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UBT: Esther Perel on Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’

moveonfrombullshitThe UBT can’t even.

An alert chump forwarded me this from Belgian cheater-apologist-therapist-thingy Esther Perel: “Beyonce’s Lemonade: A Refreshingly Un-American Affair.”

Un-American.

Because you Europeans, Africans, Asians, Latinos, and canucks are just invigorated by betrayal unlike us dim, moralistic Yankees.

Gentleman, if your kid looks like Guillermo the barista? Quit being a pussy. Just consider paternity testing the price of sophistication. Like ascots or those tiny yogurts in a jar.

Every time the Universal Bullshit Translator takes on Esther Perel, it has to tighten its sockets for the bullshit onslaught. Please quit sending it the TED talks. The UBT’s going to need a transmission overhaul before it can even face that mountain of crap.

Meanwhile, please accept this:

Dear friends and colleagues,

… deluded chumps, spambots, and assorted therapists who were dropped on their head.

Like millions of people, I watched Beyoncé’s new visual album film, Lemonade, last month. Typically, I do not comment on the successive infidelity scandals that occupy our cultural stage.

Because I’m allergic to specifics. Comment on the Ashley Madison hack in support of Exuberant Defiance? Answer a direct question? You’d quickly conclude I’m a wingnut. Bombard your senses with nebulous zeitgeist-y word salad instead? I’m a subject matter expert on infidelity!

However, after watching the premiere of Beyoncé’s provocative new project, I offer some of my thoughts on the topic of infidelity, and its representation in contemporary American landscape.

I cannot resist commenting on the biggest contemporary reconciliation narrative on the American landscape that doesn’t feature a Duggar.

Beyonce is eating shit sandwiches and pronouncing them sophisticatedly delicious? Damn straight I’m talking. The recent scientific study, the largest ever conducted, by academics with actual credentials, which found that people who leave cheaters are better off? Shut the fuck up!

“Are you cheating on me?” Beyoncé asks. She throws open a door, and water gushes forth—an apt metaphor for the flood of emotions that her question, and its implied answer, unleashes.

As a couples therapist, I’ve sat with hundreds of women, and men, in the turbulent aftermath of infidelity. What struck me about Beyoncé’s album was both the universality of its themes and the unusual way in which it presented them. Whether autobiography or simply art, her multimedia treatise on unfaithful love represents a refreshing break with this country’s accepted narratives on the topic.

In the American backyard, adultery is sold with a mixture of condemnation and titillation. Magazine covers peddle smut while preaching sanctimony. While our society has become sexually open to the point of overflowing, when it comes to infidelity even the most liberal minds can remain intransigent. We may not be able to stop the fact that it happens, but we can all agree that it shouldn’t.

Condemnation, smut, preaching, intransigent minds…

We can all agree infidelity shouldn’t happen. But it’s not what cheaters do, it’s how you’re reacting that’s the problem. Quit judging!

Lots of things shouldn’t happen. Like tornados, the Zika virus, or my TED talks. It’s no use railing against natural disasters. Accept!

Another thing most Americans seem to agree on is that infidelity is among the worst things that can happen to a couple. The dialogue here is framed in terms borrowed from trauma, crime and religion: victims and perpetrators; injured parties and infidels; confession, repentance and redemption.

All those active verbs! It’s crazy! Language with accountability? Viewing infidelity as a choice and not an oops! I-slipped-on-a-banana-peel-and-into-your-genitals kind of serendipity?

Look Puritans — banana peels HAPPEN. No one is a victim here. Quit with your trauma talk.

As a European, I can testify that in other cultures, the betrayal is no less painful, but the response is more philosophical and pragmatic.

When we find our partners in bed with another, perchance we grimace. But then we offer our partner’s lover a cigarette, cook a perfect bouillabaisse, and retire to the sofa together to watch Jean-Luc Godard films.

Americans do not cheat any less than the supposedly lascivious French; they just feel more guilty about it, because the experience here is framed in moral terms.

Yeah, only in American is infidelity “framed in moral terms.” A couple millennium of major world religions condemning adultery notwithstanding.

As Brazilian couples therapist Michele Scheinkman has pointed out, the notion of trauma provides a legitimizing framework for the pain of betrayal, but it limits the avenues for recovery. This clinical approach denudes the pain of its romantic essence and its erotic energy

Being cheated on isn’t just painful, it’s sexy.

Focusing on pain and trauma is a buzzkill. If you want to reignite the sexy (so you can THRIVE! not just survive!) embrace the drama!

Don’t think of it in terms of betrayal, think how hot it is when your husband fucks someone else. Don’t you want to up your game? Let that jealousy fuel you towards erotic recovery!

—the very qualities that must be reignited if a relationship is to not only survive but thrive. Jealousy, rage, vengeance and lust are as central to the story as loss, pain and shattered trust—something European and Latin cultures will more readily admit than Americans. Infidelity is not just about broken contracts; it is about broken hearts.

These erotic aspects of the drama are unapologetically displayed in Beyoncé’s fierce performance. She does not present herself as victim, but as a woman invigorated and empowered by love.

Like that way she throws herself off a building. Empowering!

She even voices one of the great unspoken truths about the aftermath of affairs: the hot sex that often ensues. “Grief sedated by orgasm,” she intones, “orgasm heightened by grief.”

The pick me dance is hot. (To the cheater. Did you vomit afterwards and get the shakes? Quit being a victim!)

Don’t think about where that thing has been. Orgasms are heightened by STDs.

Has your life been shattered? Feeling humiliated? Disrespected? Shat upon? Hey, the important thing to remember is hot sex.

Perhaps most strikingly, she is unashamed to announce to the world that she intends to remain Mrs. Carter.

Millions of dollars and a global reputation at stake, it’s totally striking that she’d wish to remain Mrs. Carter. #whoddathunkit

“If we’re gonna heal, let it be glorious.”

Beyonce? Talk to the UBT next year and tell it how that “healing” and the hot sex is going.

Esther? You’re full of shit.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Eeeeeeyugh, this column just made my skin crawl. I believe in cultural differences, but geez….

    • I am “European” – British.

      And I can tell you all that “European” bullshit is complete and UTTER BULLSHIT.

      When people start referencing Europe to back up their specious arguments my response is always “Ahhhh no, you mean Magic Europelandia.”

      It bears no relation to Europe. Trust me.

