Ep. 2: I Want to Feel Wanted

Narrated by: Esther Perel
Length: 46 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (812 ratings)

Publisher's Summary

[Contains mature themes] Free for a limited time to Audible members. 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. 
©2017 Audible Originals, LLC (P)2017 Audible Originals, LLC
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Profound

I’ve been trying to find a good thesis for this review without getting too personal. HA! I suppose what I like about her books and Ted Talks and podcasts is that they are inescapably personal, but the cost of learning about my own relationship is not at my expense.

Since I cannot imagine how to summarize the complexity of the audience that might appreciate this work, I’ll offer my own portrait to help a potential reader/listener determine relevancy.

Me; Gen X, married 20+ years, hitting mid-life with teens. We both work. We make enough money not to worry about putting gas in the car/food for ourselves, but we can’t really afford vacations. Our parents like to scold us about iPhones and how they are all debt-free. We ain’t (debt free). Is anyone??

I like that EP offers a variety of couples’ experiences—especially her work with homosexual couples b/c too often I think we get caught up in gender expectations for roles in the family, and same sex couples—who have the same pitfalls as my hetero union—are not tied to essentialism dictated by gender. For example, this episode “I want you to want me” explores atypical gender positions to the stereotypes we expect to see performed in our culture about desire (i.e., men have desire; women don’t). The compassion, support, and steady focus EP offers as they talk through the most vulnerable, largely unspoken areas of the marriage is riveting.

To put it another way: if you’ve ever been in a workshop where you are getting your work critiqued by an “expert” is sometimes...hard to hear when directed at you (and your work). Teachers know this. The value of the public workshop is the benefit of hearing the expert critique the work of the person sitting next to you. All the flaws, the logic holes, the easy cliches are SO MUCH EASIER to see when it isn’t yourself. This is how you learn to edit; not because you are so good at taking punches in the face about your own work (it can feel like this haha), but how you can absorb the good critique about work you can view from a safe distance.

So, if you are still reading this review, I will just add this: I cried at the end of this session. I get the critiques, I saw my own flaws, and I hope I can think about how I can use these critiques to edit my life for better desire. It’s given me a little hope.

4 people found this helpful

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So smart

I get insights every time I hear an episode. Esther is so smart- I want to
Thank her each and every time I listen.

2 people found this helpful

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I know that feeling

This couple emerge from the situation of not being in tune and recognize the needs of each other.

2 people found this helpful

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Dangers of an internal monologue

This is a beautiful case about communicating for someone who has a great deal of trouble doing so. Although there were other powerful takeaways, the main one that struck a chord for me is the danger of having an internal monologue instead of a dialog.

1 person found this helpful

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great challenge

the only thing I didn't like it that Esther didn't entertain that the guy simple lacked a desire for his wife and that maybe in the beginning the desire was filled by the novelty of her and not "her".

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Amazing!

These episodes are so educational and helpful and informational! EVERYONE should listen to them...absolutely EVERYONE!

1 person found this helpful

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Eye opening!

I didn’t realise how great this conversation would be. Learned about the concept of “predatory fear”, how being the rescuer/protector can put men into a zone where they find themselves unable to see their SO as a sexual being, likewise seeing them as fragile/weak totally interrupts the erotic play/“taking” aspect of sex... how men are taught that they have to do things themselves, and that can apply to everything - including, unfortunately, cases of relationship and sexual conflict.

“Don’t worry about it”
“I’m fine”
“It’s nothing”

= “go away”


Also: the importance of ASKING in relationships, and the benefits of good “selfishness”/self-focus in experiencing pleasure. (*not* asshole selfishness, by the way)

Recommend to any men who struggle with melding sexual attraction (desire) and relationships (love/protection).

Thanks Esther Perel and Audible for producing this and making this free for a limited time.

1 person found this helpful

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A MUST LISTEN!!

I love Esther. Just her questioning alone has sparked a different and honest view of myself and how I used to perceive my relationships and how it affected my decisions and happiness... Thank you Esther!!

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Stick with it....

Starts a little slow, not sleepy-slow, but a touch monotone....so stick with it!!...Info is helpful, story was relatable, and advice should be beneficial when applied in your relationships. I plan to listen to it again, because I continue to pick up new pieces on the 2nd, 3rd + time listening....I would recommend this podcast to family/friends for sure! #mindfulness #makingchanges #personalgrowthisthenewskinny

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Season 2 episode 2

Brilliant!! I can see my relationship clearly through this couple. It’s amazing insight toward change.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-14-17

Different perspective

Unusual. Different. Not like anything I've read or listened to before. It does make you think about your own relationships. Yeah worth a quick listen

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  • Samantha Rogerson
  • 11-01-17

genuine analysis of relationship issues

Raw insight into the breakdown of a relationship over time and reasons as to why this happened. Beautiful and powerful.