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I'm asked a lot of infidelity in your relationship with, well, world renowned couple therapist Esther Perel comes to the red table. So you've been really instrumental in my marriage.


Every relationship has a scorecard and when this thing happens, the scorecard gets revisited.


And the circumstances where I was the cheater, I was always looking for something. Yes.


Plus, our RTT family opens up. Sometimes you just don't know what's wrong with you.


All right, girl, girl, girl, girl, uster, yeah, corelle, yeah, it's easy to talk about infidelity. This is going to be a good one. It is going to be a good one.


Once you start engaging in relationships and romantic relationships, you either at some point in time. Are going to cheat or have been cheated on. You'll be in either one of those positions or both. Yes, and I've been on both sides and so have I. I had a really interesting experience when I was younger. I had two relationships before. Well, that were kind of serious to me where I got cheated on, which really broke my heart. And then I cheated on somebody that I really cared about.


And I have to tell you, me cheating on someone was more devastating than me being cheated on. Really? Yes. It actually taught me to forgive when I got cheated on because I understood. And what I understood most is that it didn't have anything to do with me, because when I had to look at myself and understand why I did it right, I realized it had absolutely nothing to do with my partner at all.


When I look over my history of relationships, I would always say, Oh, I'm a one man woman. Right?


And then I would look over would be like, wait my how the relationships lie. Particularly when I took my first step in my recovery process, I was like, no, you're not missing, right?


Well, you're not right. You know, so like I said, I've been on both sides of it. But what I also recognize, too, was like even when my relationships fail, typically it was not over that got it. Like, I never got cheated on and felt like, oh, I'm out. Yeah, I'm not tolerating that. Which is what what I constantly tell myself in my head, oh, if he ever write all of that at the end of the day until you get there, you really don't know where to go.


You don't know what you're going to do.


I found that, you know, in the circumstances where I was the cheater, I was always looking for something, something else, that there was something lacking in the relationship. And not that it was not that I'm blaming the other partner. I'm not doing that. But, yeah, I just don't feel like I was just out here trying to hurt people and just being messy. Right. So we got somebody here today that I am so excited. Yes.


To be talking to. We've been trying to get this woman to the table for ever since the beginning of our show. Her insights are just powerful and deep and progressive, thought provoking, thought provoking. And she's been really instrumental in my marriage to Will Will. He introduced Mating in Captivity to me. And then I introduced the state of affairs to him. Yeah. And we are her biggest fans. And you are now her big fan, too.


I am a stripper is a world renowned psychotherapist who specializes in marriage and infidelity. She she's the author of two best selling books. We have read them cover to cover a groundbreaking podcast are making headlines.


And as a couples counselor for over 30 years, her unconventional insight has helped thousands of couples.


Oh, my goodness. You know what's so wonderful to see you and you were so excited to have you celebrate.


I actually think you've had conversations with well, haven't you? Yes, yes, yes, yes. But I didn't know it, you know.


Yeah. Yeah, definitely. He shared that with me for sure. That's right. Because you are. Yes, I guess so.


But latest stats that I've heard is that fifty seven percent of men and fifty four percent of women have cheated on their partners. Can you tell us why the typical view has always been?


Well, because there's something missing in the relationship, because they're unhappy, they're miserable, they're lonely, they're depressed. They're once a cheater, always a cheater. They have no morals because they feel neglected, because there is indifference in the relationship. There is a myriad of discontents within relationships that may propel people to respond to the kindness of strangers.


What are the alternatives of divorce? Everybody thinks that as soon as you find out there's an affair, you got to get a divorce. I am not of that persuasion because I think that there are many relational betrayals condemned the violence and indifference, and nobody tells people, get a divorce, get the hell out, get the hell out. And especially on women, it's the real new pressure. God forbid you still would love the person who actually, you know, cheated on you.


Maybe that person is a lot of things and she doesn't see that's real toxic. The shame of, you know, now that you can go, you've got to get out.


Right. I so relate to that because, you know, I'm asked a lot about is there infidelity in your relationship with. Well, and it's like no, but there have been other betrayals of the heart that have been far bigger than I could even think in regards to an infidelity situation. When you talk about contempt or resentment or what have you neglect. It can just tear your world apart, so many of the people that I see have been faithful for decades, right.


