All notes were taken directly from “The State of Affairs” by Esther Perel
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Ask yourself, is it honest, is it helpful, and is it kind?
Sometimes silence is caring. Before you unload your guilt onto an unsuspecting partner, consider, whose well-being are you really thinking of? Is your soul-cleansing as selfless as it appears? And what is your partner supposed to do with this information?
Respect is not necessarily about telling all, but about considering what it will be like for the other to receive the knowledge. Honesty and transparency should always be thought of in context. Is it even as true as he believes it to be? Or is this simply one of his rationalizations?
Sexual honesty isn’t just about divulging the details of your infidelities and past experiences. It’s about communicating with your partner in an open and mature way—revealing core aspects of yourself through your sexuality.
“Yes, we value honesty and trust,” one of her clients says, “but we value the preservation of the family even more.”
I have often witnessed the tension between these two world views. One accuses the other of duplicity and lack of transparency. The other is repelled by the destructive spilling of secrets in the name of honesty.
“Yes, I may feel attractions, but because I love you and I respect you, and I don’t want to hurt you again, I will choose not to act on it.” That’s a more honest response.
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