    • Perhaps she has been reading too much erotica, where the consequences of hot sex do not exist. Those of us who are wise know there is such a thing as STDs or unintended pregnancies or broken relationships. The hottest sex I’ve ever had was with another single person long after I divorced. Who knew that being treated with kindness and reciprocity could be hot?

  • How ’bout the cover story of Us magazine this week? Inside holds pics of “Becky” the OW. Thank God for the dissenting voice of Chumplady. Her ability to cut through the crap & help hold up my head is priceless.

  • I am European, the Latin side of it and would like to say this out loud: Esther, shut the fuck up!

    • Shes full of it. Both my parents are european born and bred. I grew up in europe and even lived in Belgium for two years. I dont believe what she says about europeans. Sure there is a myth that french men have mistresses and their wives accept it. My french mom says thats bullshit. Lol

      • Nobody has to accept it. Your mom is a wise woman. I have finally accepted it happened, i accept asswipe sucks and will never change and i accept forgiving myself and moving on to a better brighter life leaving asswipe and his internal misery behind whore juice can deal with it now. I accept my future as a bright and a single person. Screw ester, asswipe and the lot of them. Disrespect and betrayal is wrong and unacceptable under any circumstances. Asswipe wants to stay really good friends. Ha! With friends like him who needs enemies. Let him think what he wants this is a guy ready to turn sixty and wants me to reward him with friendship and love. Keep on stroking your slong jackass aint gonna happen.

        • Preach it, Kar Marie! “Leaving asswipe and his internal misery behind…” Sums it up perfectly.

          A better, brighter life…yep, sums it up perfectly.

          Keep on moving toward the light and Meh.

          • Cant feel meh yet but getting there every day i become more indifferent to liars cheaters and their like every day. That end of tunnel light is getting closer and closer. I will learn how to be happy and whole just me before i ever even think about dating but my being in a relationship days are over.

            • I found it neither sexy nor erotic that at night my husband was banging his subordinate in the condo MY mother and I were fixing up during the day for HIS mother when she got out of rehab after a stroke. My mother-in-law was European born and cheated on by her husband. I know that didn’t ignite any passion for her either. Sorry Ester, you’re still full of crap. There’s people who can help you with that problem.

        • “Keep stroking your slong Jackass it aint gonna happen…” lol lol lol He is Whorejuices problem now. Who shits on someone then expects to be friends with them? Seriously is it entitlement or dementia? Now you are on to much better things. You go, Kar Marie!

        • Yes! I enjoy having friends who actually reciprocate. You know, friends who care about my feelings in addition to their own. In John 15:14, Jesus Christ told his disciples that “You are my friends if you do what I command you.” Even the Lord reserves the title of friend for people who actually reciprocate. So, why shouldn’t we?

      • Of course it is bullshit. Your mother is right. Infidelity is not sophisticated, or European or whatever. If you are in a committed relationship where infidelity is viewed by partners as a deal breaker it is hurtful and disrespectful and horrible to do it. And the person who is committing it is an asshole. Full stop.

        Even a larger asshole when they try to justify it by blame shifting it on to the faithful partner and a heavy weight asshole when they try to escape responsibility by playing mind games, or avoiding financial consequences like child support or alimony.

        And as I read and read through the stories here I am only amazed of the never ending shades of asshole-ism these cheaters possess.

        Conclusion: Nothing cultural there, just human nature and poor character I am afraid. So the Esther Perrels and their excuses can fuck off.

          • Thanks Carmen. ChumpLady has been a great teacher and the community here a wonderful support system. I am forever grateful for finding you guys and for getting my life and sanity back.

        • Methinks maybe infidelity is “sexy” for Esther Perel because she is on the cheating side of it?

      • My French friend, who now lives in Belgium, had her French heart broken by her cheating French husband, and she DIVORCED HIS French ASS!!!!

  • Mmm…as a Latina/Brazilian woman I can definitely say that what she wrote about Latinos is pure BS!! Yeah right that we see infidelity as a sexy thing (please!!)…what I believe that happens in my culture is that (some) women stay with their husband after learning about the betrayal for many different reasons, religion, family, status, etc., however doesn’t mean that those women are happy and OK with the whole mess in their lives.
    I have European friends that learned that their husbands were cheating on them, and they decided to do the same. I’m sorry, but this is not healthy!
    Each one deals different with the whole betrayal situation. Some people decide to stay quiet, others go and make a music video (kudos to Queen B) , others, like me, go to court and make sure to take every single penny from the motherfucker and to take away his dignity as well =)

    • Diddy, “others, like me, go to court and make sure to take every single penny from the motherfucker and to take away his dignity as well =)

      I love your attitude and resolve!!! Stay sexy and strong!!!

    • +1 – Affairs are as old as marriages, there is nothing “evolved” about cheating on one’s spouse… What has evolved through are the options available for betrayed spouses to deal with their cheaters…

      Entitled cheaters hate not feeling special, and nothing says you are a POS like their spouse choosing to divorce them with dignity post-DDay.

      Forge on fellow chumps :)!

    • Kudos to you Diddy! I’m glad to see people on her saying that this European and Latino tolerance thing is bullshit. It is NOT healthy to stay in a relationship where one person is being abused. And yes cheating is abuse, no matter how much fucktard Esther Perel tries to dress it up.

      • You know, I’ve heard of hysterical bonding, where the sex can supposedly be amazing after infidelity. It didn’t happen for me. In fact, after the second known affair, I had to pretend I was in Florida just to get through sex with my own husband. Shortly after that, I filed for divorce.

    • Isn’t crime passionnel most heavily associated with France? A half-assed google search on crimes of passion will help that lady do some basic fact-checking so that she doesn’t look so ignorant.

  • Yeah, my pain was thoroughly denuded of its romantic essence and erotic energy. Wow. So if only I had lived in France, the essence of my pain’s energy would have been romantic and erotic? I’ll pass, thanks anyway.

  • We know Esther Perel can draw (that MA in Art Therapy). Can she read? Can she hear?

    Let’s examine the “exuberant defiance” and “She does not present herself as victim, but as a woman invigorated and empowered by love,” analysis that Esther Perel delivers, by actually paying attention to Beyonce’s LYRICS:

    –What a wicked way to treat the girl that loves you.

