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Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel
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Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel

Author: Esther Perel Global Media

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Every Monday morning step into the office of iconic psychotherapist Esther Perel and listen in as real people in search of insight bare the raw, intimate, and profound details of their stories. From breakups and open relationships to workplace conflicts and fractures in the family, it’s a place to hear our own stories reflected in the lives of others. So…where should we begin? Part of the Vox Media Podcast Network.

83 Episodes
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He gets to a certain point in relationships before he starts fantasizing about his ex-boyfriends or other future partners. Esther talks him through what he might be holding onto from his childhood that makes his otherwise healthy relationships feel stifling. Esther Callings are a one-time, 45-60 minute interventional phone call with Esther. They are edited for time, clarity, and anonymity. If you have a question you would like to talk through with Esther, send a voice memo to producer@estherperel.com. For the first time on the U.S. stage, Esther invites you to an evening unlike any other. Join her as she shines a light on the cultural shifts transforming relationships and helps us rethink how we connect, how we desire – and even how we love. To find a city near you, go to https://www.estherperel.com/tour2024 Want to learn more? Receive monthly insights, musings, and recommendations to improve your relational intelligence via email from Esther: https://www.estherperel.com/newsletter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
She gets angry when she feels devalued and put down. He intellectualizes and rationalizes instead of sympathizing. Esther helps them to see each other and work towards dissolving the patterns they developed to protect themselves. For the first time on the U.S. stage, Esther invites you to an evening unlike any other. Join her as she shines a light on the cultural shifts transforming relationships and helps us rethink how we connect, how we desire – and even how we love. To find a city near you, go to https://www.estherperel.com/tour2024 Want to learn more? Receive monthly insights, musings, and recommendations to improve your relational intelligence via email from Esther: https://www.estherperel.com/newsletter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
A woman whose ex-boyfriend cheated on her with his ex girlfriend ends a perfectly good relationship because she can't trust how close her current partner is with his own ex. She wonders if two people can meet each other's needs without having to sacrifice a part of themselves and if she can ever move past her fears and let love into her life. Esther Callings are a one time, 45-60 minute interventional phone call with Esther. They are edited for time, clarity, and anonymity. If you have a question you would like to talk through with Esther, send a voice memo to producer@estherperel.com. For the first time on the U.S. stage, Esther invites you to an evening unlike any other. Join her as she shines a light on the cultural shifts transforming relationships and helps us rethink how we connect, how we desire – and even how we love. To find a city near you, go to https://www.estherperel.com/tour2024 Want to learn more? Receive monthly insights, musings, and recommendations to improve your relational intelligence via email from Esther: https://www.estherperel.com/newsletter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
This week we're airing a very special episode of Brené Brown's Unlocking Us where Esther and Brené discuss how we manage the paradox of exploring the world of social media and emerging technologies while staying tethered to our humanness. How do we create IRL relationships where we see and value others and feel seen and valued in the context of constant scrolling and using digital technology as armor? For the first time on the U.S. stage, Esther invites you to an evening unlike any other. Join her as she shines a light on the cultural shifts transforming relationships and helps us rethink how we connect, how we desire – and even how we love. To find a city near you, go to https://www.estherperel.com/tour2024 Want to learn more? Receive monthly insights, musings, and recommendations to improve your relational intelligence via email from Esther: https://www.estherperel.com/newsletter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
They were aid workers who met abroad, fell in love, and came to the States to get married. After two years, her partner returned to his home country to fulfill his familial duty and marry his brother's widow. Esther talks her through what comes next. Esther Callings are a one time, 45-60 minute interventional phone call with Esther. They are edited for time, clarity, and anonymity. If you have a question you would like to talk through with Esther, send a voice memo to producer@estherperel.com. For the first time on the U.S. stage, Esther invites you to an evening unlike any other. Join her as she shines a light on the cultural shifts transforming relationships and helps us rethink how we connect, how we desire – and even how we love. To find a city near you, go to https://www.estherperel.com/tour2024 Want to learn more? Receive monthly insights, musings, and recommendations to improve your relational intelligence via email from Esther: https://www.estherperel.com/newsletter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Not all conversations with Esther have to happen behind closed doors. Last week, Esther sat down with Trevor Noah, live from the Vox Media Podcast Stage at SXSW in Austin, for a candid look at the state of comedy in the world we live in. The two of them uncovered some surprising similarities between being a comic and being a therapist. Esther showed Trevor a few ways to become a better listener and Trevor in return helped Esther prep for her new live tour. If you want to be part of that show too- Esther invites you to an evening unlike any other. Join her as she shines a light on the cultural shifts transforming relationships and helps us rethink how we connect, how we desire – and even how we love. To find a city near you, go to https://www.estherperel.com/tour2024 For Trevor Noah's Off the Record tour visit https://www.trevornoah.com/shows To hear more from Trevor Noah head over to his podcast, What Now? With Trevor Noah: spotify.link/trevornoah Want to learn more? Receive monthly insights, musings, and recommendations to improve your relational intelligence via email from Esther: https://www.estherperel.com/newsletter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
I Can't Give You a Child

