Kristen Finch was a speech therapist who sometimes worked with kids with Asperger Syndrome, symptoms of which include emotional distance, inflexibility and missing social cues. Kristin and her co-workers often joked that all their husbands had Asperger's, since the symptoms overlap with stereotypically male personality traits.
Kurt Braunohler and his girlfriend had been together for thirteen years, and they were only 30. They wondered why they had never considered marriage, and realized that they needed to sleep with other people before they tied the knot.
Senior producer Julie Snyder and her husband Jeff talk to guest host Sarah Koenig about gossip that takes place—where else?—in a beauty salon.
Ira talks with Jessica Pressler, who writes the Daily Intel blog for NewYork Magazine, about a phenomenon she noticed in the wedding notices in The New York Times. Couples were cheerfully telling—as part of their "meet cute" stories—how their relationships began with one of them cheating on a spouse or long-time partner.
From England, Ruby Wright has a story of an affair where—even years after it ended—it wasn't much discussed. Ruby Wright's radio show Ruby's Chicky Boil-Ups airs every other Sunday on Radionowhere.
Ira reviews some infidelity stats from his mother's book on the subject, Not Just Friends. And author James Braly tells a story of temptation at The Moth.
Act two showed us a moment before infidelity occurs. In this act, Dani Shapiro has a story about the confusing mess things can be during an affair.
Etgar Keret describes the moment in the immediate aftermath of an affair. Actor Matt Malloy reads.
Joel and Kate were both working in a psychiatric hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts. They both like each other, and she tries to impress him by always wearing her favorite pair of jeans.
When Eric Hayot was 23, he went on an exchange program to China one summer. He took an opera class on a lark, and before he knew it, he was on stage, singing the part of a famous judge.
We meet Russell, 19, the best mobile phone salesman in the mall — and possibly anywhere. His talent for sales is matched only by those of his girlfriend, Chandler, 18, a waitress.
Musician David Berkeley has gotten a lot of requests in his life, but none quite like the offer his agent got last year. A fan wanted Berkeley to come to his house and help save his relationship by serenading the troubled couple with a personal concert.
Ian Brown of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on the normal struggle most people experience when they try to stay monogamous. Parts of Ian's story are excerpted from his book, Man Medium Rare.
Ira Glass talks to This American Life Producer Jane Feltes abouta recent date she was set up on by a friend. The date was awful—the guyseemed stoned the whole time.
Miriam and her husband were development workers in Afghanistan. They'd had a whirlwind romance themselves, so when they heard that their driver was in love, but didn't have enough money to propose to the girl, they made a grand romantic gesture: They gave him $10,000 to pay for the dowry and the wedding.
Host Ira Glass talks with Lauren Waterman, who's in the middle of a break-up right now and grappling with totally contradictory feelings. She wants her boyfriend to call, but also—maybe a little bit—doesn't want him to call.
In the wake of a break-up, writer Starlee Kine finds so much comfort in break-up songs that she decides to try and write one herself—even though she has no musical ability whatsoever. For some help, she goes to a rather surprising expert on the subject: Phil Collins.
Ira talks with divorce mediator Barry Berkman about why it's bad when the justice system gets involved in a break-up. Barry specializes in matrimonial law and is a member of The New York Association of Collaborative Professionals, which he helped found.
What divorce looks like from the dog's point of view. This monologue was performed by Merrill Markoe and recorded at Un-Cabaret in Los Angeles.
A friend tells Jonathan Goldstein how a trip with a pot-bellied pig ended up revealing his character and making his girlfriend leave. Jonathan Goldstein is the host of the radio show Wiretap on the CBC, where a version of this story originally aired.
When Gene Cheek was ten years old, his mother began dating a black man. It was 1961, in North Carolina.
Shant Kenderian reads from his memoir 1001 Nights In the Iraqi Army: The True Story of a Chicago Student Held as a POW By the Americans During Desert Storm. During the first Persian Gulf war, Shant (reluctantly) fought for Saddam Hussein.
The story of an Iranian couple who were unhappily married for 27 years. He had a temper.
Our program ends with a story of knowing your enemy in a more domestic setting: In a marriage. Actor Matt Malloy reads the story by Etgar Keret. "Eight Percent of Nothing" is from a collection of stories called The Nimrod Flip-Out.