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 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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
A good listen and reflection
While this is not the most polished podcast, it is vulnerable and honest. The host and his family are very reflective and open about relationships in an endearing way. The episodes are almost too short, as I’d love to hear more of the conversations.
It’s a good conversation starter and prompt to think about relationships, especially for my fiancé and I as we are getting ready to marry with some very similar family dynamics to those explored here.
It made me really think of my past marriage , the divorce and my current partner . I love Aunt Rari.
What a wonderful reflection
My parents have an unhappy and unhealthy marriage of 43 years: it’s something my brother and I, and all extended family members don’t understand. How/why do they stay together ? I’ve loved these stories so much and find meaning and space for thinking in each episode. I love the host and his wife’s insights. Thanks guys