Dear Sugars

By The New York Times and WBUR

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Nikki
 Aug 5, 2018
Deep and rich advice without reserve.

Anne
 Aug 2, 2018
so sad this i, that this is going to be the final season. I love the way these hosts treat each letter writer with compassion and solid advice sometimes deviating from what I would think but always offering advice to the writer that will help them

A Podcast Republic user
 Jul 12, 2018

Description

The universe has good news for the lost, lonely and heartsick. The Sugars are here, speaking straight into your ears. Hosted by the original Sugars, Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond, the podcast fields all your questions — no matter how deep or dark — and offers radical empathy in return. Send your letters to dearsugars@nytimes.com.


Episode Date
Episodes We Love: The Price Of Our Dreams
00:34:41

The Sugars, along with fiction writer George Saunders, field letters from people who are chasing their creative dreams but frightened by the practical and financial risks that come with that pursuit.

This episode was originally released August 5th, 2017.

Dec 08, 2018
Episodes We Love: Rapid Fire Letters
00:32:01

In a heated moment, a mother reveals a dark chapter from her childhood to her daughter, then immediately regrets it. What now? In this week’s episode, the Sugars tackle this and several other questions, including how to handle a brother-in-law who treats your vacation as his own free childcare; what to do when your best friend’s husband asks you to lie; and why we sometimes recoil at very public displays of grief.

This episode was originally released July 29th, 2017.

Dec 01, 2018
Episodes We Love: The Power Of No, Part 2
00:25:08

"What do I want?" This is the question Oprah Winfrey finally asked herself, after years of struggling to say "no" to people in her life. In the second of this two-part series, the Sugars continue their conversation with Oprah Winfrey on when, why and how to say "no."

This episode was originally released July 22nd, 2017.

Nov 17, 2018
Episodes We Love: The Power Of No, Part 1
00:35:04

There’s incredible power in saying “yes.” It opens up avenues and allows us to be brave. In Cheryl's case, it’s what led to her becoming Sugar. But saying yes to life's opportunities can also have its risks. The Sugars are joined by Oprah Winfrey to discuss when to say no, how to say no, and what happens in the wake of that.


This episode was originally released July 15th, 2017.

Nov 10, 2018
Episodes We Love: Friendship, Part 1
00:41:19

Everyone has had a friendship quandary of some sort in the past, right? This week, the Sugars take on frequently asked questions in "rapid fire" fashion – from hating your best friend's significant other, to hating her politics.

This episode was originally released October 28th, 2016.

Nov 03, 2018
Episodes We Love: May-December Romances
00:30:39

Age is just a number in many contexts, but when it comes to finding long-lasting love, an age gap between partners can greatly impact the course of the relationship — both in positive and challenging ways. The Sugars discuss those so-called "May-December" romances with the help of Lucinda Franks, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of the memoir Timeless: Love, Morgenthau, and Me, which tells the story of her marriage to New York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, who's 27 years her senior.


This episode was originally released October 20th, 2016.

Oct 27, 2018
Episodes We Love: I Divorced My Spouse, And My Child Divorced Me
00:30:46

Divorce is always a painful process, but it's especially so when there are children in the middle. This week, the Sugars discuss situations of parental alienation caused by divorce. They answer letters from a mother and a father whose daughters have cut off all communication with them after taking the other parent's side.


This episode was originally released October 14th, 2016.

Oct 20, 2018
Episodes We Love: Make The Call
00:39:29

The Sugars bring you another "rapid fire" episode, where they give brief answers to a handful of letters. This time, they challenge each other to make the call — one way or the other — on the questions they're discussing, rather than offer open-ended guidance.


This episode was originally released September 30th, 2016.

Oct 13, 2018
Episodes We Love: How Do I Find The Courage To Be My Own Guide?
00:26:36

The Sugars often discuss letters dealing with very specific problems or struggles. This week, they take on a broader, more existential question -- how to follow your heart. The Sugars discuss with the GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter India Arie, who shares how she learned to be her own guide.


This episode was originally released September 23rd, 2016.

Sep 29, 2018
Episodes We Love: I'm A Transgender Man, Seeking Acceptance
00:38:00

The Sugars read the letters of two transgender men who are struggling to find love and acceptance. They discuss with Cooper Lee Bombardier, a visual artist, writer and transgender man.

This episode was originally released September 2nd, 2016.

Sep 22, 2018
Dear Sugars Presents: Last Seen
00:36:22

From our partners at WBUR, a new podcast that looks into the greatest unsolved art heist in history: the theft of half a billion dollars worth of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum in Boston. Listen to the first episode and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Sep 18, 2018
Episodes We Love: Can A Sexual Assault Survivor Love A Rapist?
00:29:26

The Sugars discuss a letter from a survivor of sexual assault who has just been told by her long-time partner that he raped someone when he was in high school. The writer wonders how she, as a survivor and self-proclaimed feminist, can justify loving a rapist. 


This episode was originally released July 28th, 2016

Sep 15, 2018
The Long Goodbye
01:13:57

After four years of ministering to the lost, lonely, and heartsick, the Sugars say farewell on this final episode of the podcast. We take a look back at some of our most powerful advice, hear from former guests, and talk to listeners about how the show has impacted their lives. Cheryl and Steve share what saying goodbye means to them, speaking with radical empathy straight into our ears, one last time. For more information on today’s episode visit nytimes.com/dearsugars.

