“Forever is a Long Time” unpacks one family’s experiences with divorce and analyzes relationships from different generations. Host Ian Coss compiled songs and reflective stories from several marriages in his family that ended in divorce, explored why people marry, and learned why his ancestors’ marriages ended.
When Ian got married, he thought his marriage would not have the same fate as his family members’, and we also hear from Ian’s wife, Kelsey, on the podcast. Ian contemplates the value of lifelong commitment, if we repeat ancestors’ behavioral patterns, or if people are destined to be alone.
Start “Forever is a Long Time” from part 1 to hear the full story from the beginning, kicking off with Ian’s parents, Ellen and Tom. With 5, short episodes under 35 minutes each, the surprisingly honest and heartfelt narratives can be binged in just a few hours.
Ian’s parents divorced when he was 8, and he doesn’t have distinct memories from the events. But he said he was old enough to know what was going on around him and absorbed by listening and learning. Ian separately interviewed his parents and got two completely different stories. Ian’s dad told him he was surprised Ian got married since he seemed determined to do his own thing.
In part 2 we heard from Ian’s grandmother, Marianne. As long as he can remember, Marianne never sent her family presents for birthdays or holidays and appeared to avoid conventions, traditions, or complying with authority. With these facts in mind, Ian found it weird that Marianne once married a Harvard-educated lawyer.
Aunt Mia and Uncle Paul joined part 3, and Ian thought more about marriages that crumble 30 to 35 years in. Many of his aunts and uncles realized they were better off alone decades down the line. In part 4, we learn why Uncle Eric’s relationship ended, and he’s not clear if it was for the best.
Aunt Rari divorced her husband so long ago that Ian didn’t remember his name. In part 5, Rari explained why the marriage did not work out and detailed the life she has happily built alone for herself. This conversation makes Ian question both values of being alone and lifelong companionship.
We also learn that Rari was involved in Divine Light Mission when she started dating the guy she eventually married. She called it a cult on the podcast and found going from a cult environment to a relationship filled a void.
Rari shared how she took over her husband’s life’s responsibilities, like paying his child support, as he tried multi-level marketing-type projects. This situation, and other factors, were reasons why divorce was inevitable. Rari also talked about her other serious relationship after she got divorced and said she would be perfectly content being the stereotypical cat lady of her block if she wasn’t allergic to cats.
Ian is a founding member of PRX Productions and has worked on a variety of projects, including reporting audio stories and scoring. He created the podcast “Detours,” produced and scored several limited series with Radiotopia including “Ways of Hearing,” “Over the Road,” “Blind Guy Travels,” and “The Great God of Depression.”
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