Friday, July 10, 2015

Esther Perel: Rethinking infidelity ... a talk for anyone who has ever loved

Discusses the meaning of infidelity - even for happily married couples - and the motivation in modern times for an affair when marriage is defined as based on love and trust - and the psychological devastation it causes. Her points clearly apply also to divorce - especially the idea of not being in pain in a marriage but rather "I can do better" I can recapture the excitement that has been lost" - with someone else. [see]

Basically explains Sanhedrin (57a): Rab Judah said in Rab's name: A man once conceived a passion for a certain woman,3 and his heart was consumed by his burning desire [his life being endangered thereby]. When the doctors were consulted, they said, ‘His only cure is that she shall submit.’ Thereupon the Sages said: ‘Let him die rather than that she should yield.’ Then [said the doctors]; ‘let her stand nude before him;’ [they answered] ‘sooner let him die’. ‘Then’, said the doctors, ‘let her converse with him from behind a fence’. ‘Let him die,’ the Sages replied ‘rather than she should converse with him from behind a fence.’ Now R. Jacob b. Idi and R. Samuel b. Nahmani dispute therein. One said that she was a married woman; the other that she was unmarried. Now, this is intelligible on the view, that she was a married woman, but on the latter, that she was unmarried, why such severity? — R. Papa said: Because of the disgrace to her family. R. Aha the son of R. Ika said: That the daughters of Israel may not be immorally dissolute. Then why not marry her? — Marriage would not assuage his passion, even as R. Isaac said: Since the destruction of the Temple, sexual pleasure has been taken [from those who practise it lawfully] and given to sinners, as it is written. Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.

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