I Can't Give You a Child

2024-03-1846:013

This is a classic session, from the first season of Where Should We Begin? 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. Not wanting to deny her husband this opportunity, she comes up with a solution, but Esther encourages them to talk more honestly about what led to this crossroad. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Esther talks to a woman who, despite her best efforts, finds herself implicated in the same toxic cycle of abuse from her partner that she grew up watching between her parents. Rationally, she knows she deserves better, but just can't seem to get out from under this painful repetition of events. Esther talks her through why she thinks she finds herself back here time and time again. Esther Callings are a one-time, 45-60 minute interventional phone call with Esther. They are edited for time, clarity, and anonymity. If you have a question you would like to talk through with Esther, send a voice memo to producer@estherperel.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
They are a young couple with a small child and they fight non-stop. And while they each have good intentions, they struggle to hear or see each other. What initially made them fall in love with each other, they now experience as a threat. Can they learn to fight but still stay connected to each other? For the first time on the U.S. stage, Esther invites you to an evening unlike any other. Join her as she shines a light on the cultural shifts transforming relationships and helps us rethink how we connect, how we desire – and even how we love. To find a city near you, go to https://www.estherperel.com/tour2024 Want to learn more? Receive monthly insights, musings, and recommendations to improve your relational intelligence via email from Esther: https://www.estherperel.com/newsletter Coming to SXSW? You can see Esther live on the Vox Media Podcast Stage with guest Trevor Noah on March 8th, and with Brené Brown on March 10th. Learn more at voxmedia.com/live Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Ira Glass has created over 800 episodes of the genre-defining radio show and podcast This American Life. Each week on the show he weaves together stories around a central narrative theme and he never shies away from the big hard questions. But after almost 30 years of producing the show- he's asking himself and Esther, is this it? For the first time on the U.S. stage, Esther invites you to an evening unlike any other. Join her as she shines a light on the cultural shifts transforming relationships and helps us rethink how we connect, how we desire – and even how we love. To find a city near you, go to https://www.estherperel.com/tour2024 Want to learn more? Receive monthly insights, musings, and recommendations to improve your relational intelligence via email from Esther: https://www.estherperel.com/newsletter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Too often we can focus on troubles in our relationships and not what happens when the relationship goes right. This week, Esther explores the inner workings of a pivotal pair with podcast royalty Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway. The hosts of Pivot join Esther to delve into what makes them great to listen to and how being open to surprise and difference invites them each to be better people. For the first time on the U.S. stage, Esther invites you to an evening unlike any other. Join her as she shines a light on the cultural shifts transforming relationships and helps us rethink how we connect, how we desire – and even how we love. To find a city near you, go to https://www.estherperel.com/tour2024 Want to learn more? Receive monthly insights, musings, and recommendations to improve your relational intelligence via email from Esther: https://www.estherperel.com/newsletter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
She lost her husband five years ago. Now, she's finally ready to start picking up the pieces of her life to begin dating. Esther talks her through what it might mean to reframe her memories of their relationship. This conversation contains discussions of depression and death by suicide. Please take care listening. For the first time on the U.S. stage, Esther invites you to an evening unlike any other. Join her as she shines a light on the cultural shifts transforming relationships and helps us rethink how we connect, how we desire – and even how we love. To find a city near you, go to https://www.estherperel.com/tour2024 Want to learn more? Receive monthly insights, musings, and recommendations to improve your relational intelligence via email from Esther: https://www.estherperel.com/newsletter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
They find themselves at an erotic stalemate. Married for 20 years with four children, they have lost their way with each other. He wants it all the time, and she seems to want it never. Esther encourages them to create sexual invitations rather than nightly demands. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