Sep 01, 2018
Moving On, Part 2 — With Dr. Harriet Lerner
00:43:16

“Dear Sugars, I’m a serial codependent. I’ve married and had children with two addicts,” begins a letter signed by “Mommy Messed Up.” Over the years, her second husband began to withdraw and stash money inside of old bottles. Now Mommy Messed Up is ready to end their toxic relationship. The only problem is she’ll have to disrupt her children’s lives for a second time. “I’m fine with breaking my own heart,” she writes. “But how do I break my boys’ hearts?” A second letter comes from a woman who is haunted by her abortion, a decision she laments now that she’s experiencing early menopause. Both women are ruled by their regret. In this second part of our series on moving on, the Sugars and Dr. Harriet Lerner discuss how we can release ourselves from our past mistakes and move forward despite our deepest regrets. For more information on today’s episode, including a list of literary recommendations from the Sugars, visit nytimes.com/dearsugars.

Aug 25, 2018
Moving On, Part 1 — With Claire Bidwell Smith
00:46:45

As our final season draws to a close, the Sugars have been thinking about what it means to say goodbye and let go. In this first episode of our two-part series on moving on, the Sugars and Claire Bidwell Smith answer two letters from people struggling to move past their grief after the death of their loved ones. The first letter comes from a woman who recently discovered that her best childhood friend died by suicide. Now she’s haunted by the fact that she failed to intervene years ago. The second letter comes from a woman who has the sickening feeling that she played a role in her mother's death. Both letter writers wonder how they can get out from under their guilt and carry on with their lives. For more information on today’s episode visit nytimes.com/dearsugars.


Aug 18, 2018
Talking About Privilege — With Catrice M. Jackson
00:51:32

Privilege comes in many forms: socio-economic privilege, gender privilege, heterosexual privilege, to name a few. But behind every case is an imbalance of power, invisible to those who possess it, and ever-present for those who don’t. In today’s episode, the Sugars reply to two letter writers whose loved ones are unable see their own privilege. One letter comes from a woman whose fiancé wants her and their future children to take his last name. The Sugars call on Catrice M. Jackson, a leading voice for racial justice, to help answer a second letter from a woman who calls herself "A Mother of White Privileged Children." Together, Ms. Jackson and the Sugars discuss ways in which racism is internalized, and outline best practices for talking about privilege. For more information on today’s episode visit nytimes.com/dearsugars.

Aug 11, 2018
Emotional Abuse — With Reema Zaman
00:47:56

He removed her makeup when he thought she was wearing too much. He refused to put her name on the leases for their car and their house. He told her that she had a green card only because he chose to marry her. Reema Zaman was in an emotionally abusive marriage. Although her husband’s abuses never left any physical mark, it took her years to repair the damage he inflicted upon her. In today's episode, Ms. Zaman describes some of the telltale signs of an emotionally abusive relationship and helps the Sugars answer two painful letters from women who are struggling to disentangle themselves from their abusive partners. For more information on today’s episode visit nytimes.com/dearsugars.

Aug 04, 2018
Dear Sugars Live: The Great Reckoning
00:51:25

Dear Sugars returns to Portland, Ore., for another epic live show. Special guests Mitchell S. Jackson and Rebecca Skloot share the stage with the Sugars to tell stories of personal reckoning and answer letters from the audience. To some extent, every letter the Sugars receive is a kind of reckoning, as it’s often the letter writer’s first attempt at taking account of their mistakes and delusions. In this episode, the Sugars take a long hard look at transgressions of love, friendship, the self and so much more. For more information on today’s episode visit nytimes.com/dearsugars.

Jul 28, 2018
Rapid Fire: Love & Money
00:44:19

When it comes to love, money is supposed to be no object. But there’s no disentangling love from anything in our lives, and income is no exception. So how do you assess the role money should play in a relationship, and what happens when your desires and means change over time? In today’s rapid-fire episode, the Sugars answer five letters from people who want to know how to discuss money with their romantic and familial partners. For more information on today’s episode, including a list of literary recommendations from the Sugars, visit nytimes.com/dearsugars.

Jul 21, 2018
Young & Isolated — With Shirley Manson
00:44:29

Feeling like an outsider is one of the hallmarks of adolescence, but in today’s episode we hear from two 16-year-olds who have cause to feel especially isolated. One girl is home-schooled and rarely leaves the house. A second girl feels disconnected from her best friend, who has suddenly become popular at school. Both letter writers wonder if they’ll ever feel comfortable in their own skin. Shirley Manson, the lead singer of the alternative rock band Garbage, joins the Sugars to discuss her own journey as an outsider. She assures the letter writers that though they may feel like outcasts, they are not alone — most teenagers at some point feel inferior to their peers.  For more information on today’s episode, including a list of literary recommendations from the Sugars, visit nytimes.com/dearsugars.

Today’s episode features the song “Beloved Freak” from Garbage’s 2012 album “Not Your Kind of People.”

Jul 14, 2018
Who's Your Daddy? — With Steve Lickteig
00:40:37

With the advent of affordable DNA testing and companies like 23andMe, many people have discovered that the family members they grew up with are not biologically related. For some, these revelations can be a welcome and exciting discovery process. For others, they’re shocking and unwanted. In today’s episode, Steve Lickteig explains how his family and community kept his true identity from him for 18 years, and the Sugars advise letter writers who are still reeling from their genetic discoveries. For more information on today’s episode, including a list of literary recommendations from the Sugars, visit nytimes.com/dearsugars.

