In the realm of relationship therapy, few names shine as brightly as Esther Perel. Her podcast, “Where Should We Begin?”, offers an intimate window into the world of couples counseling, allowing listeners to eavesdrop on real sessions and the poignant struggles of people in love.
From the intricacies of infidelity to the nuances of communication, Perel masterfully guides couples towards understanding and growth. For those new to the podcast or long-time fans seeking a refresher, we’ve curated a list of the most memorable, transformative episodes that capture the essence of what makes “Where Should We Begin?” a beacon for countless listeners around the world.
Couples Under Lockdown: New York
They share three children, but their tumultuous marriage is unraveling. While she clings to hopes of mending the relationship, he’s eager to make an exit. Just a fortnight before COVID-19 mandated stay-at-home orders for New Yorkers, they initiated their divorce proceedings.
Now, a sense of confinement prevails. Leaving might mean extended separation from his children, yet staying might jeopardize his aspirations to depart. Esther encourages them to focus on their current shared moments rather than the uncertain future they may face separately.
I’ve Had 100 Conversations with you in My Head
Upon uncovering a revelation at her doctor’s clinic, a woman confronts the reality of her husband’s indiscretions. Although overwhelmed with feelings of betrayal and resentment, she contemplates persevering for their children’s sake. Conversely, he is ardently seeking a path towards reconciliation. Esther guides them through a journey into their pasts, retracing their early years prior to the betrayals, in a quest to unearth shared understanding and empathy.
Speak to me in French
A couple, united by their profound dedication to the evangelical faith, reserved their first kiss for their wedding day. However, for her, the experience felt akin to “kissing a sibling.” Esther employs innovative strategies to guide them towards forging a renewed intimate connection.
The Chronic Philanderer
For years, he’s been unfaithful, and her patience has worn thin. She now demands clarity: is he committed or is he leaving?
I Don’t Mean to be Mean, But…
She operates without limits, while he is heavily guarded. Their contrasting ways of communication ignite a palpable strain throughout this intense session. The atmosphere becomes so charged that even Esther momentarily joins the crescendo of frustration.
Though only three are physically present, Esther discerns the echoing influence of the in-laws, as if their opinions and voices perpetually reverberate within the confines of this union. An additional three chairs might just be necessary to accommodate their unseen, yet ever-present, impact.
It’s Very Hard to Live With a Saint
Just a year into their marriage, they find themselves ensnared in a relentless cycle of fierce disputes. In their dynamics, she seemingly always errs, while he appears infallible.
You Want Me to Watch the Kids While You Go Out With Another Guy?
Having met during their devout teenage years, they entered matrimony with no prior intimate experiences. It’s a familiar tale — once intimacy becomes permissible, the desire wanes. Their decision to embrace an open marriage has invigorated their physical intimacy but has also introduced fractures in their emotional bond.