Cover art for podcast Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel

Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel

66 EpisodesProduced by Esther Perel Global Media & GimletWebsite

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 fe… read more

66 Episodes | 2017 - 2022


May 17th, 2017


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, …

I've Had Better

October 8th, 2017


[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 …

Motherless Women

October 8th, 2017


[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 …

Speak to Me in French

October 8th, 2017


[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 …

The Addict

October 20th, 2017


[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. …

Impotent Is No Way to Define a Man

October 27th, 2017


[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 …

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

November 3rd, 2017


[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. 

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Tell Me I'm Not Alone

November 10th, 2017


[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.


November 17th, 2017


[Contains mature themes] A couple are first-generation children of immigrants, raised to believe sex should only take place in a marriage. Now that …

Trauma Doesn’t Like to be Touched

November 24th, 2017


[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.

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I Can’t Give You a Child

December 1st, 2017


[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 …

You Need Help to Help Her

March 9th, 2018


[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 …

I Want to Feel Wanted

March 16th, 2018


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 …

Ms. Entitlement and Mr. Sacrifice Out On a Date

March 23rd, 2018


[Contains mature themes] An on-again, off-again couple in their fifties, dating in a post-divorce landscape, are struggling with different world …

Leaving the Shame Behind

March 30th, 2018


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 …

Questions You Aren't Allowed to Ask

April 6th, 2018


[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 …

You Can Be Right or You Can Be Married

April 13th, 2018


[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 …

I've Had 100 Conversations with You in My Head

April 20th, 2018


[Contains mature themes] After a discovery in her doctor's office, a woman realizes her husband has been unfaithful. While betrayed and angry, she …

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

April 27th, 2018


 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 …

Season Three Trailer

March 8th, 2019


A new season of Where Should We Begin?

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Young Love

October 17th, 2019


She lives in Mexico, he lives in the US. Their immigration status has forced them to consider marriage sooner than they might have planned.

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A Small Town Affair

October 24th, 2019


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

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The Other Woman

October 31st, 2019


She wonders if she can satisfy her attraction to women without losing the husband she loves.

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A Romantic Revival

November 7th, 2019


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?

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Mom and Monique

November 14th, 2019


They’re a child desperate to connect with their single mother after 28 years of living in the shadow of a special-needs brother.

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Happily Divorced

November 21st, 2019


They’re a divorced couple whose two-household relationship may prove that a happy family doesn’t have to end with divorce.

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

February 26th, 2020


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 …

Couples Under Lockdown: Sicily, Italy

March 24th, 2020


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 …

Couples Under Lockdown: Bavaria, Germany

April 2nd, 2020


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 …

Couples Under Lockdown: New York, New York

April 16th, 2020


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 …

Couples Under Lockdown: Lagos, Nigeria

May 14th, 2020


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 …

Season Four Trailer

June 18th, 2020


A new season of Where Should We Begin? With Esther Perel.

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

July 9th, 2020


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. …

What Would It Take For You to Come Out?

July 9th, 2020


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.

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The Chronic Philanderer

July 16th, 2020


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.

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

July 23rd, 2020


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 …

It's Very Hard to Live with a Saint

August 6th, 2020


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.

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When I'm Manic I Cheat

August 13th, 2020


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 …

He Loves Her, His Family Rejects Her

August 20th, 2020


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.

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Burdens of the Family

August 27th, 2020


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 …

Trapped in Their Own Story

September 3rd, 2020


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 …

On Again/Off Again

September 10th, 2020


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.

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Introducing Season 2 of How's Work?

April 6th, 2021


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 …

If I Quit, What Will People Say? | How's Work?

September 30th, 2021


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 …

He Gets the Respect, She Gets the Toilet Paper | How's Work?

October 7th, 2021


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 …

Season Five Trailer

October 19th, 2021


A new season of Where Should We Begin?

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Esther Calling - My Partner's Privilege

November 11th, 2021


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 …

Esther Calling - Losing My Best Friend

November 18th, 2021


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 …

Friendship - My Reliable Gift

November 25th, 2021


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 …

Where Are They Now - A Romantic Revival

December 2nd, 2021


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 …

Before We Got Together I Identified As Gay

December 9th, 2021


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 …

An Intimate Evening with Esther Perel

December 16th, 2021


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 …

I Don't Mean to Be Mean, But...

December 23rd, 2021


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 …

I Can Be Strong and Be Taken Care Of

December 30th, 2021


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 …

Esther Calling - It's a Matter of Pride

January 13th, 2022


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 …

Esther Calling - Will He Make The Space For Me

January 20th, 2022


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 …

Twice Married, To Each Other

April 28th, 2022


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 …

My Orgasm Is Not Just For Me

May 5th, 2022


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 …

Esther Calling - Having Needs Doesn't Make You Needy

May 12th, 2022


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 …

You Want Me to Watch the Kids While You Go Out With Other Men?, Where Are They Now

May 19th, 2022


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 …

Esther Calling - I Deserve to Be a Mother

May 26th, 2022


She longs for a child, but her partner isn’t there yet, and as a trans woman she already faces other barriers to parenthood. She worries she’s letting her partner’s indecision dictate her own future happiness. She and …

Esther Calling - Stuck In the Middle

June 2nd, 2022


He prides himself on being an empathic confidante to his friends…but is it to a fault? In this episode of Esther Calling, we meet a man fed up with …

We Started As An Affair

June 9th, 2022


Esther says in this session, “a love story is between two people, a marriage engages an entire community of people.“ Here we see how that plays out …

Esther Calling - Still Single at 40

June 16th, 2022


In this episode of Esther Calling, Esther meets a man who’s never been in a relationship for more than five months. As he approaches age 40, he knows the reason lies with him, and not the women he’s dating. Esther …

Esther Calling - I Need Her to See Me

June 23rd, 2022


In this latest episode of Esther Calling, we meet a young woman looking for advice on how to stand up for herself in a fraught and traumatic …

I've Had 100 Conversations With You In My Head, Part 2

June 30th, 2022


We first met them three seasons ago in the painful aftermath of an infidelity. She was diagnosed with an STD during a routine visit to her OBGYN, …

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