Jun 16, 2018
Trust Your Body — with Hilary Kinavey & Dana Sturtevant
00:41:50

A letter-writer who calls herself Body Negative was categorized as overweight when she was 5 years old. As an adult, she vacillates between dieting and gorging on cake and ice cream. The sinister cycle of dieting and binge-eating plagues many American women, but recently a counter-movement called Body Positive has sprung up. The movement promotes fat acceptance and attempts to reverse body-shaming, no matter one’s size. But Body Negative is skeptical, writing, “I struggle with how to be body positive after years of being told it’s wrong to be my size and weight. Is there such a thing as unconditional body acceptance?”

Hilary Kinavey, M.S., L.P.C., and Dana Sturtevant, M.S., R.D., the co-owners of Be Nourished, join the Sugars on today’s episode to offer new definitions of health and discuss alternatives to the “dieting mind.”. For more information on today’s episode, including a list of literary recommendations from the Sugars and a link to Cheryl Strayed’s photoshopped Vogue image, visit nytimes.com/dearsugars.

Jun 09, 2018
Rapid Fire: There's Just One Thing
00:40:41

He’s smart, kind, generous and oh-so handsome. You’re beginning to imagine starting a family with him. He’s everything you’ve ever wanted in a partner — but there’s just this one thing... In today’s rapid fire episode, the Sugars read letters from four women who each have one not-so-tiny reservation about the men they’re dating. When it comes to religious and racial differences, commitment issues, and health problems, which can be ironed out and which are deal breakers?

May 26, 2018
Sex & Aging — With Dr. Pepper Schwartz
00:36:30

When two women in their sixties start losing interest in sex, their sex-starved partners become increasingly frustrated. Both women blame old age for their waning libidos. But is their diminished sex drive because of age or something else? The erotic lives of senior citizens are typically made invisible by our culture, which can lead to confusion and misinformation. Dr. Pepper Schwartz, the love and relationship columnist for AARP, joins the Sugars to dispel certain myths about sex and aging For more information on today’s episode, including a list of literary recommendations from the Sugars, visit nytimes.com/dearsugars.

May 19, 2018
Rage is a Red Lesson — With Morgan Jerkins
00:40:33

Shortly after the birth of her first child, a letter-writer who calls herself “Tantrum Daughter” lost her mother to suicide. Now, with a second child on the way, Tantrum Daughter is filled with rage and she’s unable to control her angry outbursts. She worries that her anger will drive her husband away and irrevocably harm her children. The Sugars and the writer Morgan Jerkins discuss the connection between trauma and rage, and offer Tantrum Daughter practical ways to address both. For more information on today’s episode, including a list of literary recommendations from the Sugars, visit nytimes.com/dearsugars.

May 12, 2018
Emotional Labor: The Invisible Work (Most) Women Do—With Gemma Hartley
00:44:07

Remembering the grocery list, coordinating with the babysitter, making food for the potluck, scheduling a get-together with the in-laws: These are some of the invisible tasks that (most) women exclusively do in their romantic relationships — and the list goes on and on. In today’s episode, the Sugars and Gemma Hartley read letters from wives and girlfriends who are fed up with the imbalance of domestic labor in their romantic relationships. For more information on today’s episode, including a list of literary recommendations from the Sugars, visit nytimes.com/dearsugars.

May 05, 2018
The Stepchild's Dilemma — With Theo Pauline Nestor
00:45:18

Whether you’re 5, 15, or 50 years old, it can be difficult to accept a stepparent into your family unit. In today’s episode, the Sugars answer letters from stepchildren who have fraught relationships with their stepparents. What can be done if you don’t like the person your parent chooses to marry? And what is a stepparent’s responsibility to a stepchild after divorce? The writer Theo Pauline Nestor joins the Sugars to help answer these questions.

Apr 28, 2018
I'm In Love With My Abuser — With Esta Soler
00:26:16

For the first time on the podcast, the Sugars answer a voice mail message from the Dear Sugars hotline. The message comes from a woman who reunited with her ex-boyfriend, who once assaulted her. Wracked with shame, she wonders if reconciling with him is acceptable and if it’s possible he’ll change. Esta Soler, president and founder of Futures Without Violence, joins the Sugars to help answer the question: Is it O.K. to love someone who abused you?

If you’d like to leave a voice mail on our hotline, call 929-399-8477.



Apr 21, 2018
Buyer's Remorse — With Buzz Bissinger
00:23:58

Buzz Bissinger has a spending addiction, but when he published his confessional in GQ magazine he was labeled a “fancy man,” and a “shopaholic.” Only when he was admitted into rehab did many people understand that he was struggling with a debilitating behavioral addiction. Spending addictions have the power to destroy lives but they’re often minimized or disparaged. Mr. Bissinger joins the Sugars to offer guidance to a single mom whose therapist and family don’t take her problem seriously.

Apr 14, 2018
Dear Sugars Live: A Night of Bad Stories
00:41:27

Dear Sugars returns to Portland, Ore., for another raucous and uplifting live show. The Sugars get a surprising update from a letter writer from their past; discuss a new letter with a special guest, Omar El Akkad; and ask the audience, “What’s the ‘bad story’ you tell yourself?”

Apr 07, 2018
Rapid Fire: Friends & Lovers
00:42:33

A man secretly tails his wife because he suspects she’s meeting up with a co-worker on the sly. A neglected girlfriend feels threatened by her boyfriend’s new friend. A woman has a blossoming crush on her friend’s ex. The Sugars answer these letters and more in today’s rapid fire episode about friends and lovers.

