Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel

Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel

By Esther Perel Global Media & Gimlet

Listen to the incomparable therapist Esther Perel counsel real couples as they reveal the most intimate, personal, and complicated details of the conflicts that have brought them to her door. This season, she takes on open marriage, racism inside an extended family, coming out in a religious home, and chronic infidelity, among other delicate dynamics. Esther creates a space for us to hear our own lives and struggles articulated in the stories of others. So....where should we begin?

Episodes

When I'm Manic I Cheat

Bipolar, infidelity, open relationships: they're stuck in a world of loaded words. Her friends are convinced she should leave, but she doesn't want to follow in her mother's footsteps. Programming note: This conversation was recorded before the COVID-19 lockdown.
13/08/2050m 48s

It's Very Hard to Live with a Saint

Barely a year into marriage, they're trapped in a cycle of explosive conflict. She can do no right, and he can do no wrong. Programming note: This conversation was recorded before the COVID-19 lockdown.
06/08/2042m 53s

In This Relationship What Is "I" and What Is "We"?

They grew up with traumatic backgrounds, met in college and immigrated to the U.S. together. They've built stability and security, and now one of them longs for more freedom. Programming note: This conversation was recorded before the COVID-19 lockdown.
23/07/2046m 30s

The Chronic Philanderer

He's been cheating on her for years, and she's had enough. Now she wants to know: is he in or is he out? Programming note: This conversation was recorded before the COVID-19 lockdown.
16/07/2046m 37s

What Would It Take For You to Come Out?

Four years in, she can't admit she's attracted to her girlfriend, and her family still doesn't know. Programming note: This conversation was recorded before the COVID-19 lockdown.
09/07/2049m 20s

You Want Me To Watch The Kids While You Go Out With Another Guy?

They met as religious teenagers and married as virgins. It's the age old story — once you're allowed to be intimate, you no longer want to be. Deciding to open the marriage has brought about huge changes in their sex life, and ruptures in their emotional one. Programming note: This conversation was recorded before the COVID-19 lockdown.
09/07/2046m 56s

Season Four Trailer

A new season of Where Should We Begin? With Esther Perel.
18/06/202m 27s

Couples Under Lockdown: Lagos, Nigeria

Last summer they left everything they'd built in Seattle for a chance at a very different life. He took a dream turn to expand his company and be closer to home; she gave up her nursing job to manage their girls and explore new horizons abroad. COVID-19 hits as they watch the fate of other countries, knowing if it reaches Nigeria with a population of more than 200 million people, it will be devastating. They've been offered a chance to go home, but to what? Leaving Nigeria would mean walking away from everything, but staying could be more than either signed up for. Esther speaks to the couple as Africa begins easing restrictions.
14/05/2055m 13s

Couples Under Lockdown: New York, New York

They have three kids and their volatile marriage has fallen apart. She still hopes to rebuild. He can't get out of there fast enough. Two weeks before COVID-19 forced New Yorkers to shelter in place, they filed for divorce. Now they feel trapped. If he goes he risks not seeing his kids for weeks. If he stays he worries it will thwart his plans to finally leave. Esther urges them to think about this present time together and not about what kind of future they will have apart.
16/04/2049m 36s

Couples Under Lockdown: Bavaria, Germany

For the last year they have lived in separate countries. She took a dream job closer to where she grew up in Germany and he stayed behind with the promise he would follow soon. Six months turned into a year, which turned into a conversation that questioned the foundation of their marriage. It took the coronavirus to get them back under one roof again. While others might complain about the close quarters, this couple hopes to find themselves in each other again. Esther pushes them to worry less about the love that was, and focus now on the love that is.
02/04/2055m 26s

Couples Under Lockdown: Sicily, Italy

They left each other emotionally years ago, but with three kids they have been trying to keep it together. For the last two weeks they find themselves confined to a small apartment in Sicily, Italy — he bears the brunt of the domestic duties at home all day. She must report to the hospital every day to help usher in new life as a midwife. Esther helps them come to terms with what these next few months could look like if they learn to communicate with one another in ways that might save their relationship.
24/03/2049m 40s

Esther Perel's New Show: How's Work?

