Her new boyfriend’s wife died four years ago. Reminders of her are all over his house, from her clothes in the closet to her photos on the wall. It makes the caller feel uncomfortable and inadequate. She wonders if there’s room in his house — or his heart — for her.
In another episode of Esther Calling, he worries his desire for a serious relationship is putting women off. But early in their phone call, it becomes clear to Esther that he’s talking about a particular woman from his past. He describes his feelings for that woman as “intense”, whereas she was more ambivalent. Esther and the caller explore the question: when is yearning for someone’s unreciprocate...
As Esther says, love is at once an affirmation and a transcendence of who we are. But when one partner grows up as the child taking care of his mother is it any surprise that he experiences the romantic needs of his partner as a repeat of that same responsibility rather than an affirmation of love.
She has no boundaries, he’s walled off. And their opposing communication styles cause immediate tension in this explosive session. So much so, that Esther finds herself adding to the chorus of angry voices. There might only be three people in this session, but Esther realizes she needs at least three more chairs for the in-laws whose voices and opinions are always playing in the background of this ...
You are invited to an intimate evening with Esther Perel. In place of this week's session we gather for a few rounds of Where Should We Begin, A Game of Stories. Over the last year to curtail the loneliness and isolation we all felt, Esther and team created a game out of the questions you often hear her ask on the podcast. So please come play a few rounds with her anonymously, of course.
Before they got together, he identified as straight and they identified as gay. What does it mean to make space for their queer identity while they date a straight man? And is that possible as they move into a more serious phase of their relationship?
For the first time on the podcast, Esther invites a couple back to her office for a second session. 10 years ago, his first wife took her own life. A year later he met his current wife and she became an overnight stepmother to four children. Three years after they first spoke to Esther, she asks them what has changed? Have they been able to revive and sustain their love despite all of the obstacles...
In a Where Should We Begin first, Esther sits down with two friends. They’ve been close for so long they feel like brothers, with all of the baggage that comes with family but none of the certainty. There are things that go unspoken between them, issues they have skimmed over in their two decades of friendship. Esther creates the space for the conversation they didn't know quite where to begin. Thi...
In this second episode of Esther Calling, we meet a woman who feels she is losing her best friend. The caller feels that her friend is rushing into a marriage to someone she doesn’t approve of. During the call Esther talks her through a new way to see their relationship and where to go from here.
This time there is no couch, but instead an unexpected phone call from Esther to a woman who is struggling with the differences between her and her partner's upbringing. He grew up in a comfortable suburb, she grew up having less, much less. She loves her boyfriend but wants to get past the resentment she feels towards the opportunities he’s had. Esther helps her think through how these differences...
Married for ten years and co-owners for seven, they bring their home dynamic to work with them. Their employees are sick of the fights and the struggles for power and control, and so are they. Meanwhile, she also worries their roles at their gym have been divided along gender lines.
He’s a doctor, she works for the government. Her job is one thing on paper, and another thing in secret. He wants to leave his job, but doesn’t know how. When their busy careers come crashing to a halt because of the pandemic, they face a new reality at home. Who gets to be the one to leave a job during uncertain times? And can they rely on their 19 year marriage for stability and support?
Today we're sharing the first episode from season 2 of Esther's other podcast, How's Work? In it Esther focuses on the hard conversations we're afraid to have in our jobs, bringing a new perspective to the invisible forces that shape workplace dynamics, connections, and conflict through one-time therapy sessions with coworkers, cofounders, and colleagues.
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.
Last summer they left everything they'd built in Seattle for a chance at a very different life. He took a dream turn to expand his company and be closer to home; she gave up her nursing job to manage their girls and explore new horizons abroad. COVID-19 hits as they watch the fate of other countries, knowing if it reaches Nigeria with a population of more than 200 million people, it will be devasta...
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...
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 qua...
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 mon...
Buzz and Sheldon are brothers in their eighties who have been estranged for decades. Buzz visits Sheldon to see if there’s still a relationship left to salvage. Listen to more episodes of Heavyweight on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.
Today we’re sharing the first episode of Esther Perel’s new show How’s Work? In it, Esther sits down with coworkers, cofounders and colleagues, and brings her inimitable perspective to workplace relationships and conflicts. Listen and follow the show on Spotify.
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.
[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.
[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.
[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.
A young couple has endured a series of crises early in their marriage, from a benign brain tumor to a serious car crash to the husband’s near-fatal heart attack. Following his recovery, he’s adapting to new physical limitations, while she says the children bear the brunt of his frustrations. Esther coaches them through an honest conversation on anger, parenthood and the power of apology.
[Contains mature themes] An on-again, off-again couple in their fifties, dating in a post-divorce landscape, are struggling with different world views, priorities and sexual interests. Recognizing that their polarized dynamic takes the fun out of spending time together, Esther guides both towards less rigid perspectives.
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.
[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.
[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.
[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.
[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.
[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.
[Contains mature themes] He reached out because a year after the discovery of his affair, they aren’t fighting anymore, but they certainly haven’t moved on. Esther guides them towards a more honest conversation, and a revelation about their communication.
Step into iconic relationship therapist Esther Perel’s office and listen as 10 anonymous couples in search of insight bare the raw, intimate, and profound details of their story. From infidelity to sexlessness to loss, it’s a space for people to be heard and understood. It’s also a place for us to listen and feel empowered in our own relationships. So…where should we begin?