also a little disheartening. Her comment that affairs will continue to be common in particular.
Another point she makes that hit home was if the betrayer put even an iota of the same effort into their marriage that they put into the affair, then recovery would be smoother. Glad I watched it.
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Yeah, the subject of marriage and affairs can be disheartening, I think because it is so difficult to look inside ourselves and either love what we see, or make the necessary changes to be healthier and happier and I’m not sure we can be great partners if we don’t. I’m glad I watched it too. Some things really resonated with me. I found her kind of captivating and I do believe in that whole, instead of envying your neighbor’s lawn, do a better job of taking care of your own. Marriages don’t just grow, we have to take care of them.
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Perel has many fundamental points that ring true. Her messages about a) expecting our partner to meet all of our needs being unrealistic and b) looking to someone other than our partner to find something different within ourselves are similar to the message of Rick Reynolds from Affair Recovery. The difference is, if you look into both of them further, is what each prescribes to do about it.
Perel in other writings discusses that this is why as a society we should be open to allowing couples to redefine monogamy in their relationship, together, on an on-going basis. We, as a society, should encourage and support couples to redefine their boundaries and definitions several times in their life together, with each instance essentially creating a new marriage, together. This should be done openly, honestly and together (not forced by one party). She supports the idea of allowing other secondary partners to help fulfill needs that no one partner can meet. She supports the idea that we can find something missing within ourselves by opening ourselves up to other intimate relationships, other partners, while maintaining the marriage as the primary relationship.
Rick Reynolds agrees that it is unrealistic of us to expect that one partner could meet every need, want and desire. He also agrees that affairs are about looking to feel better about ourselves through they eyes of someone new. But, he goes in a different direction than Perel on how to handle that. Where as she encourages society supporting non monogamous or “almost monogamous” marriages, he does not believe that adding in new partners is helpful or healthy. Reynolds main premise is that truly loving is after limerence and the fantasy wears off, after you are faced with knowing that your partner cannot meet your every expectation, you faithfully choose to love them anyway. Reynolds also describes that after time with one partner, we see the true reflection of ourselves from our partner. It is often not that we are turning away from our partner, but turning away from that true reflection of ourselves. He goes on to point out that with a new partner, with the limerence and fantasy in place, the reflection we see from our new partner is based on a fantasy version of ourselves and we prefer that reflection to the true reflection seen in our partners eyes. Reynolds wants us to look within ourselves and our marriage to learn to feel good about who we are and would state that adding in other partners simply fuels an unhealthy fantasy.
Though they start with very similar premises, they go in completely different directions on how to resolve these issues. It is certainly up to the individual couple to decide how best to proceed. Maybe she is the wave of the future. I don’t know? I would just encourage those interested in Perel to look into her other work and understand where she intends to lead this conversation.
Interesting. I thought this particular Ted Talk was worthwhile as she made some relevant points to me and my situation, as I say above. I had that strange dream and I thought some of it was linked to the talk. I might not have even posted the link to the talk otherwise. Not sure this particular speech says much (anything) about open marriages nor invites further study on that topic, in my opinion. She’s merely talking about the pain of infidelity, why it is more painful now (a thousand cuts) and a little about healing. Again, I thought it was interesting. I am not a “follower” of anyone’s philosophy other than I associate deeply with the trauma model in regards to wives of sex addicts (which I am). Not really exploring open marriages or polyamory over here especially since my husband’s addiction is not about sex, but indeed about living in his own reality in an honest and open way and not using sex as a tool to control his environment and feed his addiction. Men like my husband lie about their sexual relationships regardless of whether they are in an open relationship, or not, so unless I was looking for a more exciting sexual experience, I’m not sure how discussion of open marriage applies. I’m confused by your last sentence. Are you advocating people to look further into Perel versus just watching this ted talk for its own merit?
Iris, Thank you so much!
We all have so many similarities and differences and so much to offer each other in the way of learning, understanding and support. Your blog is most definitely a wonderful place to share in that experience!