Today we’re sharing the first episode of Esther Perel’s new show How’s Work? In it, Esther sits down with coworkers, cofounders and colleagues, and brings her inimitable perspective to workplace relationships and conflicts. You can listen to all episodes right now for free on Spotify and weekly everywhere else. https://smarturl.it/hows-work In this episode, friends and fellow dancers at a strip club: one brings years of experience, the other a youthful energy that turns angry at times. They’re here to talk about boundaries that are crossed, educating “civilians" about their work, family acceptance, and how they'll transition from the sex work industry into professional careers. Can sex work be a bullet point on a resume?
26/02/2050m 32s

Introducing Motherhood Sessions

If you like Where Should We Begin?, there's another therapy podcast you might enjoy. It's called Motherhood Sessions, and it's hosted by a friend of Esther's, Dr. Alexandra Sacks. On the show, Dr Sacks sits down with moms in moments of crisis and change, and together they work through each woman's struggles and challenges, whether they're about sex, infertility, adoption, race, poverty, or anything in between. The New York Times calls Motherhood Sessions "consistently riveting" and it was named one of the best podcasts of 2019 by Oprah.com.
16/01/2027m 22s

Introducing Heavyweight

Buzz and Sheldon are brothers in their eighties who have been estranged for decades. Buzz visits Sheldon to see if there’s still a relationship left to salvage. Listen to more episodes of Heavyweight on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.
05/12/1941m 58s

Happily Divorced

They’re a divorced couple whose two-household relationship may prove that a happy family doesn’t have to end with divorce.
21/11/1956m 17s

Mom and Monique

They’re a child desperate to connect with their single mother after 28 years of living in the shadow of a special-needs brother.
14/11/1953m 27s

Introducing Esther's New Podcast: How's Work?

Today we’re sharing the first episode of Esther Perel’s new show How’s Work? In it, Esther sits down with coworkers, cofounders and colleagues, and brings her inimitable perspective to workplace relationships and conflicts. Available only on Spotify. It's free to sign up for Spotify.
11/11/1954m 48s

A Romantic Revival

He’s away a lot. She’s a stepmother at home to four children whose mother died by suicide. Is there anything left over for her?
07/11/1949m 5s

The Other Woman

She wonders if she can satisfy her attraction to women without losing the husband she loves.
31/10/1950m 17s

A Small Town Affair

Their relationship started with an affair that ended two marriages. Now they wonder if there’s enough trust there to build something stable together.
24/10/1950m 58s

Young Love

She lives in Mexico, he lives in the US. Their immigration status has forced them to consider marriage sooner than they might have planned.
17/10/1951m 14s

Season Three Trailer

A new season of Where Should We Begin?
08/03/192m 40s

I Don't Want to Be Your Caregiver, I Want to Be Your Wife

Almost two years ago her husband was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson's Disease. They have three kids, a mortgage to pay, and he has developed some compulsive behaviors he isn't proud of. Esther helps them learn how to turn off the caregiver, and remember they are much more than that to each other.
27/04/1849m 58s

I've Had 100 Conversations with You in My Head

[Contains mature themes] After a discovery in her doctor's office, a woman realizes her husband has been unfaithful. While betrayed and angry, she still feels a desire to stick it out for the sake of the kids. He, meanwhile, is desperate to find a way back to her. Esther takes them back to their upbringings and the years before the infidelities to find a place of mutual compassion.
20/04/1849m 39s

You Can Be Right or You Can Be Married

[Contains mature themes] They’ve been together for more than a decade, but this isn’t the first time they’ve separated. Stuck in a cycle of explosive escalations, a husband and wife want to make it work but can’t break their habit of going for the emotional jugular. Esther encourages them to start their conversations differently.
13/04/1848m 28s

Questions You Aren't Allowed to Ask

[Contains mature themes] What began as an eight-year affair between two women has stretched into a 19-year partnership. But despite their private commitment to one another, they’ve never quite managed to move beyond the shame of their origin story. Esther takes a novel approach to revealing a long-held secret.
06/04/1849m 52s

