Modern Love features top actors performing true stories of love, loss, and redemption.
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Loving Across Borders
At age 11, Julissa Arce came to the United States from Mexico on a visa that expired three years later. For more than a decade, she lived as an undocumented immigrant, fearful of revealing her secret to anyone. “Every phone call or email I got from human resources would make my blood run cold,” she wrote in her Modern Love essay. And when it came to love, she would lie to nearly every man she dated, fearing the threat of exposure and deportation.On today’s episode, we hear about an undocumented immigrant’s search for love — and what it taught her about isolation and intimacy. Then, we hear from two Modern Love listeners who have kept their long-distance relationships alive during the pandemic.
The Upside of Our Parents' Divorce
What’s the secret to sibling success? Apparently, an ugly divorce. At least, that’s how it went down for Ellen Umansky and her two brothers. Ellen’s parents separated when she was 9. “They loved us deeply, but there were battles to be won — emotional, reputational, financial,” Ellen wrote in her Modern Love essay. As Ellen and her brothers were flung into a new reality of parental feuds and convoluted calendar arrangements, her brothers became her “one constant and comfort.” Today’s episode is about “Team Umansky,” as Ellen’s husband calls them, a unit that has stuck together from adolescence through adulthood. You can find more info on today's episode here. Featured stories: "The Secret to Sibling Success," by Ellen Umansky"Trusting the Edge" by Kim Addonizio
When His Shorts Are Just Too Tight
It was Great American Eclipse of 2017 — the first total solar eclipse to cross the entire continental United States since 1918. Throngs of spectators gathered along the path to totality, from Oregon to South Carolina, to watch the moon blot out the sun for two-and-a-half minutes and the midday sky plunge into darkness.When Kerry Egan arrived at a field in South Carolina to witness the spectacle, she was jolted by another sight: her 6-foot-one, 250-pound husband wearing “skintight, blaze-orange nylon shorts that fit like hot pants.” This embarrassing scene before Kerry — while the sky above seemingly turned inside out — became the basis for a revelation she had about her marriage.Featured Stories: "My Husband Wore Really Tight Shorts to the Eclipse Party” by Kerry Egan"If You Need Light in Your Life, Call an Electrician" by April Silva
When Two Open Marriages Collide
What are the boundaries of an open marriage? And what are the boundaries of an open marriage when your wife’s boyfriend has an accident that puts him in a coma? Do you introduce yourself to the hospital workers as the patient’s girlfriend’s husband?Wayne Scott and his wife, Elizabeth Thielman, have a “creative arrangement,” as Wayne puts it in his Modern Love essay. They share the children, the cats and the mortgage, but they have permission to see other people romantically.Today, we hear Wayne’s story about an accident that tested the parameters of their marriage, and we talk to Wayne and Elizabeth about how they have navigated their relationship in the years since.You can find information and photos related to this episode here.
The Right to Fail at Marriage
In 2004, the comedian Cameron Esposito sat on the steps of Boston City Hall and watched as some of the first legally married same-sex couples in the United States emerged victoriously as newlyweds. Thirteen years, three boyfriends and 10 girlfriends later, Cameron was ready to marry the woman she assumed she would be with forever.“I expected to perfectly navigate marriage like some sort of lesbian phoenix that never stops rising,” Cameron wrote in her 2019 Modern Love essay. But when she found herself alone and knocked down, failing at marriage, she developed a new understanding of the privileges she had long been fighting for. You can find more information on today's episode here. Featured stories: “New Hope, New Pain, Same Old Divorce” by Cameron Esposito"Here’s a Chair for You” by Gayle Brandeis
About Modern Love
Modern Love features top actors performing true stories of love, loss, and redemption. It has included performances by Kate Winslet, Uma Thurman, Angela Bassett, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sterling K. Brown, and more. A collaboration between WBUR and The New York Times.