Mar 31, 2018
Consent Part 3: Working in the Gray — With Saru Jayaraman
00:40:45

The #MeToo Moment deluged the Dear Sugars inbox with letters about sexual harassment in the workplace. In the final episode in our series on sexual consent, the Sugars read some of these letters and explore what happens when non-consensual sexual attention moves from the private to the public realm.

Mar 24, 2018
Consent Part 2: Stuck in the Gray
00:32:59

Some sexual encounters are obviously consensual, while others are obviously not. But what about those that are neither black nor white? In the second episode in our series on sexual consent, the Sugars plunge deeper into the gray area.

Mar 17, 2018
Consent Part 1: Into the Gray — With Jaclyn Friedman
00:39:17

In the midst of the #MeToo Movement, women and men all over the country are re-examining sexual encounters from their past. Over the course of a three-part series on consent, the Sugars answer letters from some of these women and explore the complexity and nuance of sexual consent.

Mar 10, 2018
Family by Proxy — With Jessie Glenn
00:33:48

When a family experiences loss, familial roles are often redefined. In today’s episode, the Sugars answer letters from people who are unexpectedly charged with caring for their relatives.

Feb 10, 2018
Updates Part 2: Step Into Your Spotlight
00:36:42

In part two of our updates series, we check in with two letter writers who let self-image sabotage their love lives.

Feb 04, 2018
Updates Part 1: Change is a Work in Progress
00:35:18

Life-changing realizations can come abruptly, but real progress can take a lifetime. In today’s episode, we get updates from some of our most memorable letter writers.

Jan 27, 2018
Dark Fantasies Part 2 — With Dr. Ian Kerner
00:28:56

Where do our persistent sexual fantasies come from? And is it possible to escape their grip? In part two of our Dark Fantasies series, the Sugars try to answer these questions.

Jan 20, 2018
Dark Fantasies Part 1—With Dr. Ian Kerner
00:32:22

Sexual fantasies can be exciting, but they can also be the source of our deepest shame. In this two-part series, the Sugars read letters from people who want to turn off the thoughts that turn them on.

Jan 13, 2018
Cutting the Financial Cord—With Dr. Kate Gale
00:30:22

The Sugars answer a letter from a woman whose parents refuse to give her financial independence and a father weighing whether to cut off his adult son. In both cases, money comes with strings attached.

Dec 23, 2017
The Ugly Truth—With Ariel Henley
00:34:48

Most of us have days when we don’t feel attractive, but today we hear from letter writers whose faces are at odds with conventional ideas of beauty.

Dec 16, 2017
Just Say It
00:28:29

Words can be wielded like weapons. On today’s episode we hear from letter writers who have something to confess but are afraid to hurt others with the power of their words.

Dec 09, 2017
A Spy in the House of Love—With Ariel Levy
00:33:13

Snooping on your spouse is generally ill-advised, but what if he or she has an addiction and is constantly lying about it? The Sugars and writer Ariel Levy answer this question on today’s episode.

Dec 02, 2017
The Double Bind of Female Ambition — With Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton
00:23:12

The Sugars and Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton discuss the the price of female ambition and the Secretary lays out a three-point plan for a letter writer who feels guilty about her accomplishments.

Nov 18, 2017
The Empty Chair Part 2 — With Emily Rapp Black
00:33:21

How can grieving parents balance the sorrow of child loss and the joy of childbirth? The Sugars advise.



Nov 11, 2017
The Empty Chair Part 1 — With Jessica Handler
00:33:31

The death of a child can leave an absence that is ever-present. The Sugars and the writer Jessica Handler read letters from people living in the shadow of their parents' grief.

Nov 04, 2017
The Other Half of Sexless Relationships
00:24:13

Libido mismatches can leave some partners feeling pressured. The Sugars read listener criticism and answer a letter from a woman whose husband wants to have sex every day. 



Oct 28, 2017
You Must Change Your Life — With Mitchell Jackson
00:38:16

When you’re stuck in a rut, with nothing but bad memories behind you and no foreseeable path ahead, what do you do? The Sugars, with fiction writer Mitchell S. Jackson, advise letter writers who want to turn their lives around.



Oct 21, 2017
When Friendships End
00:33:15

Friendships are different from any other type of relationship in our lives. They are purely voluntary, and so can feel more tenuous. Do you tell a friend if you are unhappy with the relationship, or do you just leave? And if you do leave, how do you break up with a friend? In this episode, the Sugars field questions from two letter writers who both feel exhausted by a friendship, and want out.

Sep 30, 2017
Rapid Fire: Should I Stay or Go?
00:34:12

The Sugars bring you another "Rapid Fire" episode, where they give brief answers to a handful of letters that are all centered around a theme. The theme for this episode is "stay or go" — people who have a voice in their head telling them to leave their relationship, but who aren't sure it's the right move.

Sep 25, 2017
Sexless Relationships Part 2 — With Esther Perel
00:25:56

A husband looks for a way to help his wife heal from trauma. The Sugars return with the therapist Esther Perel and advise another couple in a sexless relationship.

Sep 16, 2017
Sexless Relationships Part 1— With Esther Perel
00:32:34

A sexless relationship is often a symptom of deeper dysfunction. The Sugars, along with couples therapist Esther Perel, advise a letter writer whose loving partner is erotically absent.

Sep 09, 2017
In the Shadow of Damaged Parents — With Dr. Richard Almond
00:33:29

A damaged parent can cast a dark shadow on our lives, especially when we inherit some of that damage. Steve’s father, the psychoanalyst Dr. Richard Almond, joins the Sugars to answer letters and offer a way out.