And then one day they cross the line that they never thought they would cross. Right. You know, why would they risk losing everything they built for what's right? You know, the idea is that if you have everything that you want at home, there should be no reason to go looking elsewhere. Hence, if you go looking elsewhere, there is something missing. Either it's in you, whether it's in your partner, but there must be a deficiency somewhere.


One person who cheats on another, the perpetrator and a victim, a good person and a bad person. And it's a lot more more than that. And if you were more or whatever, smarter, taller or richer or more powerful more, it wouldn't have happened. It's not the case. Right. You might be married to someone who is just a innate adventurer. Like there's just certain kinds of desires within of that that have nothing to do with you, per say.


But they are personal desires that need to be explored in some manner. And even if it's not necessarily an exploration that lasts forever is an exploration that needs to happen to get through a passage of some kind. That is an important idea, because specifically for me, in regards to creating now redefining my marriage as a life partnership was the necessity of autonomy for myself and for will, you know, and finding the core of us that wanted to be together outside of the constraints of the traditional ideas of marriage because they weren't working for us.


Right. We went on that journey of that life partnership to find that autonomy and to find the true, authentic bond outside of obligation. I don't want you to be obligated. What part of this is the part that you actually want and the part that you want to be devoted to? And what part of it do I want and want to be devoted to? Outside of what we've been told we're supposed to be obligated to? What were you told you have to do?


You know, you have to be a perfect wife. You have to be that source that supports his dreams. No matter what it is, whatever he wants to build, you're there to support that.


Our whole life looked like his dream.


And the title for that you got was I'm his muse. I'm his. Yeah. Basically, you know, I'm his energy source. That's great. But I mean, well, I've got to create part of this life that is design and looks like me. And when you said that, did he was he receptive or he felt abandoned? He felt abandoned.


At first he felt really abandoned because if you take a little bit of autonomy, you may leave all to. Exactly.


And that's one of the reasons why I stayed in it the way I did for so long, because I was so terrified. First of all, you never want to hurt the person that you love and never want to create instability in that way. So I stayed in that position for so long because I just didn't I didn't know how to say it. It was one of those truths.


When I say that the truth get deeper, that was that was a core truth that took years for me to just go. Can't but you just made a fantastic distinction. It's not the same staying in a marriage versus staying in a role. Right.


But this man. Yes. Yes.


You know, I have this we I always think of relationships. For me, relationships are stories. Right? So I think you pick a partner, you pick a story. Right. But then sometimes you find yourself recruited for a play that you didn't audition for. Exactly.


And it's the role that's the Rodgers. And people confuse changing the role with wanting to change the whole relationship and leave. Right.


Not only did I want to change the role, but I wanted to change the play.


And once you change the life story, you can create a new love. Exactly.


Exactly. And that's exactly what has occurred. Yeah. And it's been beautiful. But when I tell you it has been one of the most excruciating processes of my life, I've wanted to personally break out of Will needing to be something for me because I felt like it was so unfair and a lot of it had to do with my father issues. I just realized one day I was like, this man is not your father. He's not stop it or he's not meant to be.


Everything your father was was exactly. And that was the thing. And I was like, you got to grow up. If you're like me, you probably start thinking about what to eat for dinner while you're eating lunch. I love food. That's why I love using post meat. But I kind of love them even more right now because I can get food delivered without leaving the house or even opening the door, given what's going on in the world. They created noncontact delivery.


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That little girl trauma does not work here. And that was the work that she must have.


I mean, usually it takes two to tango. So if. Oh no, that's what I thought, that that's where we connect.


It was our childhood traumas. Exactly. And in my co-dependency, I was like, don't you worry. I'll take all your feeling and emotion. You don't have to deal with that. I'll deal with that for you. And that was the secret contract that I had made with him. And then I had to make the decision. One of the most painful decisions was I got to give that back to you.


I can't do that for you any longer. And I can't ask you to do it for me. We're going to have to be in this thing together as individuals and we're going to have to be real grown in this because it ain't working like this. We got to do our own work.


Interestingly, when people do their own work, they're able to be more there for the other. Yes, I can be there for you because I'm not busy doing it from the place that says I'll be the custodian of everything that you don't want to deal with. Yeah. And then be upset about it and then ask you to reward me for it.