    –Something don’t feel right because it ain’t right, especially coming up after midnight / I smell your secrets and I’m not too perfect to ever feel this worthless /

    –What’s worse, looking jealous or crazy? Jealous or crazy? / More like walked all over lately, walked all over lately, I’d rather be crazy.

    –such a shame, you let this good love go to waste.

    –This is your final warning / You know I give you life / If you try this sh*t again you gon’ lose your wife.

    –Looking at my watch, he shoulda been home / Today I regret the night I put that ring on / He always got them f*cking excuses.

    –My daddy warned me about men like you / He said, “Baby girl, he’s playing you.”

    –I’ve always been committed, I’ve been focused / I always paid attention, been devoted, tell me what did I do wrong?

    –Are you aware you’re my lifeline, are you trying to kill me? /

    None of those sound too exuberant to me, but then I’m not Belgian.

  • Am I the odd one? When I discovered Mr. Sparkles and his multiple online personalities (think Sybil), my marriage became sexless after confrontation. I was made to feel worthless for NOT BELIEVING that he didn’t do anything – it was just “fantasy” (yes, just ignore the hotel room receipt and appointments made during his working hours so as to never miss being at home on time.)

    Still, I sat huddled in the corner of our bedroom after he moved out sobbing and feeling disgusted with myself.

    Thanks heavens Chump Lady has helped me change that narrative.

    I was emotionally and spiritually raped by Mr. Sparkles and every time he came back to our marital bed for sex before I knew who he truly was, he was raping me then too. I was having sex with the results of his affair partners without consent. Silly me – I guess I missed the “hot orgasm”. Chew on that Esther. I need to go scrub down in the shower from just thinking about it.

    • “CL has changed that narrative” this is brilliant!!!!! I try to explain CL and CN to my friends, but, I am using this line from now on!!!!

    • WOW!!! That’s it! “I was emotionally and spiritually raped…….having sex with the results of his affair partners without consent.” Icansee, you hit the nail on the head with what I was feeling!!

      • Wow, I can see why you would feel raped. My slimeball became a virgin again as soon as I said “yes” to the divorce, saving himself for the moment when day-old-skank could move in and replace me in his bed. At the time it felt awful not to even be wanted for sex, but now I’m grateful it went down that way.

        • I felt raped by the lies and stepping out too. It was really bizarre.

          I felt like my husband was instantly tainted. And that somehow, because he was a Dirty Slut, it made me feel really dirty too.

  • Did you see her last twitter? “Values are an essential ingredient in relationships…” VALUES? The irony is so RICH we could retire on it. What she should have said is LACK of values.

  • Having sex with my ex after dday was a soul-crushing, pride-swallowing, degrading experience. Not hot. I felt my self-esteem dying a little for every minute of it. Not hot.

    • Same here, LiningUPDucks. Completely degrading and humiliating, even though I wasn’t aware of the extent of his affair at the time. It’s like my body knew before my brain did.

    • Yeah pretty much anything but hot. After Dday, The only way I could keep from vomiting when he touched me, was to fortify myself with a lot of alcohol. I was literally repulsed by his touch but “tried to fake it until I made it.” As the years went by, it didn’t get better, it got worse.

      EP is smoking crack!

    • Same.
      Slept with him once after D day and felt so degradead,angry,humiliated I knew there and then it would never happen again in this lifetime.A soul shuddering experience.
      As a European I say Esther Perel is talking absolute shite.

    • I was having sex with ex for two years BEFORE Dday and feeling like crap. My body too “knew”, long before my head figured it out. He was into all sorts of positions (fun stuff when LOVE is present), no kissing though( red flag #51), but I now realize he was just using me and enjoying CAKE. Just disgusting…. I literally jumped into the shower every single time afterwards because I felt so icky. Never had an orgasm either. IMHO, real men/women don’t cheat.

    • So there was D-Day, which I didn’t discuss with snake, but we had an argument about another issue and I was blessedly subjected to the silent treatment, except this time, it wasn’t torture… I only hoped he’d keep it going until I could make my escape, and I did. Whew! No Perel-hot sex for me… No loss…

  • European here. French at that. Full blown. Came on these shores at 19, about 28 years ago. I can tell you that I know no one from my close family, extended family, friends, acquaintances back home who think infidelity is ok. Not even close!
    I wouldn’t even say we are more open-minded about other sexual matters. I will say we are as misogynistic and patriarchic as any other western society. But we hide it well under all that art, romance and food…!
    I think the stupid stereotype of acceptance towards cheaters comes from movies. The same way French people think Americans are extremely violent and all live in urban areas.
    Sorry…

    • Thanks for the perspective, BA. I’ll admit, as an American, it’s way too easy to get swept up in the “Oh, Europe is so much more sophisticated than we are…” and it’s just not fair to anyone.

        • Tempest, you’re right – I think it’s that people believe that being sophisticated also involves being “Cool” and “Chill” and “Unflappable” – and they also believe those words include looking the other way.

          • I agree with you, VulcanChump. Exactly why TresCoolChumpLady is the best person to lead the societal change. Who would you rather sit next to at a hip dinner party–witty Tracy or dimwit Esther?

        • Ooo la la! Thank you Tempest. That dark chocolate thing puts me way up there! Oui oui!

    • That’s a great point about stereotypes. Also, I just *love* how Esther claims to speak for all of Europe instead just herself.

      • People like Esther are into making sweeping generalizations and passing them off as truth. Come to think of it, my cheater ex was the same way.

      • Not to stereotype any more than necessary, but you know about Belgian jokes, non? (and copious apologies to any real Belgians here…shit jokes are shitty…But so is Esther Perel.)

    • Hello fellow frenchie. My moms family is from the Alsace region. My dad is swiss. I concur with you. Perel is talking about stereotypes. And helpng to perpetuate them! Smh

    • Better Alone, “but we hide it well under all that art, romance and food…! Mais oui..the art, romance and food. Thank God my only trip to Paris was without the lying cheater. It therefore remains a place of solace, beauty, and inevitable weight gain. Nothing moves me closer to Meh than planning a trip to Paris with my alimony check.

      Thanks for the chuckle, the French perspective, and the remembrance of finer things. Viva la France!

      • “Nothing moves me closer to Meh than planning a trip to Paris with my alimony check.”

        FindingBliss–that made my day!

