But if you are with a girl friend or a male friend and they have been together for 12 years and you know that these people have really been good together and they’ve build a lot of things together. Tell her, “Figure it out. I’m here for you. I have no idea what’s the right thing for you. I’m here to hold you when you doubt yourself, I’m here to remind you that you are more than just the person that just has been shafted and betrayed. I’m here to give you back your sense of value when you think you have been completely devalued and pushed aside. I’m here to tell you that you’re beautiful when you think are not beautiful enough anymore. I’m going to hold the other view of you that you don’t have in this moment because you’re so low. That’s my role as a friend, not to tell you ‘do this’ or ‘do that,’ and judge you.” I mean, the amount of people I’ve seen who said my best friend doesn’t talk to me anymore because I’ve decided to stay. And why? “Not because I think he’s such a great man or such a great woman. We have four children, my mother is dying. I haven’t worked in twenty years…”
ESTHER PEREL: We have a business together. There are other considerations here and I’m not ready to walk out on all of this. Who are we to say? So it’s a very delicate thing when to leave, when to stay, when to try again, when to give up, when to accept finally that this is never going to change, when to know. I think it’s different when you’re with a chronic philanderer and when you’re with the person who you know for years before that none of this happened. And what was going on? Is there things that we colluded on together? But as a friend, you really want to be there to give people back their sense of self-worth at the moment when they feel like it’s been sucked out of them, more than to tell them.
Even if it’s not for the quality of my relationship, but it’s because my relationship is the nexus which so many other parts of my life depend upon, and I’m not willing to let all of that go at this point
ESTHER PEREL: Kick them out, kick her out. Because the fear of staying, the shame of staying is even worse on men.
ESTHER PEREL: Because we understand that women, historically, are used to be cheated on. Therefore, they need to go now because they finally have the choice to do and the possibility to go, but the guy who stays? What kind of a man are you?
If they love you, they’ll come back
ESTHER PEREL: He instantly gets emasculated. He’s weak, he lets her walk all over him, he has no balls. I mean, his entire masculinity is instantly put on the line. And even more so when you go to Latin cultures and more traditional cultures. There it’s like, horns don’t exist on a woman.
ESTHER PEREL: You don’t start trashing the partner right away. That’s the first thing. On neither side. Because if I start trashing your girlfriend, look at her, what the-what are you going to do? You’re going to defend her. You’re going to end up defending her because-
ESTHER PEREL: Instead of you being angry at her, I am now [inaudible] as if it happened to me, I’m even more angry than you. So now you’re caught in a triangle. I just need to say, “Look, man, this is horrible. This sucks. What happened there? Do you think you’ve been good to her? Do you think she had reasons to? Before you start cursing her, maybe we check a little bit on here for the moment, too. You know what, it looks like she’s not really into you. Or she has issues, or maybe she doesn’t love you anymore, but you’ve made it impossible for her to go because you have this business together and you basically told her that she won’t get a penny when she goes.” If you love someone, set them free.