Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel

By Esther Perel Global Media & Gimlet

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Subscribers: 11564
Reviews: 16


 Jun 12, 2021


 Jun 1, 2021

Kelly
 Mar 14, 2021
Great advice!


 Nov 3, 2020


 Jul 18, 2020

Description

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 Esther speaks to a constellation of new relationships: A couple wrestling with the guilt they feel over the happiness their infidelity created. Another trying to make space for their queerness in an outwardly appearing hetero relationship. A set of friends trying to sort out if their childhood friendship needs to continue into adulthood. And Esther checks back in with couples from seasons past to see where they are now as she creates a space for us to hear our own lives and struggles articulated in the stories of others. So....where should we begin?

Episode Date
You Want Me to Watch the Kids While You Go Out With Other Men?, Where Are They Now
3504
When Esther first met with them two years ago, they’d recently opened up the marriage. At the time only she had ventured out, and after a lifetime of feeling her sexuality wasn’t her own, she felt an awakening. But at what expense? Her newfound freedom seemed to result in his misery. This time around, they are both exploring elsewhere, but the subject of their non-monogamy takes a backseat to other foundational stories within their marriage. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 19, 2022
Esther Calling - Having Needs Doesn't Make You Needy
1080
He’s in a new relationship and wants it to be exclusive, but he can’t get a read on his partner's feelings. It’s hard for him to have an open honest conversation about his needs without feeling weak, especially when he’s met with silence from her. Esther encourages him to feel confident in his vulnerability and to not mistake having needs for “neediness.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 12, 2022
My Orgasm Is Not Just For Me
3435
What starts as a story of sexual incompatibility and a difference in life goals for these two women takes a wildly unexpected turn during this session. Esther finds herself witness to a fantasy ritual unlike anything she’s experienced before in her work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 05, 2022
Twice Married, To Each Other
3380
They were married, divorced, and then married again. And with four kids between them, tensions run high. They fight about everything: the chores, the cats, who gets to tell who what to do. They come into the session with one story and Esther helps them write an alternate version. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 28, 2022
Esther Calling - Will He Make The Space For Me
1020
Her new boyfriend’s wife died four years ago. Reminders of her are all over his house, from her clothes in the closet to her photos on the wall. It makes the caller feel uncomfortable and inadequate. She wonders if there’s room in his house — or his heart — for her. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 20, 2022
Esther Calling - It's a Matter of Pride
1158
In another episode of Esther Calling, he worries his desire for a serious relationship is putting women off. But early in their phone call, it becomes clear to Esther that he’s talking about a particular woman from his past. He describes his feelings for that woman as “intense”, whereas she was more ambivalent. Esther and the caller explore the question: when is yearning for someone’s unreciprocated feelings more about pride and getting what you want than it is about that other person? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 13, 2022
I Can Be Strong and Be Taken Care Of
3481
As Esther says, love is at once an affirmation and a transcendence of who we are. But when one partner grows up as the child taking care of his mother is it any surprise that he experiences the romantic needs of his partner as a repeat of that same responsibility rather than an affirmation of love.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 30, 2021
I Don't Mean to Be Mean, But...
3962
She has no boundaries, he’s walled off. And their opposing communication styles cause immediate tension in this explosive session. So much so, that Esther finds herself adding to the chorus of angry voices. There might only be three people in this session, but Esther realizes she needs at least three more chairs for the in-laws whose voices and opinions are always playing in the background of this marriage.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 23, 2021
An Intimate Evening with Esther Perel
1027
You are invited to an intimate evening with Esther Perel. In place of this week's session we gather for a few rounds of Where Should We Begin, A Game of Stories. Over the last year to curtail the loneliness and isolation we all felt, Esther and team created a game out of the questions you often hear her ask on the podcast. So please come play a few rounds with her anonymously, of course. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 16, 2021
Before We Got Together I Identified As Gay
3464
Before they got together, he identified as straight and they identified as gay. What does it mean to make space for their queer identity while they date a straight man? And is that possible as they move into a more serious phase of their relationship? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 09, 2021
Where Are They Now - A Romantic Revival
3198
For the first time on the podcast, Esther invites a couple back to her office for a second session. 10 years ago, his first wife took her own life. A year later he met his current wife and she became an overnight stepmother to four children. Three years after they first spoke to Esther, she asks them what has changed? Have they been able to revive and sustain their love despite all of the obstacles? Listen to the original episode from Season 2 here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 02, 2021
Friendship - My Reliable Gift
3577
In a Where Should We Begin first, Esther sits down with two friends. They’ve been close for so long they feel like brothers, with all of the baggage that comes with family but none of the certainty. There are things that go unspoken between them, issues they have skimmed over in their two decades of friendship. Esther creates the space for the conversation they didn't know quite where to begin. This session was recorded in collaboration with NPR's Invisibilia and a sibling episode with Esther can be heard on their podcast this week as well.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 25, 2021
Esther Calling - Losing My Best Friend
1151
In this second episode of Esther Calling, we meet a woman who feels she is losing her best friend. The caller feels that her friend is rushing into a marriage to someone she doesn’t approve of. During the call Esther talks her through a new way to see their relationship and where to go from here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 18, 2021
Esther Calling - My Partner's Privilege
1159
This time there is no couch, but instead an unexpected phone call from Esther to a woman who is struggling with the differences between her and her partner's upbringing. He grew up in a comfortable suburb, she grew up having less, much less. She loves her boyfriend but wants to get past the resentment she feels towards the opportunities he’s had. Esther helps her think through how these differences might also play into new strengths between them. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 11, 2021
Season Five Trailer
169
A new season of Where Should We Begin? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 19, 2021
He Gets the Respect, She Gets the Toilet Paper | How's Work?
3537
Married for ten years and co-owners for seven, they bring their home dynamic to work with them. Their employees are sick of the fights and the struggles for power and control, and so are they. Meanwhile, she also worries their roles at their gym have been divided along gender lines. This is one of Esther's favorite episodes from How's Work?, her show about the invisible forces that shape workplace dynamics, connections, and conflict through one-time therapy sessions with coworkers, cofounders, and colleagues. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 07, 2021
If I Quit, What Will People Say? | How's Work?
3475
