Rethinking Esther Perel's 'Rethinking Infidelity'


A renowned psychotherapist Esther Perel presented her ideas on infidelity at a TED conference in March 2015. She defined infidelity as a relationship that satisfies the following three requirements. They are a secretive relationship, emotional connection, and sexual alchemy.


The point of this commentary is not to support or criticize Esther Perel's argument specifically, but to draw attention to a newer and more practical approach to infidelity based on the Theory of Mimind and Xesmind. The conventional wisdom on analyzing and addressing the issue of infidelity has been that infidelity is mostly related with problems of marriage, sex, love, and individual's pursuit of meanings and values of life. 


Esther Perel's talk is considered to be a unique way of interpreting the phenomenon in its own way, but still one of the representative views on infidelity in the conventional fields of research and practice. The Theory of Mimind and Xesmind postulates that infidelity is caused by other reasons than conventionally assumed ones, and suggests new and innovative approaches to infidelity issues. It postulates that infidelity leads to the path quite far from not only individual's but also couple's happiness.



Korea Institute of Psych-education(KIP) has researched on the phenomenon of conventional approaches to psychology treatment having only limited effects through employing mostly medication and counseling. As a result of more than 10 years of research, it has developed a theory that explains the fundamental operational mechanisms of human mind and human sexuality. The theory is published as books, 'The Theory of Mimind', and 'The Theory of Xesmind'. According to the Theory of Mimind and Xesmind, infidelity is a form of addiction which can be referred to as 'relationship addiction', and the spouse who is victimized due to spouse infidelity is to develop post traumatic stress in most cases. Spouses in infidelity make all kinds of excuses that stem from self-justification as other types of addicts do. Admitting their excuses as causes of infidelity is likened to admitting excuses by alcohol addicts for not being able to help drinking.


The true cause of infidelity, which is relationahip addiction, is a type of severe psychological disorders that manifest both perception disorder and expression disorder simultaneously. When relationship addiction is treated, spouses in infidelity can restore their healthy psychology and return to normal life and healthy relationships. Victimized spouses can also treat their post traumatic stress, in which they have problems in all three psychological components, which are perception, memory, and expression, and restore their psychology and happiness.


Before a couple get a divorce due to spouse infidelity, they need to at least try to accurately diagnose their psychological conditions and attempt to treat relationship addiction and post traumatic stress. When they recover their normal psychology, they may decide whether they will stay together for couple's happiness or separate from each other for individual's happiness. Treatment of one's own condition and then giving the spouse an opportunity for treatment must precede other decisions.


Conventional approaches to infidelity are considered to be a type of symptomatic therapies. Then, any practical solution or therapy based on conventional approaches are to distort or miss out truly important points producing vicious cycles and aggravating conditions. Accurate understanding and proper treatment are required for solving the issues of infidelity and regaing true happiness of an individual's and couple's.

Infidelity is caused by relationship addiction, and the victimized spouse develops post traumatic stress. Untreated relationship addiction and post traumatic stress may guarantee the aggravation of psychological conditions and unhappy life. 

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