That was that was the cycle right there. That was my cycle. And then I went into martyrdom and his will then be, you know, what I've done for you.


You know, every relationship has a score cards. Yes. Right. What you've done, what you give up or they give up, you know, and when this thing happens, the score card gets revisited.


And it's a lot of things that I was willing to do for us just because that I know I'm not you know, they never said, no, we are going to redistribute, you know, the needs assessment in our relationship.


Who gets what when? What a tension. No, I'm not okay anymore with your being out in ten o'clock at night every night and me taking care of everything that the house looks so beautiful.


So you can be really proud of me and do absolutely nothing if you need the same things that you need right now.


Because I think people don't really I think and you talk about it in the book that people are afraid to even sit down and have the discussion. Right. You know what?


We don't have this after they have a crisis. Yes. Not before. Right. And even like that was in my case, it was after the fact that I had to discussion. I'm glad I did, but I. And what was your discussion? We went into a relationship with the automatic expectation that sexual exclusivity was expected. Like this is how this is how it is. Right. You supposed to be getting married. You you are sexually exclusive.


You're not going to be having sex with other people. Right. You know, and I don't think people really talk about what what is needed, what does it mean? What is being exclusive or not? You know, I think it's important to understand why is that conversation so difficult? Because I meet you and I fall in love with you. And I think I have found the one and the one means, especially since I'm not eighteen these days in the western part, only eight.


So I've had I've been around. Now you are the one for whom I'm going to delete my apps and you are going to fulfill every one of my needs. And how can I then say to you in the same breath I found the one. Let's talk about what would happen if we had desires for others. What do we do with our sexuality? Can we have a sexual health? Conversations about boundaries, about desire, about fantasies, about past experiences, about trauma.


But a lot of things. No, we don't, because the minute I tell you I want to talk about anything that isn't you, you're going to say what's wrong with me. Right. You know, monogamy used to be one person for life today. Monogamy is one person that that's not right.


You know, so I come to you. It's not like I have been exclusive. It's that that for you, I will stop being with anybody else. That's your importance. Now, you know, we live with the murder. The romantic ideal is a tenacious model. And that model today is that, you know, I'm going to have with you everything that I was supposed to get in traditional marriage. You're going to be my co parent and I'm going to have economic.


Support and we're going to be partners, but on top of it, you're going to be my best friend and you're going to be my confidence and you're going to be my absolute pleasure and you're going to help me become the best version of myself. You know, I'm going to climb the Olympus with you. Right. You know, so when this happens, it becomes the ultimate betrayal. Yeah, it's always been painful, but today it has become the ultimate betrayal.


It's the first time that we divorce because there is infidelity. At the time people talked about exclusivity or monogamy. It pretty much was an economic imposition on women. It had nothing to do with love. Right. It was in order to know which are the children that I need to feed and who's going to get the cows when I die. Once we brought love into marriage and once we brought sex to love and we combined all of that with happiness.


Now, when you cheat on me, it becomes. A romantic crisis, it becomes an emotional betrayal. It's not just an economic betrayal, and now I start to think this whole thing that we created was a lie.


I know it's a fraud.


The 15 years we had together, we're just one big lie, as if everything you've therefore said is not true. And it just the whole thing comes crumbling down. Right.


Wow. So infidelity is a subject that comes up a lot with our viewers. Most of you want advice. So we're bringing our viewers into today's conversation. So first up is Whitney and Dennis from Nashville.


Hey, Lulu, welcome. Thank you for having us.


So me and my husband have been together going on nine years, been about six years ago. I found out that he had had an affair. At first I didn't forgive him because I felt really broken. But I decided that I was going to work really hard because of how good we are as a family. I mean, he is a very good teammate. We have worked really hard. He's shaking his head.


Yes, next to you. And we work hard. Yes. But there are still times that he'll go out and I'll start to get anxiety. I'll get a little angry and it kind of upsets me.


But, you know, I brought upon myself. So I guess my question is, we've done all this work, but what else could we do to regain like one hundred percent trust the voice that you want him to be for?


You also exist inside of you. And it is a voice that is normal that you get triggered. That's not unusual. But you also can you can breathe. You can reassure yourself. You can remember what just happened two hours before. That lets you know that you are in a completely different place from where you were and you bring yourself under solid ground so that you can also calm your nervous system and deal with the trigger and not feel completely at the mercy of him.


