As I come the completion of Esther Perel’s “The State of Affairs”, I am celebrating the new-found sense of relaxation that comes with a greater understanding of how we are all relating in the world. I myself have never been a part of a legal ‘affair’, to my knowledge anyways, however I have had my fair share of infidelities being on every point of the triangle. It is not the best feeling no matter what part you play. Infidelities, or at least the discovery or admittance of, are often a cornerstone on the trajectory of a relationship regardless of the specifics. Trust being broken, emotional and possibly physical safety being put at risk is an happening that many people cannot recover from or, there is no chance given for recovery. It is an end-all for many. However, affairs, cheating and other slights of the ilk happen ALL THE TIME!!! Like right now…a bunch are happening all over the place. Esther’s book is humbling, empathic, thorough, and intellectually and emotionally provocative. Being honest is not necessarily as simple of a concept as it sounds. Often we are honest with others in sacrifice of being honest with ourselves. We crave acceptance and dominant culture controls by shame. Esther adds perspective to our internal dilemma. Example -Culture B – third party finds out about affair and chooses not to tell anyone because they (the third party) knows it will break up the entire family and bring shame reigning down upon the participants. Culture A – third party finds out about affair and chooses to tell their friend because individual knowing reigns all. Their friend is devastated and chooses to respond to said affair by leaving their partner immediately and severing years of bonding efforts. Both of these decisions by the third party are legitimate and they are culturally relational. One purpose behind somatic sex and relationship coaching is to offer a nurturing, empathetic and connected space where clients have an embodied emotional experience. We can all be grateful for a confidential and judgement-free space especially around sexuality. Esther Perel is a great leader in relational psychology and I attribute much of my inspiration to her!