The Best Quotes From The Book, ‘The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity’

I became familiar with Esther Perel because she is an expert at couples counseling who works with Tony Robbins. Quite naturally, given what she does, she has dealt extensively with infidelity issues. Her perspective on infidelity is not conventional, but it’s also difficult to categorize. Throughout the book, there were multiple times where I said, “I really hadn’t thought of it like that.” With that in mind, enjoy the best quotes from the book. I think you’ll find these quotes may change your thinking, at least a little bit, with regard to cheating.

— Around the globe, the responses I get when I mention “infidelity” range from bitter condemnation to resigned acceptance to cautious compassion to outright enthusiasm. In Bulgaria, a group of women seem to view their husbands’ philandering as unfortunate but inevitable. In Paris, the topic brings an immediate frisson to a dinner conversation, and I note how many people have been on both sides of the story. In Mexico, women proudly see the rise of female affairs as a form of social rebellion against a chauvinistic culture that has forever made room for men to have “two homes,” la casa grande y la casa chica—one for the family and one for the mistress. Infidelity may be ubiquitous, but the way we make meaning of it—how we define it, suffer from it, and talk about it—is ultimately linked to the particular time and place where the drama unfolds.

— In the American marketplace, adultery is sold with a mixture of denunciation and titillation. Magazine covers peddle smut while preaching sanctimony. As a culture we’ve become sexually open to the point of overflowing, but when it comes to sexual fidelity, even the most liberal minds can remain intransigent.

— Because I believe that some good may come out of the crisis of infidelity, I have often been asked, “So, would you recommend an affair to a struggling couple?” My response? A lot of people have positive, life-changing experiences that come along with terminal illness. But I would no more recommend having an affair than I would recommend getting cancer.