Sep 02, 2017
Pet Dilemmas — With Julie Barton
00:46:23

Adventures in animal ownership. The Sugars, along with the writer Julie Barton, answer letters about pet dilemmas and the ways these creatures affect human relationships.



Aug 26, 2017
Body Weight and Romance — With Ashley C. Ford
00:34:12

It’s never easy to talk to our romantic partners about their bodies, especially when it’s about weight. The Sugars, along with the writer Ashley C. Ford, answer letters from people questioning their relationships because of major changes in their partners’ bodies.

Aug 19, 2017
Should I Intervene? — With Meghan Daum
00:40:48

When we decide to meddle, it can often backfire. The Sugars, along with the writer Meghan Daum, answer letters from people who see loved ones heading down the wrong path, but worry intervention might be the wrong move.



Aug 12, 2017
The Price of Our Dreams — With George Saunders
00:34:41

The Sugars, along with the fiction writer George Saunders, field letters from people who are chasing their creative dreams but frightened by the practical and financial risks that come with that pursuit.

Aug 05, 2017
Rapid-Fire Letters — Summer 2017 Edition
00:32:01

In a heated moment, a mother reveals a dark chapter from her childhood to her daughter, then immediately regrets it. What now? In this week’s episode, the Sugars tackle this and several other questions: how to handle a brother-in-law’s entitled behavior, what to do when your best friend’s husband asks you to lie and why we sometimes recoil at very public displays of grief.



Jul 29, 2017
The Power of No Part II — With Oprah Winfrey
00:25:08

The Sugars continue their conversation with Oprah Winfrey on how to say no. “It is the thing to conquer in my life, it constantly shows up,” Ms. Winfrey says. After years of struggling with saying no, she tells Cheryl and Steve, “I finally got to this question: ‘What do I want?’”

Jul 22, 2017
The Power of No Part I — With Oprah Winfrey
00:35:04

There’s an incredible power to saying “yes.” It opens up avenues, it allows us to be brave. In the case of Cheryl, it’s what led to her becoming Sugar. But saying yes is also profoundly dangerous. On this episode, the Sugars and their special guest Oprah Winfrey talk about how to say no, why to say no — and what happens in the wake of that.

Jul 15, 2017
Rapid Fire: A Wealthy Sister, An Impatient Girlfriend, An Unshakeable Love
00:38:28

The Sugars are back for another batch of shorter questions and answers. They take on six quick questions, ranging from a letter writer who is jealous of her sister's wealth to a young woman who is growing impatient for a proposal from her longtime boyfriend to a woman still pining after her girlfriend from a decade back.

Jul 08, 2017
When Bad Things Happen
00:32:33

The Sugars grapple with a difficult question — how do we make sense of the fact that very bad things can happen to people who have done nothing wrong? They take letters from a visual artist who has just learned he is losing his sight, and from a woman whose life has been transformed by her daughter's life-threatening condition.

Jul 03, 2017
Do I Wait For My Ex?
00:26:06

In this episode, the Sugars take a question from a young woman whose boyfriend recently broke up with her because of questions about his sexuality. The letter writer is heartbroken and confused — and trying to figure out what it means and whether to wait around while he figures it out.