Hey, Dennis, do you have any clarity or understanding on why you might have cheated?


I don't. I think it's more. Do I still have my age accepted by other women? I'm like that.


Yep, got it. That makes sense. The more you tell her that she lives inside of you in this beautiful way when you're not with her and the less that she will only reach out to you when she's triggered because it will be replaced by a caring connection versus a fear based connection. Yeah, caring versus fear based.


Yeah. That makes you really want to know if you still have it somewhere to do it. Real talk. Thank you so much. I really appreciate you being here for us today.


What would you say are the key elements in the healing and forgiveness process? OK, the first thing I do need to know is that you care about the fact that you hurt me and that you can show me the appropriate guilt and remorse and know that you did. I've already apologized. So what now? Do you want to bring it up again? You know, how many times are going to have to talk about this? Not how many times. Many, many, many times, because you have just fractured my reality.


And everything that I told was is no more. And I'm trying to piece it back together. And you need to do me the courtesy of answering the question, even if I'm asking it you 10 times. And that's part of the healing process that's crucial. You know, the old saying is that men aren't meant to be monogamous and that women are meant to be monogamous. Oh, yeah.


You hear that all the time. Yes. You hear that all the time.


Decided that men want sex and women want love. We could look at it like that, but we could also see this. Men have historically and all over the world been given the permission to want sex. Yeah. And through sex, they have to access every other emotional need that is usually denied to them.


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It's the great. Yes, love, connection, intimacy, attention, tenderness, surrender, you name it. Sex is the only way that they can legitimately receive any of those things. So, of course, it looks like all he wants is sex, but it's a code for everything else that is usually forbidden. And women have received the language of love and intimacy. And so that's what she needs to use in order to access her desires, her sensuality, her sexuality.


Got it.


Next on Skype is Jennifer from the Bay Area and she has a question. Hey, Jennifer, how are you? What's on your mind, though?


Me and my husband have been together for 12 years. Got it. About four years ago, we moved from the Bay Area to Las Vegas. After he got laid off a couple of months later, I became depressed and I met a man at a bar and engaged in a one month affair with him. I don't really understand why it really rocked our relationship. Right. So I need help understanding what he might be feeling so I can regain his trust.


Tell me something. Did he find work again?


Yes, because this happened at a moment when he felt particularly vulnerable and he felt that he had lost a lot of his value.


Yeah. What am I worth that I'm so easily replaceable that you can go and rock everything that we have with some dude? Like, who is this guy? You know, for that, you would destroy everything that we have built. Is that all? I mean, for you, it's a real crisis of meaning. Oh.


Oh, wow. Well, there it is, Jennifer. I got it. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you so much for sharing your story. You're welcome.


Thank you. What have you found is the reason that women cheat? What they tell you all the time is it's not that I wanted to find another person is that I wanted to find another self. Right. It's not that I wanted to leave the person that I'm with. I have a great husband, he's a fantastic father, etc, etc. But I wanted to leave who I had become. Yeah, and relationships, committed relationships, marriage, family life, however beautiful it is, also sometimes can feel deadening, numbing, constraining, flattening, you know, and I think we hear women talk about that all the time.


Yeah. Yeah. So you talk about how you lost yourself.


That's why I was a mother. I was a wife. I was taking care of his mother. I was taking care of my parents. This is the first time in I don't know how long that I did something that was just for me. OK, Rene is next on Skype. Hi. Welcome to the table. Hello. Hello. Hi, Dana. Thanks for having me on the show. I've been involved with a younger man for about three years and he was separated from his wife, started dating and never did I ever imagine was going to be the other woman.


But that's what would happen. And then he decided that he would go back and apply. My heart, but like somebody ripped it down my path. Yeah. We are dating and I'm in love with him, right, and I was just wondering what should I do? Because people were fed up with me and called me all the time.


The answer will be different if you ask his wife. Yeah, I don't think she would welcome you to stay as close to him when they are just trying to rebuild. It's going to be hard for you because you probably had hopes for more with him. Yeah. And so the idea that we got to just stay friends, you can't. Not yet. You're still you know, a month ago, you were still hoping that maybe you would have a life with him and for him, you know, if she finds out that he stays in touch with you, it's going to be a mess at this moment.


