Modern Love Podcast: 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 (until they would die at 90, holding hands while listening to Tegan and Sara).

“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 new perspectives on the privileges she had long been fighting for.

In her Tiny Love Story, Gayle Brandeis wrote about attending her eldest son’s engagement party and feeling nervous to see her ex-husband for the first time in five years. But Gayle observed a sweet, unexpected interaction between her ex-husband and her 8-year-old son, Asher, “a child who wouldn’t exist had I not broken my ex-husband’s heart,” she wrote in the story.

When she observed their interaction, something in her heart “just kind of relaxed,” she told Miya Lee, co-host of the Modern Love Podcast. “I felt like these two parts of my life could weave together in a way — that there could be a bridge between us.”

Credit…

Hosted by: Daniel Jones and Miya Lee
Produced by: Julia Botero and Elyssa Dudley
Edited by: Sara Sarasohn
Executive Producer: Wendy Dorr
Music by: Dan Powell
Mixed by: Corey Schreppel
Special thanks: Julia Simon, Mahima Chablani, Bonnie Wertheim, Anya Strzemien, Joanna Nikas, Choire Sicha, Lisa Tobin, Sam Dolnick and Ryan Wegner at Audm.

Thoughts? Email us at modernlovepodcast@nytimes.com.

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