Jun 24, 2017
More Money, More Problems
00:38:42
Money makes us crazy. In this episode, the Sugars take questions from two letter writers struggling with complicated relationships to money. The first, an aspiring playwright, feels guilty about all the advantages that her parents' wealth has provided to her. The second, a divorced mother, is unable to control her spending and on the verge of bankruptcy.
Jun 18, 2017
Am I Too Young To Get Married?
00:14:13
In this short episode, the Sugars take a question from a young woman who is engaged to the man she's been with since she was 19. As a child of divorce, whose parents were married young, the letter writer knows that there are risks.
Jun 10, 2017
Former Hellraisers (Should We Share Our Past With Our Children?)
00:30:26
The Sugars respond to a letter from a woman whose teenage son has discovered her high-school yearbook — filled with stories of bad behavior from her past life. In answering the letter, the Sugars are joined by the poet and author Mary Karr, who has written three memoirs about her reckless youth and raised a son who was intimately familiar with those years.
Jun 06, 2017
The Infidelity Episodes, Part 4: The Other Woman
00:47:47
In our Infidelity series thus far, we've heard from the cheaters, from those who have been cheated on, and from a psychotherapist and expert on the topic. In this final installment, the Sugars focus on the often-overlooked experience of "the other woman" and the moral responsibility that comes with the role. They discuss with the novelist and biographer Susan Cheever, who was "the other woman" in an affair...twice.
May 23, 2017
The Infidelity Episodes, Part 3: Esther Perel
00:51:12
The Sugars' exploration of infidelity continues with a conversation with Esther Perel, a relationship therapist with extensive insight and expertise on the subject. What qualifies as infidelity? Why do we go through with it? And, perhaps most importantly, what does it mean to us? If you haven't already, listen to Parts 1 & 2 of the series, in which the Sugars heard from the betrayed and the betrayers.
May 16, 2017
The Infidelity Episodes, Part 2: The Betrayers
00:35:33
The Sugars continue their exploration of infidelity by hearing from people who have betrayed their partners. They discuss a letter from a desperate wife, whose husband gave her a second chance after an emotional infidelity, only for her to do it again; and another from a young mother who has gotten herself tangled up with the neighbor after years in an unhappy marriage. In Part 1, the Sugars heard from the Betrayed. And in Part 3, the Sugars speak to a leading expert on infidelity, who will make you rethink everything you thought you knew on the subject.
May 10, 2017
The Infidelity Episodes, Part 1: The Betrayed
00:45:38
The Sugars will be spending the next couple of months working on new episodes. During the month of May, by popular demand, we're listening back to our 4-part series on Infidelity, beginning this week with an episode on people who have been betrayed by their partners. They're joined by writer and performer Lauren Weedman, who experienced one of the more nightmarish clichés of infidelity.
May 04, 2017
Letters From Teenagers
00:53:59
For most of us, our teenage years were marked by feelings of insecurity, loneliness and uncertainty. This week, the Sugars revisit an episode in which they discussed questions exclusively from teenagers. They're joined by Tavi Gevinson, founder and editor of Rookie, a digital magazine for teenage girls.
Apr 27, 2017
Dear Dad, It's Over
00:41:38
We can't choose our parents, but we can choose whether or not to have a relationship with them. This week, the Sugars discuss parental estrangement. It's a follow-up to a conversation the Sugars had recently on the show about parents who feel alienated by their children. After that episode was released, an email appeared in the Dear Sugar inbox from a woman who believed the Sugars had discussed her father's letter. She wished to share her perspective -- that of the child who has chosen to estrange herself from her parent for her own well-being. The Sugars dig in to this side of the story with the help of writer/editor/film director Stephen Elliott, who estranged himself from his abusive father.
Apr 20, 2017
Career Vs. Love
00:35:18
You love your partner, you love your career... but they're pulling you in different directions. What do you do? Is it foolish to put your career on hold for the sake of your relationship? Or is it more foolish to give up a great relationship for the sake of your career? Or, is there a way to have both? The Sugars discuss two letters from women in relatively new relationships who are having trouble deciding what to prioritize. They have help from psychotherapist and sociologist Leslie Bell.
Apr 13, 2017
Rapid Fire: Inbox Outliers
00:41:02
Infidelity. In-Laws. Friendship. These are just a few of the categories that help keep the Dear Sugar inbox organized. But every once in a while, we get a letter that doesn't fit neatly into any category. This week, the Sugars discuss a handful of those letters in rapid-fire fashion -- from a woman whose mother-in-law might be faking an allergy to her cat, to a woman whose identity was stolen...by her own sister.
Apr 05, 2017
Love In The Digital Age
00:35:22
Many of us go online in search of connection. But when it comes to romance, online interactions can leave us feeling profoundly disconnected. This week, the Sugars revisit an episode in which they explored the different ways we connect online. They discuss a letter from a married woman who finds herself caught up in an illicit relationship on Facebook, and another from a young woman who is obsessed with tracking her boyfriend's ex on Instagram.
Mar 29, 2017
Baby Or Bust
00:36:38
You wants kids; your partner doesn't. Or your partner wants kids, and you don't. Whatever the scenario, few subjects are as emotionally charged and potentially deal-breaking in a relationship as a disagreement over the decision to become parents. The Sugars take on this tricky topic with the help of the writer Danielle Herzog, who's written in the past about ending her own marriage to become a mother.
Mar 22, 2017
Haunted By Ghosting
00:38:19
The term "ghosting" may be relatively new, but the concept -- someone suddenly and inexplicably disappearing from your life -- is not. In the past, a total halt to communication with a friend might leave you feeling concerned that something bad happened to him/her. But in a time where our devices have made us more accessible than ever, it can leave the person who's been ghosted feeling rejected or unworthy. The Sugars discuss ghosting with the essayist and cartoonist Tim Kreider. He's the author of "We Learn Nothing," a collection of essays that includes a story about being ghosted by a childhood friend.
Mar 16, 2017
Location, Location, Location
00:37:21