Leaving the Shame Behind

A young couple has endured a series of crises early in their marriage, from a benign brain tumor to a serious car crash to the husband’s near-fatal heart attack. Following his recovery, he’s adapting to new physical limitations, while she says the children bear the brunt of his frustrations. Esther coaches them through an honest conversation on anger, parenthood and the power of apology.
30/03/1850m 16s

Ms. Entitlement and Mr. Sacrifice Out On a Date

[Contains mature themes] An on-again, off-again couple in their fifties, dating in a post-divorce landscape, are struggling with different world views, priorities and sexual interests. Recognizing that their polarized dynamic takes the fun out of spending time together, Esther guides both towards less rigid perspectives.
23/03/1851m 22s

I Want to Feel Wanted

After ten years, a husband tells his wife he no longer wishes to be married. A month later, stuck in limbo, they come to Esther. She helps them have an honest conversation about their expectations, desires, and the ways in which their role as parents has left little room for intimacy.
16/03/1851m 10s

You Need Help to Help Her

[Contains mature themes] A husband and wife are united in their desire to help their daughter, two years after she suffered a breakdown and moved home, shutting herself off from her family and friends. Esther urges them to examine the way pressure and expectations – no matter how well-intentioned – can shape a child’s upbringing.
09/03/1849m 56s

I Can’t Give You a Child

[Contains mature themes] 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. But often the stories people come in with are not the ones they take home.
01/12/1745m 20s

Trauma Doesn’t Like to be Touched

[Contains mature themes] A newly-married couple comes to Esther for guidance on how to create a space of safety and physical intimacy, while also giving voice to past trauma.
24/11/1741m 24s

Sexlessness

[Contains mature themes] A couple are first-generation children of immigrants, raised to believe sex should only take place in a marriage. Now that sex isn’t forbidden, it’s deeply uninteresting…to one of them.
17/11/1738m 32s

Tell Me I'm Not Alone

[Contains mature themes] A young family, a ten-year age difference, and a wife who found independence through an extra-marital relationship. They’ve decided to forgive and rebuild, but the pain of the betrayal remains.
10/11/1744m 27s

There's You There's Me and There's Us

[Contains mature themes] They have been together for 17 years, best friends and partners who, despite their loving and positive relationship, go months without connecting sexually.
03/11/1748m 7s

Impotent Is No Way to Define a Man

[Contains Mature themes.] A man has struggled with impotence for over two decades. His wife, in despair over her feelings of hopelessness in the bedroom, seeks relief for her sexual frustration and feelings of resentment.
27/10/1747m 10s

The Addict

[Contains mature themes] They’re grandparents, with a 40-year love story and a stable, happy marriage. But one of them had quite a few secrets. Esther gives them some tools to navigate and support each other's experiences.
20/10/1743m 33s

Speak to Me in French

[Contains mature themes] A husband and wife met while deeply committed to the evangelical faith and didn’t kiss until their wedding day; for her, that kiss felt like “kissing her brother.” Esther gets creative in an effort to help them create a new sexual relationship.
08/10/1743m 31s

Motherless Women

[Contains mature themes] A couple with two small children are at physical and emotional odds in their relationship. One has given herself over entirely to the children, while the other struggles to find her place within the family dynamic. Esther helps them reframe each of their roles in terms of what they uniquely contribute.
08/10/1740m 14s

I've Had Better

[Contains mature themes] He reached out because a year after the discovery of his affair, they aren’t fighting anymore, but they certainly haven’t moved on. Esther guides them towards a more honest conversation, and a revelation about their communication.
08/10/1751m 19s

Prologue

Step into iconic relationship therapist Esther Perel’s office and listen as 10 anonymous couples in search of insight bare the raw, intimate, and profound details of their story. From infidelity to sexlessness to loss, it’s a space for people to be heard and understood. It’s also a place for us to listen and feel empowered in our own relationships. So…where should we begin?
17/05/172m 16s
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Heart UK