    • Fellow European here too-mom was Russian; dad was French and I can definitely tell you infidelity is not and was not ever ok. My parents were faithful to each other for 40 years before my dad passed. My dad had a saying “You don’t get married to date (or screw) other people” My father raised us 3 kids that your word means everything and without that you have nothing. Your marriage vow is your word to your spouse for love & fidelity. I often say that stbx was mentally absent during the “forsaking all others” part of our wedding ceremony. My dad told us if we were ever married & unhappy then do the right thing and leave/divorce BEFORE going on to someone else. Of course, stbx had a wayward penis sadz and couldn’t be human enough to do that. He thinks fidelity is an instrument you play.

      But if Esther Perel really wants to do French stereotypes, I’d personally like to give her the white glove face slap two times!!

  • Today I cannot even read the Esther P. part. I can only read the ubt. She definitely needs to go in Satans burrito.

  • Since infidility is most gut wrenching to a relationship and damn near soul destroying this perel person is a total wingnut. She should be hung on a pole with a “i am a cheater” sign on her body. Im sure only people who cheat think this way. Far be it from me to expect my mate to be faithful and keep his promise. Perious the thought! Ester reminds me that her cheater ass, asswipe and people who think like them will keep me single. I can only hope i can keep my grown children from some of the sins of the father. If i hear my children have done this cheated on a faithful spouse i will still love love them but they will get no sympathy from me and i certainly would not encourage them to listen to esther!

    • “Since infidelity is most gut wrenching to a relationship and damn near soul destroying this perel person is a total wingnut.”

      But she’s just a poor fool who missed the plane to Jonestown and is trying to pass around the Kool-Aid, Just take a sip and you will be a believer.

      Your soul will be dead, but it’s the sacrifice one makes for sexy sophistication.

  • I swear. Without the UBT I wouldn’t know what the hell Ester is trying to say. I see all those English words but the way they are put together…might as well be in Sanscrit. If you can’t give it to me straight, then I’m pretty sure it’s bullshit. And the UBT just proved my theory!!

  • All I can think is that this broad has been inoculated with the Xtian thought control juice that says a woman should just STFU and take one for the team.

    Hurray for any woman that drop kicks her through the door.

  • Yes, Ester, adultery is “framed in moral terms” because it is a sin. It hurts people. Nothing good can ever come from it. It taints everyone and everybody it touches. Except wing nuts who want you to believe it is Good. Mentally ill? Evil? Does it really matter ? Wrong is wrong is wrong. Always.

    • Well its hard to accept treachery, if you frame it in MORAL terms. Its more palatable if you call it something else…exuberance? But its still treachery! Esther…if you read this…you need to shut your pie hole.

  • And, I’m sorry, but reading her article without the UBT, it makes no fucking sense whatsoever. Absolute gibberish.

    • But…But….If I randomly string a bunch of big words together, it automatically makes me sophisticated, like the French. lol

  • As usual, I am tremendously disappointed in Esther. What really concerns me at the moment, though, is the glamorization of Beyonce’s reconciliation (‘acceptance’ of the s–t sandwich of adultery) by the tabloids here in the U.S. I (and my children) cannot walk into a store (e.g., Target, Rite Aid) without seeing the media’s unhealthy portrayal (almost promotion) of adultery as an acceptable rite of passage in marriage.

    • You said it, RSW. I feel the same way about it and won’t stand silently by while friends praise it and/or excuse it.

  • My physical reaction to Dday was severe stomach cramps and days of violent diarrhea. Real sexy. Then I got STD tested. That was super sexy too.

      • Agreed. I was just thinking how sexy my experience was when I vomited everyday, lost thirty pounds and went into the hospital for emergency surgery brought on by the extreme trauma. It was really hot. So was some of the physical pain I inflicted on myself to try and numb the emotional pain. Really erotic.

        But you know what is sexy? Leaving that mother fu**ker and getting almost $3000 a month in support and building a business so now I make more than him. I strut my sexy ass all the way to the bank. Cashing that cheque gives me the best orgasm ever! Fuck you EP!

        • While having to pay $2500/month to my cheater for 4 years is not sexy, its sexier than staying with her.

          • That sucks. My partner had the same situation. He’s counting down to how long he has left. He heard that she may be cohabitating. He will hire an investigator, and if so, he will contact his attorney with the proof and she will no longer get a dime. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. And you’re right. Paying her is better than staying with you.

          • I have the utmost respect for the single fathers who have to pay support to their cheating freaks. While I believe both parents should be financially responsible for their kids, it’s a whole different slice of the shit sandwich when a wife cheats, takes the kids and then the chump father has to pay her. In my humble opinion. Hats off to you Buddy. You’re a man of honour. Truly!

              • Third!! I’d go even more ballistic if that happened!!!

                On another note—- I have a cousin by marriage (to cheater pants) who’s wife took off, left her child by ANOTHER man and a new baby, so she could find her bliss with another man. He ended up raising them both on his own. the kids are both awesome young men now. (FIrst time I thought of this since D day—, I picked the wrong cousin!!)

          • Buddy, same boat here. Only $1200/mo, but for life (if nothing changes). Two weeks ago she got engaged to her AP. Getting rid of her would be a bargain at 10 times the price, it’s going to be awesome when the injustice ends.

          • Agreed. You are better off without her. I’m sorry you have to pay support to a cheater. My ex-husband (the cheater) doesn’t have to pay any support to me. We have no kids, and I made almost as much as him at the time. I later got my hours cut and then lost a couple of jobs. I’m doing better now though.

        • “But you know what is sexy? Leaving that mother fu**ker and getting almost $3000 a month in support and building a business so now I make more than him. I strut my sexy ass all the way to the bank. Cashing that cheque gives me the best orgasm ever! Fuck you EP!”

          For the Win!!!

          #SexyPeopleLeave

        • Losing so much weight friends asked if I had cancer, getting chlamydia and HPV (followed by cervical pre-cancerous and constant monitoring and several invasive procedures, vomiting copiously, attempting suicide, twelve months of the most agonising series of boils all over my body, including two pustulent beasts on my forehead and bottom lip that have left permanent scars. Sizzling hawt! Sexy AF!

          Europeans are so much more sophisticated and rise above utter heartbreak. Yeah right. I’m with Tracy. Tweet your hawtness to EP!