They are new mothers after a long wait and they are both struggling in their roles at the same international organization. One can't seem to get out from under her father's shadow to maintain an agreeable relationship with her male bosses, and the other is just returning to work after staying at home to take care of their child--a role that she never quite wanted. Please take this survey to help us plan for the future: estherperel.com/survey  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
This episode contains discussions of a sexual trauma. Please take care listening. This is the second part of a special two part conversation. Certain conversations stay with Esther long after the caller has hung up. And in this case, Esther wanted to follow up and go further with the young woman with the voice inside her head telling her to cheat on her partner. But this evil voice is not her own. It is that of her assailant in a form of trauma reenactment. Esther Callings are a one time, 45-60 minute interventional phone call with Esther. They are edited for time, clarity, and anonymity. If you have a question you would like to talk through with Esther, send a voice memo to producer@estherperel.com. Want to learn more? Receive monthly insights, musings, and recommendations to improve your relational intelligence via email from Esther: https://www.estherperel.com/newsletter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
This episode contains discussions of a sexual trauma. Please take care listening. A woman in a healthy and loving relationship talks to Esther about the fantasies she has of cheating on her partner. Together they delve into whether these are truly adulterous thoughts or if this voice in her head is connected to the unresolved shame and trauma from an earlier sexual assault. Esther Callings are a one time, 45-60 minute interventional phone call with Esther. They are edited for time, clarity, and anonymity. If you have a question you would like to talk through with Esther, send a voice memo to producer@estherperel.com. Want to learn more? Receive monthly insights, musings, and recommendations to improve your relational intelligence via email from Esther: https://www.estherperel.com/newsletter Please take this survey to help us plan for the future: estherperel.com/survey  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
For years she has been the breadwinner while he has felt like a failure at home raising their daughter. After he found a new career and subsequently, a new lease on life, this couple has been erotically invigorated unlike anything previously in their marriage. She has been freed from caretaking, while he has found another person who is special to him. They come to Esther's office to see if their two (now three) is sustainable. Please take this survey to help us plan for the future: estherperel.com/survey  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Esther speaks to a woman who seems to get to a certain place within a relationship and then they end it. In her words, she seems to keep finding herself in the friend zone. In her latest relationship, she felt he took advantage of her stability and support without sharing the same feelings. Leaving her believing that she was just his placeholder until something better came along. Esther Callings are a one-time, 45-60 minute interventional phone call with Esther. They are edited for time, clarity, and anonymity. If you have a question you would like to talk through with Esther, send a voice memo to producer@estherperel.com. Want to learn more? Receive monthly insights, musings, and recommendations to improve your relational intelligence via email from Esther: https://www.estherperel.com/newsletter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Our friend Dan Harris hosts the Ten Percent Happier podcast. A skeptical journalist, Dan had a panic attack on live TV that sent him on a journey that led him to try something he otherwise wouldn't have considered: meditation. He went on to write the best-selling book, 10% Happier. The show features interviews with top scientists, celebrities and experts in the field of mindfulness. And Dan's approach is seemingly modest, but secretly radical: happiness is a skill you can train, just like working your bicep in the gym. Listen to more Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris: https://open.spotify.com/show/1CfW319UkBMVhCXfei8huv Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Friendships are their own love stories. Our friends provide continuity in an ever-changing world. They accompany us through the trials and tribulations of lovers that come and go, job changes, family rifts, births, deaths, and recoveries. And in the case of Neil Patrick Harris it's his 50th birthday that has brought friends from all the corners of his life together- which as he tells Esther can bring with some anxiety too. In her new Apple Subscription Esther is joined by the actor and Tony Award winner Neil Patrick Harris for an intimate chat. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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Comments (286)