Location, location, location. It makes all the difference in real estate, and it can make all the difference to one's happiness. But finding a place that really feels like home can be tricky. Home is where the heart is, we're told. But what if "where the heart is" doesn't align with where your job is? Or when your head -- or your significant other -- tries to talk you out of a location that makes your heart happy? The Sugars discuss the significance of location and home with the help of Pam Houston, who has a forthcoming memoir about finding her forever-home on a ranch at 9,000 feet in Colorado.
Mar 09, 2017
Sexual Fluidity
00:44:21
"Whatever" -- that's how the actress Maria Bello describes her sexual orientation. Her "love who you love" attitude toward sexuality, regardless of gender, is often referred to as fluidity. Maria joins the Sugars this week to discuss a couple of letters having to do with the confusion and complications that can accompany a shift in one's sexual preferences and partnerships. She wrote about the evolution of her own family structure in her 2013 Modern Love column for The New York Times, "Coming Out As a Modern Family," which she later turned into the book, "Whatever...Love is Love: Questioning the Labels We Give Ourselves."
Feb 28, 2017
Friends With Benefits, Foursomes And Other Messy Relationships
00:46:21
What if the man you love wants to break up but keep hooking up? How should you handle jealousy toward a lover's friend of the opposite sex? What happens when a foursome between couples reveals hidden feelings? Questions about messy relationships come in to the Dear Sugar inbox all the time. This week, the Sugars revisit an episode in which they discussed a handful of these questions in rapid-fire fashion.
Feb 21, 2017
Sibling Rivalry
00:35:11
When we examine the influence our families have on us, we typically focus on our relationships with our mothers and fathers. But what about those with our brothers and sisters? Sibling relationships can be as powerful as any in our lives — and just as destructive. This week, the Sugars revisit their episode on sibling rivalry. They discuss with psychotherapist Dr. Jeanne Safer.
Feb 15, 2017
Happy Two Years Of Sugar, Part 2
00:38:59
It's part 2 of "the year in Sugar," where Steve and Cheryl reflect on some of the most memorable letters and episodes of 2016. Plus, the letter-writer who called herself "Out of Ideas" in last year's "Wedding Drama" series makes Dear Sugar Radio history!
Feb 09, 2017
Happy Two Years Of Sugar, Part 1
00:47:58
The Sugars look back on some of the most memorable letters and episodes of 2016. There are so many that they'll be doing this in two parts. This week, they discuss the feedback they received on "The Past is Present," they find out if the woman who called herself "Crazy and Confused Cat Lady" stayed with her boyfriend, they revisit the controversial two-part series on porn, they hear from "Minding the Gap" from the "May-December Romances" episode, and they talk to "Lost Somewhere in California," whose letter was the focus "Family Secrets, Part 1: Unspeakable Truths."
Feb 02, 2017
Dear Sugar Radio Live: The Writers Resist, Part 2
00:29:33
The Sugars return for Part 2 of "Dear Sugar Radio: The Writers Resist" at The Aladdin Theater in Portland, Oregon. They discuss how to counteract post-election cynicism with Zahir Janmohamed, writer and co-host of the podcast "Racist Sandwich," and they answer questions from the audience in rapid-fire fashion.
Jan 25, 2017
Dear Sugar Radio Live: The Writers Resist, Part 1
00:37:15
On November 9th, 2016 -- the day after Donald Trump became America's President-elect -- the Dear Sugar inbox was flooded with emails asking some version of the question, "How do we move forward as a nation from here?" In this episode, the Sugars bring that question before an audience at The Aladdin Theater in Portland, Oregon, for Part 1 of "Dear Sugar Radio: The Writers Resist."
Jan 20, 2017
Letter From A Closeted Atheist
00:33:14
The Sugars take on a letter from a self-identified atheist, who doesn't know how to tell her deeply religious parents that she's no longer a Christian. She loves and respects her parents, but worries that she can't be herself around them anymore -- that their beliefs and values are just too at odds. The Sugars discuss with the Reverend Jacqui Lewis, who had her own reckoning with faith.
Jan 12, 2017
Rapid Fire: Love In Doubt
00:41:55
How many times have you heard this: "I love him, we're great together, but..."? There's always room for doubt, even in the happiest of relationships. So this week, the Sugars take on some of those doubts in rapid-fire fashion.
Jan 05, 2017
The Weight Of Love
00:46:32
The Sugars revisit an episode in which they explored the fraught relationship between body image and romance. They're joined by the writer Lindy West, who has much to say on what it means to be a fat woman in our society.
Dec 29, 2016
Sugar For The Holidays
00:49:56
The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and gratitude. But for many of us, they can be filled with anxiety and dread. This week, the Sugars revisit an episode in which they took on some of the big questions of the holiday season. They're joined by Heather Havrilesky, author of "How to Be a Person in the World" and of New York Magazine's advice column, "Ask Polly."
Dec 21, 2016
Porn, Part 2: The Dark Side
00:38:42
The Sugars continue their series on porn with a letter from a woman whose fiancé is "addicted" to porn. They discuss with Noah Church, a self-described former porn addict and author of the book "Wack: Addicted to Internet Porn."
Dec 15, 2016
Dear Sugar Live In Portland: Part 1
00:52:41
Big news, Sugar fans: The Sugars have another live show coming up -- Dear Sugar Radio: The Writers Resist, Portland Edition, on Sunday, January 15th, 2017, at the Aladdin Theatre in Portland, Oregon. This week, we're giving you a taste of the "DSR Live" experience by revisiting one of the live shows we recorded at Revolution Hall in Portland this summer.
Dec 09, 2016
Porn, Part 1: Is It Wrong?
00:35:31
Pornography is more abundant and accessible than ever before. So it probably isn't surprising that it appears to be having a greater impact on romantic relationships. This week, the Sugars begin a two-part series on the topic. Part 1 focuses on some basic questions about porn -- is it wrong to use it? Why do people turn to porn? Is there such a thing as "healthy" porn use in a relationship? They discuss with the help of sex therapist Wendy Maltz.
Dec 01, 2016
Powerful Women And The Men Who Love Them
00:37:08
"How's your husband doing?" That was one of the questions Cheryl kept getting after the publication of her memoir, "Wild." What people meant was: How's he handling your success? In this encore episode, the Sugars take two questions on the dynamics of gender, power, and love — a young man struggles with jealousy when his girlfriend gets a career opportunity he wants for himself, and a woman finds she's no longer attracted to her husband now that he's not the breadwinner. Joining them to discuss the subject is Cheryl's husband, the documentary filmmaker Brian Lindstrom.
Nov 26, 2016