          • I had cervical pre-cancer too. The most severe level. Two biopsies, a laser ablation and a hysterectomy later and the pre-cancer has been gone for four years. My ex had been my only at that time too. Real sexy. This kind of sexy works much better in fiction than in real life.

    • Phoenix, tell it! Many days after DDay, I shook, couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, felt like vomiting. I got several STDs, took 3 medications at the same time, that made me sick to my stomach, other GI symptoms, loss my eyelashes and a great deal of my hair from all the stress. SOOOOOOO Friggin’ sexy and hot. (eyeroll) I’m so traumatized about the STDs, it has ruined any thoughts right now of ever having sex again. I know, I should get over it, it’s only soul rape.

      • I can understand. I didn’t have sex for almost seven years after all the emotional trauma followed by the discovery that I had high risk HPV from my ex. Then, my hormones went crazy and I ended up sleeping with a hot single friend who was aware of my hpv. At least we used protection, unlike my ex. Now, that my hormones have calmed down, I haven’t had sex for over a year. I really don’t like the thought of committing to “have” to have sex with a partner again. I had physical pain during intercourse towards the end of my marriage, probably because of the undiagnosed hpv. This is on top of the emotional strain of sleeping with an unfaithful spouse who said some cruel things to me.

  • Esther needs to trust me on this one. Any “hot sex” that originates after adultery is very short lived. It is soon replaced by cold hatred and no sex. It’s really difficult to fuck someone you cannot stand to look at or listen to, much less touch. What a moron she is.

  • I don’t know about Ester or Beyonce but there was nothing hot about the idea of sex with Narkles the Clown after D-day and the following battery of STD testing. Maybe those ladies would like to take him out for a spin and feed him kibbles. They are both more than welcome to get turned on by that, but ew….just ew!!!!

  • Blatantly false: “they [Americans] just feel more guilty about it”

    No, they do not. Guilty is as guilty does. Sorry is as sorry does. They just pretend to feel more guilty and sorry.

    But the moment the marriage counseling session is over, they’re back on their secret American email account. That doesn’t look like guilt to me.

    • Doesn’t look like guilt to me either Buddy. Just because we would have guilt in that situation, doesn’t mean our exes did.

  • When I picture my STBX and his AP having sex “hot” is not the word that comes to mind.

    • no dancing, I think along the same lines as you. My ex is 64 with failing eyesight and erections and his prostitute is 23 and to be honest his penis used to go missing in action with me before he decided he didn’t want me anymore. I don’t try and picture him with the whore because I like to keep my food down. I love my food and to me it is way better than sex !! As Sylvester the Cat used to say, “easy stomach”. 🙂

    • When I used to get images of my ex and his OW, I would imagine myself drop kicking them in the head. That really helped with the images. As a bonus, it was great mental practice for the martial art I was learning.

  • When you’re run over by a train but manage to survive, you’re so glad to be alive that you just want to have sex with it. In fact, the sex is so great, you eventually start being grateful you were run over by the train in the first place. Both you and the train are better off for the collision. The train starts paying attention to where it’s going, and you stop being so oblivious to trains.

    This is Esther in a nutshell.

    • Lyn,

      This is funny. I couldn’t stop the mental imagery. We have a mega amount of train crossings in my area. Every day when I cross the tracks I see cars parked off to the side just sitting there. I’ve always wondered what they are doing. Now I know. They’re waiting to have sex with trains. This also explains why Snidely Whiplash kept tying Nel to the tracks. Distracting Dudley Do-Right. Talk about triangulation.

        • Remember catching my STBXH coming home from an out of town “one night stand” wearing a Dudly Do-Right Tee shirt. That was D-day number two. Over 3 decades and who knows how many other women, I’m finally divorcing the jerk. Now I know for sure from my therapist who specializes in women recovering from Pathological abuse, that he is an Antisocial Pathological Narcissist! I hit the Trifecta. Esther Perel can pound sand. This is abuse.

          • …Abuse, as my stbx husband is Snidely Whiplash disguised as Dudley Do-Right. That’s why cluster B’s are so dangerous, they are wearing a mask. Maybe a good cartoon idea for CL to consider???

      • What part of the train DO they have sex with? The caboose? Is that why there is a giant X painted on the last car?

    • “Sin is caused by sinners not by circumstances.” YES. Why dont these therapists know this? I have a coworker who is into some NewAge belief system where there is no Right and no Wrong. “Nothing us good and nothing is evil. It just is.” She and I disagree, of course. The stuff these ppl (Perel, Ablow for example) are saying reminds me alot of things my coworker says.

    • Oh, DM, yuck!! What a vivid image. Should be easy for me to keep to my diet today. Yuck! (But funny…)

  • “If we’re gonna heal, let it be glorious.”

    I found this in the dictionary for “glorious”:

    glo-ri-ous
    adjective
    1. having, worthy of, or bringing lies, betrayal, secret double lives and STDs into a romantic, committed relationship
    2. having a gut wrenching experience of reading secret texts between your spouse and lover about their recent rendezvous just weeks after one’s spouse stated his or her re-commitment to the marriage in front of a marriage counselor.
    “the most glorious marriage of all time”

  • What people like Perel completely ignore is all of the other devaluing behavior that very frequently accompanies infidelity. My ex is a world champion passive aggressive who began to show me just how little I mattered starting the day we got married (there’s a supporting story here, I won’t bore you with it). Infidelity is accompanied by all kinds of damaging behaviors. A fact that is conveniently ignored by all of these “enlightened” infidelity apologists/chump shamers.

  • Yuck. There is nothing erotic about post D-day sex. I forced myself to have sex with my husband when he begged to stay and repair our marriage 15 years ago after the first D-Day. Little good it did me, the bastard embarked on at least 2 more affairs behind my back. He’s ruined sex for me now

  • WOW, my brain hurts after attempting to read this full of crap article. It takes all kinds of crazy! UBT worked overtime on this one.

  • This is actually super tame when it comes to this EP hack. Of course, considering the body of her “work,” I don’t blame the UBT at all for getting worked up over this.

    For me, the most glaring problem with EP’s statements is that they’re not backed up. If you’re going to make sweeping statements about how entire cultures perceive things, you need to base those in something other than your own opinion and limited experiences if you expect anyone else of reasonable intelligence to take those opinions as valid (which she doesn’t appear to do here).

  • Fuck this dumb bitch. I live in Europe and guess what: it pisses people off just as much here as it does in the States. She should get out and travel more. Or, you know, pull her head out of her arse.