As far as Perel, I do not advocate throwing out the baby with the bathwater. And, in fact, I was exceptionally intrigued with Perel when introduced to her just over a year ago. At that time, I did look into a lot of her work. I think this TED talk is definitely worth viewing and can be a helpful message for certain. There is that old adage “take what works for you and leave the rest,” or something like that. But, sometimes, we do go down a path with a certain expectation only to find it is so different than we ever imagined.
So, really, my point is simply that if readers want to explore Perel, be prepared that her message may be a little different than you expect as you go deeper in. And, if you like what she has to say here, but find you don’t like the rest, there are other paths that start in the same place but may be more in line with where you hope to go as a couple. Or, maybe not?
I do find it interesting that her latest appearance on NPR and this TED talk are circumventing her previous works on monogamy. She is talking a lot about the whys here. I think we all, or at least many of us, identify with the whys. They do make a lot of sense. But, she is not talking so much about what to do about it in these talks. I just thought it was an important point to make and consider.
I’m not recommending readers buy and read her book, “Mating in Captivity.” I will just post a link to an article from that gives a very small taste of the “deeper in” philosophies.
Thanks, TL. My blog is not really a great place to come to for advice or research on any subject other than my personal experience with my own life. I posted the ted talk because I thought it was interesting. I have no further interest in Esther Perel (I do not follow her or advocate for or against her or anything of the sort) or Rick Reynolds, or any other person famous for speaking to the masses. Many times ted talks and other bits on the internet are thought provoking and informative to me, but I certainly don’t make major decisions based on what I see or read on the internet or anywhere really. If people want to talk with me about my personal experience through email, that’s great. Some have. My blog was established for me to try and get some of my pain out through writing, nothing else. I don’t have a “here I can give you advice or help you” page because I don’t feel qualified to give people advice. But, as the weeks went by, I realized that my story sort of flew in the face of what people knew about sex addiction. Actually, most people know nothing about it other than what they have read and heard in the tabloids. Many people do not believe it is real, again I don’t really care whether people feel it is real or not. It is real to me. Also, I can’t tell you how many times I have read… “and my husband was so relieved to hear he wasn’t a sex addict.” Um, okay. I believe firmly that being diagnosed as a sex addict is a lifeline, not a death sentence (if they are one–and I more than most realize this is an important distinction) and it is not an excuse for anything, but i have said that a lot of my blog. I don’t have a chip on my shoulder, just a big question mark sits there about why people don’t really want to understand something that is so prevalent, namely childhood wounds and medicating with sexual activity. Mine is just one story. My husband’s is another. I write about our story. My husband is nearly 18 months into his sobriety and I am almost 17 months from dday and we are in the infant stages of recovery, and we know that.
Kat, understood. I think we are all just want to find the best path forward for ourselves, our marriage and our family. I applaud your efforts to find and focus on that path that works best for you! It is wonderful to be able to learn from each other. There is more history to my wanting others to know the deeper workings of Perel. I don’t want to t/j on that at all, so wrote a little something about it over on R4L. It was so scary for me to do, but perhaps it may bring a bit more understanding of why I feel it necessary to talk about her deeper message when I see her talks. And, understanding is probably more than half the battle. xx
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TED has some really good stuff. I will have to watch this one too. They just take ages to download for some reason
I too had the weirdest WTF dream last night. I was in my grandmother’s house with a bunch of groceries, but I was hiding from her. At the end of the dream I could see her shadow coming towards me and I was feeling panicked LOL–what’s that about?! Its kind of amazing to me how you remember your dream in such vivid detail though, I usually can’t remember mine.
Hope you have an awesome weekend! Be good to yourself *hugs*
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I wonder why it takes so long to download them? Your dream is strange. Have you ever been afraid of grandma before, ha. I’ve been busy this week, so planning on painting this weekend–it has been on my wish list all week, also enjoying the sunshine, and planting flowers in the pots out front. I hope you have a great weekend too… any burgers on the schedule? Hugs back.
