When Ian Coss decided to get married, every living member of his family who had ever been married had also gotten divorced: parents, grandparents, and all his aunts and uncles on both sides — some of them twice. Today, he has questions: What is the value of a lifetime commitment? Are we doomed to recycle the patterns of behavior we get from our ancestors? Are we all just better off alone? Forever is a Long Time is a five episode series that weaves reflection and original music through Ian’s conversations with his wife and divorced family members — a look at love with people who have made mistakes.
Part 1: My Parents, Ellen and Tom
My parents divorced when I was eight years old — young enough that I don’t have a lot of clear memories of it, but old enough that I was definitely watching, listening, and learning. So I asked them both to tell me what happened, and got two pretty different stories.
Part 2: My Grandmother, Marianne
My grandmother never sent presents for birthdays or holidays, and didn't expect us to either. She seemed to resist anything that felt like authority, convention and tradition; which is why it's so strange that she was once married to my grandfather — a Harvard-educated lawyer.
Part 3: Aunt Mia and Uncle Paul
The idea of a lifetime commitment can feel impossible, when it can still fall apart in year 20, or year 30, or 35. My own parents’ marriage never made it that far, but some of my aunts and uncles did, only to find that after all those years, they too were better off apart.
Part 4: Uncle Eric
Most divorces in my family bring some sense of relief. It may take three years to get there, or it may take thirty years, but once it’s over, it feels pretty clear that this is for the best. But it’s not so clear for my Uncle Eric’s relationship.
Part 5: Aunt Rari
My aunt Rari divorced her husband so completely and so long ago that I don’t even know the man’s name. She tells me that story and about the life she built without him. It makes me contemplate the value of a life spent alone — but also of lifelong companionship.
Trailer: "Forever is a Long Time"
When I decided to get married, every living member of my family who had ever been married had also gotten divorced. Apparently, I thought my marriage would end differently.
I could listen to entire season just of his grandmother! Loved her. Loving this podcast. So real. So honest. So refreshing.
Insightful and empowering
I stumbled upon the podcast at a time when I needed it most. In a season of contemplating the sustainability of my own relationship, the interviews provoked thought that caused me to examine my own life and some of the generational curses that my family continues to be plagued with. It sparked curiosity about how Ian plans to be intentional about navigating marriage and relationship and about what he could possibly explore next on the subject. My only complaint is that there weren’t more episodes. I look forward to a follow up season.
Very interesting content. Ian Cross does a great job as a host and narrator. I wasn’t too into the music part, but still enjoyed this podcast!