    • Are you sure you’re from Europe? You should be all cultured and enlightened and stuff and appreciate it when someone lies to you and puts you at risk.. not like us simple American folk that want honesty and junk. You might be adopted.. sorry to break it to you, but you’re probably American.

    • Hahahaaa, Nord! That solves the mystery of why she writes so much shit. It’s “where her head is at!!”

  • The heightened orgasms are at the expense of your spouse, friends, families,finances, and your kids. Heightened orgasms apparently can also be elevated with cocaine, doesn’t mean it’s good for the persons involved. There is no justification in deception, especially when it’s only premiss is sexual desire and lust.

  • Yeah… Europeans reaction to lying and cheating is SOOOO much more sophisticated than us knuckle-dragging ‘Murcans.

    Why, when Angela Merkel learned the CIA and NSA was spying on Germany her reaction was, “Vhy, dose naughty skahmps!” [And then expressed shock, demanded formal apologies, explanations, and kicked the CIA head out of Germany.]

    When the French learned the CIA and NSA’s was also spying on France’s government, the reaction was to take another drag on a cigarette and express mild indifference [And then decried the lack of transparency, cooperation, expressed shock, demanded apologies, explanations, and kicked-out the CIA]

    It’s funny what crossing boundaries and destroying trust does to a relationship.

  • Americans can’t appreciate being deceived and put at risk the way Europeans do, because Americans aren’t as cultured. Americans are all exactly the same type of person, mouth breathers.. and those types don’t like no cheatin’ and lyin’… but in Europe, they are all cultured and sophisticated. Being lied to makes them sip wine and contemplate how it made them grow as people. Every single one of them.

  • Trying to decipher Esther Perel reminds me of my EX….and his typical word salad with a crunchy topping of intellectualism and a sprinkle of a quote from a top psychological study. She confuses eroticism and love and then the nugget that infidelity has been around forever. Infidelity is just so tenacious!

    Like others here — I can describe my experience having sex after DD#1 as soul killing. I had to talk myself down and hoped my body would not betray me. Honestly, I don’t understand why I did this now. It is the saddest and dumbest thing I have ever done in my entire life.

    It would be so refreshing for the conversation to switch to “how to have a good relationship” or “how to not marry an entitled asshole”.

  • Ester, after I beat the living shit out of you lie there and be pragmatic. Do not be like an American and scream and cry. It doesn’t become you.

    • Careful, Let go. After you beat her and cause her pain and fear and feeling like she wants to throw up, she may feel sexy and want to have sex with you.

  • Her argument is nonsense no matter what, but even more stupid considering how many Americans consider cheating to be no big deal, just something “everyone does.” The only thing Ester Makes-me-want-to-wash-my-brain-with-Purell has right is that wherever you go in the world, there is an unfortunately large percentage of the population who are disordered and don’t give a fuck about things like infidelity (as long as THEY are the ones doing the cheating) because they don’t give a fuck, or even comprehend, pesky things like other people’s feelings.

  • The “erotic aspects of the drama” are what we live through when we’re 16, and what we (hopefully) grow out of as we mature into healthy adults. Can you imagine how horrible the world would be if we all acted like teenagers?

    • I have worked with teenagers for the last few decades. Many of them are more considerate and mature than the middle aged and older adulterers and abusers I know and hear about!

  • Esther, you stupid fucking twit. My pain was not sexy or erotic. No definition that I know could define those words to fit what I experienced, or what any chump I know had experienced. It WAS heart breaking, gut wrenching and vomit-inducing. It WAS utterly bewildering and devastating. Esther, the only people I could imagine enjoying betrayal as you describe it would be two parhologic personalities.

    Oh and Esther, your sweeping statements, your psychological assertions, and even your interpretation of Lemonade show you to be consistently and highly delusional. Perchance you should consult one of your colleagues on a diagnosis and some institutionalized care.

    • Kelly. I agree. Her mouth is the butt that keeps on crapping…and crapping…I think she is a cheater who is trying to justify what she did. Minimizing the damage it does to the victim.

  • Esther, I am beginning to think she is one of the very many disordered. I think she no longer thinks but is addicted to hearing herself talk and by stating what is obviously ridiculous she gets attention and she does this because it beats no attention at all. Sooner or later Esther will be removed from this earth or retire and to be missed by a chump she will not be.

    • She is the Oswald Bates of the therapy world. Remember that jail bird on that show In Living Color? He would sit in his cell and talk to himself, using “big words” he didnt understand, making no sense at all…”now if I may extricate my flatulence for a moment, the crux of instigation will become clear…”

  • I was mad at my ex for having an affair with my friend. She left me. He left his partner of a quarter of a century. I feel bad now that what I had not taken into consideration were the ‘historical forces that shaped these transgressions’. You know, The Defenestration of Prague or The Revocation of The Edict of Nantes or something. Silly old me.

    • Well done!

      (ps: I had to google those historical events and learned something. But if my ancestors are from Bavaria and Bohemia, how come I didn’t cheat too? How did I avoid these powerful forces? Well, I suppose there is still time for me to be historically forced into an affair)

        • I know. I know.

          Providing, parenting, paying, pruning, and promoting aren’t as romantic as posturing, posing, pretending and philandering.

  • When I discovered my wife was a serial cheater over a 20-year marriage, I was devestated. I had seen signs since less than two years in, and had talked about it at least twice a year for 15 years. So much of it was just the indifference she showed toward me, and her lack of interest in sex. She was always so indignant at the suggestion she could cheat.

    She wanted desperately to save the marriage after D-day. I was so disoriented and, I suppose somewhat classically, went to her for comfort. She showed passion for me I had not seen for 17 years, and the sex was great. I’ve read about how that happens sometimes.

    I look back at myself and am amazed that I did that. I was lost and not able to come to grips with losing 25 years with a person I loved. I don’t know what I thought I was holding on to. I was like a kid lost in a mall wandering around crying and looking for his mommy. I think I was just in shock. I lost 40 pounds in four months; not sleeping, all the other stuff.

    To make matters worse, two people close to me each day told me that I would not be upset at all if I just understood that the source of my problem was a faulty belief system. They said my belief that my wife owed me a duty of fidelity, or truth about it, was false, and that anyone who told me my feelings were valid was not my friend.