ID26906669

This was one of the most incredibly painful episodes I have ever listened to. I thought you handled it masterfully. Truthfully, it really does under score the importance of really and truly deeply listening to your beloved. Thank you so much for sharing this. 

Apr 17th
Reply

Erica Ferreira

Girl save yourself time, therapy and heartache. This guy is a controlling idiot with very little empathy, he thinks he is superior.

Apr 17th
Reply

Kim Meyer

Yes she did

Apr 15th
Reply

j law

Shocking, how immature this woman is. She sounds like she is eighteen, instead of forty years old. And there is something very fake, about the tone of her voice.

Mar 25th
Reply

Paria Davoudian

That’s great thanks ☺️♥️

Mar 5th
Reply

Steve

Brilliant episode. So good that Perel asked the caller for a second session.

Feb 25th
Reply

Erica Ferreira

Hugs from a fellow widow x

Feb 22nd
Reply

hsshshj hzwhuwus

Esther Perel's podcast sounds like a compelling journey into the human experience. Exploring raw and intimate stories offers valuable insights and connections. Looking forward to delving into these profound narratives with each site: https://volleyballshoesguide.com/how-often-to-replace-volleyball-shoes/

Feb 7th
Reply

Afra Tanzeem

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Jan 27th
Reply

j law

Ridiculous. Could not listen past the 7-minute mark.

Jan 24th
Reply

Erica Ferreira

What a boring session. Esther handled it well, but it feels like the lady is bored with life.

Jan 22nd
Reply

lisa watson

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Jan 18th
Reply

Erica Ferreira

she ain't happy with it. She will be relieved when she leaves.

Jan 18th
Reply

Befrin Axtjärn

This episode doesn’t sit well with me. It doesn’t sound like their open marriage is consensual at all, and i feel like this is just Esther and the man trying to convince her to accept it. I’m non-monogamous myself, but I hear a clear message here - she’s not in to it.

Jan 15th
Reply (2)

It's JustB

The wife sees nothing wrong with her behavior it seems yet she's the over-sharer bringing others into their union. She needs to have a boundary with her family.

Jan 2nd
Reply (1)

It's JustB

This was so hard to listen to. Is it even possible to reconcile these 2 personalities? They both keep assuming they know what the other would say which makes it close to impossible to have a dialogue. She has difficulty staying quiet more than he does and often pointing out his wrondoings. He on the other hand does what she requests such as those behaviors she wants him to give up, without him getting his wishes. I think it's not always true that opposites attract.

Jan 2nd
Reply

Leah

Absolutely unreal that people are listening to this episode and coming away with “mEaN wOmAn WoN’t LeT mAn WaTcH pOrN” is pathetic. 1) She’s allowed to not want that 2) That discussion was a blip in this episode. There was so much more and so much depth to their discussion, which ends with a takeaway that they both want to do better for each other. Some of yall need to grow up.

Dec 28th
Reply

Steve Ihle

. .

Dec 15th
Reply

Eli Rhm

this dude is a narcissist for a 10000000%. all the victim playing, accounting, shutting down....Gee, I know this game very well.

Dec 7th
Reply (2)

j law

This woman is a whiner...boo-hoo. She really needs to grow up, get a reality check, and focus on what she has, not what she doesn't have.

Dec 6th
Reply
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