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“There is nothing I say that people don’t tell me: ‘You just put words to something I have always felt, or known, or sensed,’” she says.“I didn’t invent a thing.” The only real backlash over the book – which has been published in 25 languages – concerns her assertion that infidelity doesn’t need to be confessed.“Several times already this week I’ve asked [male] clients, ‘Why did you tell her? “Many of us are going to have two or three marriages in our lives.’ They say, ‘I wanted to be honest,’” she cries, slapping her palm on the table in frustration. Either we will reinvent ourselves with the same person, or we will reinvent ourselves with another.” Perel grew up in Antwerp, the daughter of Polish Jewish parents who had survived the Holocaust.

“It is a real experiment to try to bring together two fundamental human needs – our need for security, and our need for adventure – in one relationship, to ask the same person to make us feel safe and stable, and make us feel playful, mischievous and adventurous.” So, are the two fundamentally incompatible? “And happiness has, in turn, become the defining feature for staying in a marriage or not. Perel’s European upbringing gives her a certain perspective on her subject matter.

An uncomfortable proposition though that may be for anyone in a long-term relationship, the book, published seven years ago, rapidly became a bestseller and catapulted Perel into the public spotlight.

She has become the go-to speaker on sexuality and marriage at conferences and festivals across the world, and her TED talk on the topic last year received a million hits in its first week, and more than four million to date.

What I say is that secure attachment and erotic desire are two different experiences.” Love and desire, she says, are not one sexual strand, but “parallel narratives”, and ones written relatively recently at that.

“Our definition of intimacy is not that of our grandparents, who lived together, worked the land, had a partnership and shared the vicissitudes of everyday life,” says Perel, who is not one for fluffy platitudes.