    They said if I loved her unconditionally I would forgive her and go on with the marriage, and that I should actually be happy for her that she found men she enjoyed having sex with during our marriage. They also pointed out that women who are happy in a marriage don’t cheat and that I should recognize that I was equally at fault for what she did for all those years because if I had worked harder to make her happy this would never have happened.

    Not sure if that’s a European view, but making me feel like there was something wrong with me for making such a big deal out of it, and criticizing me for not appreciating my responsibility in her cheating, damn near put me in the ground.

    • JK, with friends like that you don’t need any enemies. What a load of shit they piled onto you. Glad you are well away from all that. Jedi Hugs!

    • JK – these people are vipers. Every instinct you have about them now is probably true. I’m glad you didn’t let them win 🙂

    • “They also pointed out that women who are happy in a marriage don’t cheat…” I think that’s probably true, but it’s missing the forest for the trees. Cheaters are fundamentally unhappy, unsatisfied people who continually search and search for external things to “make” them happy. The error here is citing the marriage as the source of unhappiness and placing that blame at your feet. You cannot make someone happy who cannot be made happy, nor is it your job to fill an unfillable void. Some cheaters also go out of their way to make the marriage unhappy so that they can justify their cheating. As always, I compare cheaters to my preschooler. I could work harder to make him happy in every moment, but usually it’s not a matter of whether the robot undies will make him happier than the dinosaur undies, it’s a matter of testing boundaries. Same thing with cheaters; they raise the bar on their “happiness” higher and higher not because it will truly make them happy, but because they want to test their spouse’s boundaries and then point a finger when when they fail to meet the moving target.

      And the rest of that drivel that they tried to sell you….well, if you’re here, you know it’s a load of BS.

      • Free Vixen. I Just took a picture of what you wrote so that I can refer back to it when I hear how this whole mess is my fault. You nailed it. Bravo.

    • Let’s just say all that is true. That you cannot expect fidelity etc… That that is the norm and it is our believe system that is damaging us. Let’s just say the majority believe that and it is true and we are indeed the disordered ones. The fact remains that YOUR (our) value system is not of that. It is not how who we are and how we anticipated our life to be with the one we devoted ourselves to. And because our value system causes no harm to anyone there is no issue with us continuing to stand by our convictions then. Maybe it is us and if that is the case, then we should seek only others like us that hold to those same standards. Fine if others feel that is the way to be, but we don’t. And if we are indeed the minority, I am glad at least there are some of us. So many stood behind Hitler too, so…..

    • JK,

      I’m so sorry that not only did you have a lousy wife, you had people who claimed they were your friends but really were your enemy. Friends don’t trivialize your pain and your belief system. I found out my Stbexh was cheating after 26 years of marriage. After going through 11 months of counciling and the 2nd and last dday I just hit 28 years. I’m just waiting for the judges signature. I’ve determined there is no such thing as unconditional love. There’s condionional love and those conditions are called boundaries. They apply to everyone. Hang in there and if you haven’t already done so, dump those people you thought were friends.

      • Thank you, Annie. I work for the people that I was referring to, so I still see them. I’ll just leave it that our relationship has changed. I realize how important it is to remove the toxic people from your life, and I have done that to the extent I can.

        I am sorry for what you are going through. I know it’s misery like none other, but I’m glad you’re almost out. Also, I could not agree more with what you say about unconditional love and boundaries. All true, it’s just a costly way to gain an education. I wish you the best.

        • Well said, Annie. Neither my STBX or my now-ex-boyfriend (post-separation) could stand the conditions of a long-term monogamous relationship with me. They didn’t want to ‘buy the cow’ but they were happy to ‘get the milk for free.’ So sick of this attitude and behavior! Will likely (not because I like being single) stay celibate for the rest of my life (probably another 50 years, knowing my family).

          JK, when you mentioned that your associates/’friends’/whoever they are mentioned that you had a ‘faulty belief system,’ the first thing I thought they meant was that you falsely believed that your wife could cheat on you (i.e., you were in denial about your wife’s adultery). That I could understand as I have a hard time accepting the truth about some of my relationships (e.g., he never loved me, respected me, nor valued me). Sorry that that these people you mentioned are insensitive, not very deep thinkers, who are way off target.

    • Nothing wrong with you JK, and you describe feelings vividly. And those friends are not friends at all. Fellow male betrayed spouse here who beat himself up. We just have to listen to what CL and CN reminds us over and over – they had choices, much better ones than cheating. They made the bad choice, sometimes over and over, with no care about consequences for us and no input from us. They own that 100%. We don’t.

      • Thanks Untold. Kind of came to the same conclusion about those “friends.” I believe they came to the conclusion that I was just not bright enough to understand. What I do understand now, through lots of counseling and help from this site (albeit way too late), was that I did not cause her to cheat with other men for years at a time. Neither did you, or any of us.

  • “”She even voices one of the great unspoken truths about the aftermath of affairs: the hot sex that often ensues. “Grief sedated by orgasm,” she intones, “orgasm heightened by grief.””

    Yeah, that lasts right up until she finds out she contracted an incurable STI, or maybe any STI, I suppose it depends on her ‘resilience’.

    • And let’s apply CL’s domestic abuse replacement and see if it sounds reasonable:

      “”She even voices one of the great unspoken truths about the aftermath of a physical attack: the hot sex that often ensues. “Broken jaw sedated by orgasm,” she intones, “orgasm heightened by bruises.”” It is disgusting. No one would condone this kind of thinking about any other form of abuse. And if abuse is the threshold for a hot marriage, count me out.

      • Honestly, yeah. This sounds just like an anti-feminist blogger I know who argued that domestic violence is fine and women are just exaggerating because after every incident she overhead her neighbors have (and didn’t call the cops about!) she heard them have sex. She was honestly trying to argue that it was all fine and consensual because the abusers said that they had sex and enjoyed it afterwards. I can’t believe there are women who hate other women this much.

        • If I could distract a partner from pummeling me by having sex with him, I probably would. Plus the positive attention from someone you wished desperately would love you (without violence) probably feels good in the moment.

          I think that women who claim this kind of behavior disqualifies abuse from being abuse are probably overly desperate for male approval, and they somehow think that being on “their” side will earn them approval. Wrong on so many fronts.