You need clear boundaries. And that means you need a lot of support. You need other people. You reach out to other friends who are there for you because it's a loss. It's a big loss. Yeah.


Thank you. I appreciate all your advice. Wow. How would you define infidelity?


I think that's the heart of infidelity, is the secrecy is the secret secrecy because you could have the same behavior in a negotiated consensual way. That is a different story where the center of infidelity is. The fact that there is a secret is the secrecy, the aspect that creates the feeling of betrayal and peace and a violation of trust and the lying and the duplicity and the crazy making and the gaslighting is a secret. When you have a secret, it's like a mushroom, right?


If you won't tell me where you've been between six and eight, then you stop telling me where you've been between four and six. Right. And this thing grows and takes on a life of its own and its lives in the center of our life. And later, that's where you start to retell the whole story. And when this was happening and this was this at the same time where we had to table and you were looking with your phone underneath while you were singing like me, happy birthday.


What? Yeah, the secret the fact that there's a whole other story going on in the midst of a place where I think I know what's going on. It's one thing to not know the future. It's another thing to question your entire past.


Yeah, that's real talk. All right. Now we have Victoria is on Skype with a question. Hey, Victoria, how are you? I'm so good. Thank you for joining us today. What's on your mind?


I was dating someone for. Three or four years, they were like my high school sweetheart, I thought we were going to get married everything, but I was actually waiting to get married, to be with someone. So I had like a promise ring and everything. Oh, it got Rocky after two years because I like I said, I wanted to wait. I went out of town and apparently he didn't want to wait. Yeah. So he tells me that he had sex with this girl.


I never understood why I was cheated on. Because I felt like I was like the best version of myself to this person, even now it makes me emotional, not bad, because sometimes you just don't know, like, what's wrong with you? And look like why I'm not good enough for this person within about two months, three months, I started seeing someone else, but you still have that memory in your head. Part of me just still feels like at any moment you could just cheat on me.


I just want to say, OK, stop feeling so insecure.


Yeah. And the question is, what do you do when you've left a relationship and you meet somebody new and you carry the legacy of the previous wound into your relationship? I think it's very, very common. I mean, we carry so many legacies and wounds from prior relationships. I think the most important thing is really to make a distinction between I can't trust you versus my trust was broken and I bring a vulnerability about that with me. Right. I carry this way and you need to know that I'm not.


And it's going to take some time for me to really let go of that and feel calm again and be in your arms and not start thinking. And it's really about holding a lot of it. And it's wanting is to own it and wanting us to project it onto the other person.


Why, thank you. That's real talk right there. The conversation about what are we going to do when we have these infidelities? How do we deal with lies? How do we deal with deception? How do we deal with roaming desires? How do we deal with sexual secrets, et cetera, et cetera? Has to become a part of the conversation by saying that's the challenge to our art community to sit down and have these conversations now with your partner, because it could be life changing to your relationship.


Yes. Thank you. So this has been really fantastic. You have no idea this has been a true blessing to a lot of us here on the next red table talk comment.


What was that moment that made you decide? I got to talk to somebody like I was going through a pain. I had to get in a back seat to talk in private to the therapist, but I needed it right then and now.


You've accomplished everything, but you're not a husband. I would like to be a husband. What's your ideal woman? Come, ladies, listen up.


Need to talk about infidelity, why bother me so much?


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Follow us at Facebook. Dot com slash red table talk. Thanks for listening to this episode of Red Tablecloth podcast produced by Facebook Watch Westbrooke Audio and I Heart Radio.


What's up? This is Laura Currency. And I'm Alexa Kristen. We're the co-host of Adla India, the advertising industry's most thought provoking podcast. We bring our listeners actionable perspectives to bring back to their brainstorms and boardrooms. Sadly, India Clubhouse reopens with special guest Malcolm Gladwell. Be sure to follow us on Twitter at Adelante, a podcast and listen to Islandia on the I Heart radio app, on Apple podcast or wherever you get your podcasts. Kuhnen is the world's largest online conspiracy theory, followers believe someone Cucu is providing them with information about deep state cabal within American politics, within 70 US congressional candidates to be the shed or outright endorse Cuno material.


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