He’s a doctor, she works for the government. Her job is one thing on paper, and another thing in secret. He wants to leave his job, but doesn’t know how. When their busy careers come crashing to a halt because of the pandemic, they face a new reality at home. Who gets to be the one to leave a job during uncertain times? And can they rely on their 19 year marriage for stability and support? This is one of Esther's favorite episodes from How's Work?, her show about the invisible forces that shape workplace dynamics, connections, and conflict through one-time therapy sessions with coworkers, cofounders, and colleagues. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 30, 2021
Introducing Season 2 of How's Work?
3436
Today we're sharing the first episode from season 2 of Esther's other podcast, How's Work? In it Esther focuses on the hard conversations we're afraid to have in our jobs, bringing a new perspective to the invisible forces that shape workplace dynamics, connections, and conflict through one-time therapy sessions with coworkers, cofounders, and colleagues. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 06, 2021
On Again/Off Again
3252
They've been on and off for almost 20 years. While she takes cares of his and their child, she wants to know that he's also there for her. He's been battling depression for years. And the shame that comes with it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 10, 2020
Trapped in Their Own Story
2895
Their whole relationship is based on one big misunderstanding, with infidelity and blame on both sides. Years later, they still can't see the other's perspective. Programming note: This conversation was recorded after the COVID-19 lockdown. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 03, 2020
Burdens of the Family
2578
They share a legacy of war, a refugee upbringing, and family trauma. Their marriage was seen as taboo, and now they're trying to build a happier relationship for their child. Programming note: This conversation was recorded before the COVID-19 lockdown. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 27, 2020
He Loves Her, His Family Rejects Her
2709
She left her life, her family and her country for a man she met on Reddit. Their love is real, but his family has been hell. Programming note: This conversation was recorded before the COVID-19 lockdown. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 20, 2020
When I'm Manic I Cheat
3108
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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 13, 2020
It's Very Hard to Live with a Saint
2633
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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Aug 06, 2020
In This Relationship What Is "I" and What Is "We"?
2850
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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 23, 2020
The Chronic Philanderer
2857
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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 16, 2020
You Want Me To Watch The Kids While You Go Out With Another Guy?
2876
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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 09, 2020
What Would It Take For You to Come Out?
3020
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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jul 09, 2020
Season Four Trailer
147
A new season of Where Should We Begin? With Esther Perel. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 18, 2020
Couples Under Lockdown: Lagos, Nigeria
3373
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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 14, 2020
Couples Under Lockdown: New York, New York
3036
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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 16, 2020
Couples Under Lockdown: Bavaria, Germany
3386
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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 02, 2020
Couples Under Lockdown: Sicily, Italy
2980
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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 24, 2020
Esther Perel's New Show: How's Work?
3032
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? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 26, 2020
Happily Divorced
3377
They’re a divorced couple whose two-household relationship may prove that a happy family doesn’t have to end with divorce. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 21, 2019
Mom and Monique
3207
They’re a child desperate to connect with their single mother after 28 years of living in the shadow of a special-needs brother. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 14, 2019
A Romantic Revival
2945
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? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 07, 2019
The Other Woman
3017
She wonders if she can satisfy her attraction to women without losing the husband she loves. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 31, 2019
A Small Town Affair
3058
Their relationship started with an affair that ended two marriages. Now they wonder if there’s enough trust there to build something stable together. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 24, 2019
Young Love
3074
She lives in Mexico, he lives in the US. Their immigration status has forced them to consider marriage sooner than they might have planned. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 17, 2019
Season Three Trailer
160
A new season of Where Should We Begin? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 08, 2019
I Don't Want to Be Your Caregiver, I Want to Be Your Wife
2998
 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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 27, 2018
I've Had 100 Conversations with You in My Head
2979
[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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 20, 2018
You Can Be Right or You Can Be Married
2908
[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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 13, 2018
Questions You Aren't Allowed to Ask
2992
[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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 06, 2018
Leaving the Shame Behind
3016
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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 30, 2018
Ms. Entitlement and Mr. Sacrifice Out On a Date
3082
[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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 23, 2018
I Want to Feel Wanted
3070
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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 16, 2018
You Need Help to Help Her
2996
[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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 09, 2018
I Can’t Give You a Child
2720
[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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 01, 2017
Trauma Doesn’t Like to be Touched
2484
[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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 24, 2017
Sexlessness
2312
[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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 17, 2017
Tell Me I'm Not Alone
2667
[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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 10, 2017
There's You There's Me and There's Us
2887
[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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 03, 2017
Impotent Is No Way to Define a Man
2830
[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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 27, 2017
The Addict
2613
[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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 20, 2017
Speak to Me in French
2611
[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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 08, 2017
Motherless Women
2414
[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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 08, 2017
I've Had Better
3079
[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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 08, 2017
Prologue
136
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? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 17, 2017