  • This is utter rubbish! My grief was sedated by antibiotics to clear up the STDS (note plural) he gave me, antidepressants, Xanax, protein drinks because I could not eat, blood pressure meds, loss of 20lbs that I didn’t need to lose, inability to concentrate at work so I cut my hours down affecting me financially. Still waiting for that orgasm to come along!

  • You know, I have no time or energy left for people like Esther and her ilk. I don’t know anything about Beyoncé except her press – she was brought up in a family where her father repeatedly cheated on her mother. She is, to all intents and purposes, close to her mother. Her mother did not divorce her father until the father impregnated a significantly younger woman. There is probably a lot more to that particular aspect of her story, but this is the public information. This family dynamic appears to inform Beyoncé’s choices. Beyoncé is married to a man who is unattractive and abusive, but sought after because of his fame and money. Whatever reason she was and is attracted to him and remains married to him can only be speculated upon, but from where I’m sitting, if it’s looks, she needs a pair of glasses, if not racetrack binoculars. Beyoncé is representative of “America” like Leslie Caron is representative of France.

    I have no idea what dynamic informs Esther Perel’s beliefs beyond her apparent psychopathy. There is nothing sexy, romantic, uplifting, confidence-building or inspiring about abuse, devaluation, betrayal and every day unrelenting disrespect. That is the definition of infidelity. The only people who believe that you can achieve elevated self-worth from cheating or being cheated on are cheaters or cheater-wannabes. If you do not have the emotional depth to experience the pain that accompanies being cheated on, then feel free to sail on Esther Perel’s ship of fools and other despicable human beings. I think you should experience your life and your “exuberance” as you see fit.

    My problem is that people like Esther and those who subscribe to and attend the Church of Perel want to normalize their beliefs in order to justify their behavior – and then tell people how they “should” feel about being cheated on. You don’t get to tell me how I should feel about the crap you have done to me. So many people who practice or believe horrible things frequently want to tell people how they should feel about being a recipient of the fallout therefrom. It keeps Horrible People from having to own the horror of the people that they are. If you’re willing to eat and swallow the shit they are spoon-feeding you then they never have to be accountable for being the devoid of humanity, pig-faced alien pods that they are. And then to presume to speak on behalf of almost an entire continent of people – whoa little doggie! Narcissistic much?

  • Today choosing to stay when you can leave is the new shame.

    Love can be plural.

    Just a few gems worthy of the UBT. I have no energy.

  • “This clinical approach denudes the pain of its romantic essence and its erotic energy”
    – I just threw up in my mouth

  • Please Tracy – comment on Trump’s bombing of Hilary’s character. The Presidential race is between the Cheater and the Chump. He just blame shifted her. Please kick ass — please put all of that through the Universal Bullshit Translator.

    Let me put it down: Hilary should have kicked Bill in the balls. She would have a lot better moral standing now. But she didn’t. No one blames her for being angry with the other women.

    Trump will be a disaster for faithful marriages.

  • I’ve not even wanted to actually hear Lemonade at all. I have seen some quotes of the album on fb and the responses and comments about them. I feel bad for the people that use them to justify staying with their cheater. I wonder if they stop to think about how futile it is to tell a cheater, basically, “I will kick your ass, if you cheat on me, again”. If you already caught them cheating, line up your ducks, get the f*ck out or get ready for d-day 2, 3, 4, etc You are not “fighting” for your relationship (think about who the hell you are fighting with, your own partner), you are not going to “win” (you already lost, they cheated, they brought another rival for their affection into “your” relationship), the cheater is not going to be “afraid” of your “threats” of ass kicking (they are already so far ahead of the game that you didn’t even know you were a part of). You just need to get the f*ck out and start living a deceiver free life.

    And it doesn’t matter on whit, to me, that infidelity has been around as long as marriage. My thought is that ebola has been around, undiagnosed, for just as long and I sure as hell am not signing up for that list either.

  • Esther Perel and her apologists have a curious form of determinism. Cheaters can’t help themselves. Cheating is as old as marriage. It’s influenced by history. Chumps shouldn’t be mad they should be understanding. Forgiving. Grateful even that their relationship has been made more interesting by their partner’s infidelity.
    But what if Chump behaviour is predetermined by historical factors? What if our judgemental attitudes are predetermined? What purpose does Perel’s sermonising serve? Maybe she can’t help sermonising?
    But if chumps can be expected to reign in their judgemental attitudes maybe they can also expect their partners to reign in their unfaithful desires. Just saying.

    • I always wonder when they start talking about determinism and how natural cheating is, well, so is clobbering your rival in a jealous rage. I mean *evolution* made me do it!

      And shouldn’t they just be grateful for that baseball bat upside the head? Forgiving? And look to historical factors?

  • all i know is that my natural and instinctual response was to feel suicidal. he tried to crush me. because he could. because i truly loved him.

    he “did iit” with a french woman who pontificates (so boring) about love online. All i know about this is that I get a shitload more likes and shares for talking about what it’s like to be treated like shit, than she does for her fake version of love.

    I fucking hate those posers.

  • UBT = on point.

    My $0.02: It’s clear that Beyonce tied her identity to being “Mrs. Carter.” Didn’t she have a “Mrs. Carter World Tour”? It takes a lot of time to let that go. She thinks she can “save” everything if she tries hard enough because, well, she’s a hard worker. Look at everything she’s accomplished. That sh!t was not handed to her. She worked her @$$ off. She sees this as yet another thing she needs to work at. Maybe if she threatens her husband/the affair partner (“Becky with the good hair”), maybe if she ups her feminism rhetoric, maybe if she stresses being a better mom … whatever. She thinks that she can “do something” to “fix” things. I bet dollars to donuts that Jay-Z is either giving the bare minimum (if anything) to genuine self-exploration, self-criticism, and self-growth. He’s the guy that wrote the über popular “Big Pimpin'” song that has the line: “You know I thug em, fuck em, love em, leave em ; Cause I don’t fuckin’ need em ; Take em out the hood, keep em lookin’ good ; But I don’t fuckin’ feed em.”

    Soooo anyway, I hope Beyonce can recognize that there’s nothing to fix and everything to accept. She has to accept who he is, how he has demonstrated his character in the past, what he is (or more likely isn’t) doing now, and how her energy can be better spent figuring out how few of millions she can spend on untangling from him.

    Best of luck Queen B. All the Single Ladies, put your hands up!

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