My grandmother is a very domineering person, she is not the cookie baking grandma that many people would think of ;). She can also be very loving, but she is just a bossy boots!
Sounds like a lovely weekend, I am dying to get another one of those emperor burgers from charm city. I have many a day dream about it LOL.
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Geez Louise. Detail. I don’t recall ever having such detailed dreams. Mine are often blurry and disconnected. Our subconscious is a mysterious and kind of marvellous thing!
I was put off Esther by someone else without ever watching or really reading any of her work. I need to re-visit her take on this. Thank you, Kat.
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I don’t know much about Esther Perel. This particular Ted Talk was linked by one of the mentors in the group page from the seminar I went to. I finally watched it and thought she was interesting and made some good points. It is still about the betrayer and why they don’t feel right in their own skin, in my opinion, but nothing she said put me off, quite the opposite. I found her insight interesting. And yeah, pretty sure I have never had such a detailed dream in my life, thus the post. Not sure about Rob morphing into Camilla and my infatuation with her robe… dreams are strange!
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We watched it last night. Good. But for us, nothing new. I liked the part where she said something about regret and guilt fir hurting a faithful spouse, but what about the actual affair? I asked Rog. He got that. He says he does regret the affair itself, that he ruined his own image of himself – for himself, no one else. And that he chose such a nasty and destructive woman, that there is nothing appealing about her to him. That made me feel worse. I know he is genuinely sorry, genuinely aghast, genuinely wanting to build a new thing with me. I just can’t. I want to but it still hurts – is searingly painful – to be with him. And I feel like a failure. A hard, unforgiving bitch. And ge feels bad that I feel bad because I don’t owe him forgiveness, and the feeling bad for each other cycle continues…..
I have such a difficult time some days as well. Last night was one of those nights. I have another strange post in the queue. I want to take a break from blogging, but I have this love/hate relationship see. I love to talk and this blog is always here to absorb my thoughts and words. Anyway, my issue is still with “how do I feel special now, when I wasn’t special enough for you to think about then?” He gets it, but there is really nothing more he can say. And then we try to watch a funny television show before bed.
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I have to watch this talk, I got the first part from rich, the remorse, but he won’t talk to me about it, unless I bring it up and then it’s like pulling teeth, very frustrating.
That dream sounds crazy, in a really mundane way!! 🙂 I dreamt the other night that I was trying to join the marines, it was just a two day course and I’d be in, I did the first day but the second day my officer, sergeant person said you’re going to fail look what we have to do today, a 92km walk, and I said oh yeah you’re right I’m going to have tea and cake instead. The end….ha ha seriously!? (May be a reflection of my half marathon training!) It must be playing on your mind the missed opportunity with rob, maybe coffee represents the ‘thing you won’t do’ maybe the variety of coffee is significant too – relationships can be varied, we just generally don’t want them to be I think. I dunno maybe it was just a weird dream, in a bloody awful house!
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Yes, I guess I should always remember how much I love my house! Pretty sure if we were going to be living in a different city and house I would have more of a say about it than I did in this dream. I often can remember little bits of dreams, but never like this. Everything was so vivid when I woke up, and yet, as you say, mundane. Maybe in the deep recesses of my mind, Rob was a missed opportunity, but I never thought of it that way at the time, just a good looking distraction I think. In the dream, I don’t think the guy was actually supposed to be Rob, but who knows. I know some of the themes of the dream were directly related to the ted talk and that’s the only reason I posted these two together. And yes, I got remorse from my husband, but because of the addict, it took a while for the sympathy to go anywhere but surface deep, Very few times has he been able to stay in the moment, however, when we are actually talking about the affair(s). I think it is self preservation for him, but I don’t really want to talk about the affairs, I just need affirmation that he can in fact go there in a deep and meaningful way. It’s a process, or so I hear.
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No kidding, it is a fricking process! I had a conversation with rich this morning about the TED talk. It became slightly emotional, and we disagreed, he feels he has talked about it – to the extent it needs talking about – I think what he doesn’t realise is, I set the extent not him. There are conversations internally he would’ve had that predicated me finding out about the affair, so I feel I can say when I feel satisfied it’s been talked about enough. But like you I don’t talk about it much anymore – what would be the point? I just want to know when I do need to the response will be enough. But for now I am lying in a bath of bubbles fully enjoying our 36 off/away – bliss!
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Enjoy, enjoy!!! 🙂 . I’ll be thinking about you in bliss!
‘I dreamt the other night that I was trying to join the marines,’ I love that. ‘Let me in! I have walking boots and a water bottle! I am really good at yelling!’
I don’t agree that there’s necessarily an emotional connection with an OP – the male cheaters I’ve talked to seem to have been pretty detached. In fact it may be the lack of emotional connection (plus sex) they wanted. The emotion is their own, regarding themselves. One of my friends told me of his conquests: ‘I was king of the world, I was a winner. I’d got away with it. Look at me!’ he was high as a kite. He then described the escalator shaft downward plunge when his partner found out. She refused to discuss it with him and moved out immediately. He hit the basement, spent two years in therapy working out how he’d become a lying shit like the absent father he despised. I’ve admiration, he took his medicine – perhaps because he never got the chance to blame his partner. There was no one there to talk to but himself.
I don’t really like Perel, for the reasons Tigerlilly describes above. (Thank you for your blog TL, we read it a couple of days ago and it was v helpful. Thank you both for your honesty.) I agree that we can’t be everything for our partners and that we need other intimate relationships. That’s why we cultivate friendships and why betrayals in friendship are also painful. We have to nurture friendships too – as you get older the best friendships are even more precious, wouldn’t you agree? I have male friends as well as female, and very firm boundaries. I learned to keep the boundaries by making mistakes, not by being perfect.
And we also need relationships with art, with music, with poetry or theatre – we need to transcend ourselves. This is all so much more interesting than fingering the depreciating spasms of extra-marital sex.
Thanks for your comment, but like I said to TL… I’m pretty much just talking about this ted talk and I posted it with my dream because I do feel like they were linked. I was just posting the link to this talk for it’s own merit. I watched it all the way through and didn’t hear her say open marriage once. I agree that the emotional connection many of the betrayers are seeking is with themselves. But many betrayers are looking for something deeper, a deeper validation and Perel links that in her talk with feelings of yearning for emotional expression, experiencing an adolescence one woman never had, with recent losses, bad news at the doctor, and death and mortality. I often wonder if people who comment actually watch the video? She talks about how extramarital relationships are often way less about sex and a lot more about desire, a desire for attention, and feeling special or important. Anyway, we all have our own story and I am just trying to tell mine. I hope everyone is able to read my posts in the spirit they are written.
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I can see comments are not always welcome and I’m truly sorry to have offended you. The truth is I like you rather more than I like Perel.
I do welcome comments… but it is in my nature to respond to comments, even if I want to just let them go. I am pretty bluntly honest but never want to be mean or hurtful and some days for me emotionally are better than others. No one is perfect and I am really trying to figure myself out and get through this pain. I understand we all have things we want to get out, and this is the blog of me, after all. I was confused by TL’s response, but after reading her entry yesterday I understand where she was coming from. A lot of stuff is discussed in comments both on my blog and elsewhere and people aren’t always going to agree or even have the same feelings, but generally I find the dialogue helpful and I usually gain insight into how we all get to be who we are. I try not to be judgmental, but I have been hurt to the core by actions of others, actions I would never ever do ever to anyone (except apparently in a weird dream) so sometimes those people get my wrath, because I am human. I have no connection to Esther Perel. I really was just merely talking about that one particular talk that had been referred to me by someone I like and respect. I have a lot of baggage, but having an open marriage and being triggered by Esther Perel is not in my baggage. I sincerely hope that after writing it out, TL felt better about it. This shit is so painful. Figuring out how to be happy in a marriage before and after infidelity is difficult. Anyway, I appreciate your comment and I promise I won’t tell Esther you like me better than her, ha. Just kidding. Until last week I had no idea who Esther Perel was!