Dear Sugar: What About The Stepchildren?
00:40:04
When the Sugars answered a letter from a woman who felt trapped in the role of "wicked stepmother," dozens of listeners wrote in asking the same question: what about the stepchildren, who have no control over the restructuring of their family? This week, the Sugars respond with an episode devoted to the other side of the story. They're joined by Jane Alison, author of the memoir "The Sisters Antipodes," which tells the story of how her parents swapped spouses with another couple when she was 4 years old.
Nov 17, 2016
When Your Loved Ones Just Don't 'Get It'
00:31:57
Our loved ones are the people who are supposed to understand us. But what if they just...can't? Where do we turn then, and how do we fight the feelings of resentment that this lack of understanding can stir up? The Sugars discuss with writer and artist TaLynn Kel, author of The Establishment piece “My Husband’s Unconscious Racism Nearly Destroyed Our Marriage."
Nov 10, 2016
Rapid Fire: Friendship, Part 2 - Male-Female Friendships
00:31:57
The Sugars' conversation on friendship continues with a handful of letters concerning male-female friendships. Is there such a thing as a platonic relationship between a heterosexual man and woman? Can male-female friendships be as emotionally satisfying as same-gender relationships? What do you do when a friend crosses a romantic line? The Sugars discuss it all in rapid-fire fashion.
Nov 04, 2016
Rapid Fire: Friendship, Part 1 - FAQs
00:41:22
Everyone has had a friendship quandary of some sort in the past, right? This week, the Sugars take on frequently asked questions in "rapid fire" fashion – from hating your best friend's significant other, to hating her politics.
Oct 27, 2016
May-December Romances
00:29:42
Age is just a number in many contexts, but when it comes to finding long-lasting love, an age gap between partners can greatly impact the course of the relationship -- both in positive and challenging ways. The Sugars discuss those so-called "May-December" romances with the help of Lucinda Franks, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of the memoir "Timeless: Love, Morgenthau, and Me," which tells the story of her marriage to New York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, who's 27 years her senior.
Oct 18, 2016
Dear Sugar: I Divorced My Spouse, And My Child Divorced Me
00:30:55
Divorce is always a painful process, but it's especially so when there are children in the middle. This week, the Sugars discuss situations of parental alienation caused by divorce. They answer letters from a mother and a father whose daughters have cut off all communication with them after taking the other parent's side.
Oct 13, 2016
Dear Sugar: Live In Cambridge
01:03:23
This week, we're revisiting an episode taped last November in front of a live audience at First Parish Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Recorded on the release day of Cheryl's book of quotes, Brave Enough, the Sugars discuss the importance of quotations in their own lives. They are joined on-stage by rock star Amanda Palmer.
Oct 05, 2016
Rapid Fire: Make The Call
00:39:41
The Sugars bring you another "rapid fire" episode, where they give brief answers to a handful of letters. This time, they challenge each other to make the call -- one way or the other -- on the questions they're discussing, rather than offer open-ended guidance.
Sep 30, 2016
Dear Sugar: How Do I Find The Courage To Be My Own Guide?
00:26:43
The Sugars often discuss letters dealing with very specific problems or struggles. This week, they take on a broader, more existential question -- how to follow your heart. The Sugars discuss with the GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter India Arie, who shares how she learned to be her own guide.
Sep 22, 2016
The Long Goodbye
00:33:17
It's never easy saying goodbye to our loved ones, but it can be especially painful when a goodbye is drawn out by illness. This week, the Sugars answer two letters dealing with the guilt and heartache involved in a long goodbye to a parent. They're joined by Robin Romm, author of the memoir "The Mercy Papers," which tells the story of her mother's death from cancer.
Sep 15, 2016
Rapid Fire: Should I Stay Or Go?
00:34:10
The Sugars bring you another "Rapid Fire" episode, where they give brief answers to a handful of letters that are all centered around a theme. The theme for this episode is "stay or go" -- people who have a voice in their head telling them to leave their relationship, but who aren't sure it's the right move.
Sep 08, 2016
Dear Sugar: I'm A Transgender Man, Seeking Acceptance
00:38:23
The Sugars read the letters of two transgender men who are struggling to find love and acceptance. They discuss with Cooper Lee Bombardier, a visual artist, writer and transgender man.
Sep 02, 2016
'Totally Confused' Finds A Resolution
00:40:09
The Sugars get an update from a 62-year-old, divorced woman who was considering a reconciliation with her ex-husband, even after years of unhappiness inside their marriage. The situation was further complicated by the fact that he was engaged to another woman. Find out how the letter-writer and her ex-husband decided to proceed.
Aug 25, 2016
Does 'The Wicked Stepmother' Still Feel Wicked?
00:49:28
The Sugars revisit a letter from a woman who felt like a fairytale-esque wicked stepmother. When she wrote to the Sugars, she was feeling pressured to love her stepchildren "like her own," but she didn't want to be their mother. The Sugars find out how the self-proclaimed 'Wicked Stepmother' and her husband are doing today.
Aug 18, 2016
An Update From 'Head Or The Heart'
00:33:37
The Sugars get an update from "Head or the Heart" -- a woman who'd fallen in love with a man with a troubled childhood. She worried that the traumas of his past could surface at some point in their relationship. Nine months later, is she still with her boyfriend? The Sugars find out.
Aug 11, 2016
An Update From 'Two Truths And Many Lies'
00:49:19
The Sugars catch up with "Two Truths and Many Lies," whose letter about her husband's infidelity generated significant interest and advice from our listeners. Did she stay with her husband or walk away? The Sugars find out.
Aug 05, 2016
Can A Sexual Assault Survivor Love A Rapist?
00:29:37
The Sugars discuss a letter from a survivor of sexual assault who has just been told by her long-time partner that he raped someone when he was in high school. The writer wonders how she, as a survivor and self-proclaimed feminist, can justify loving a rapist.
Jul 28, 2016
Social Butterfly In Love With A Hermit Crab
00:34:37
The Sugars take a question from a young woman who takes great pleasure in socializing. Her fiance, on the other hand, dreads group settings and gets very agitated every time she wants to go to an event together. She wonders what is so unpleasant for him about spending time with her and her friends.
Jul 21, 2016
Dear Sugar Live In Portland: Part 2
00:52:52
The Sugars record the show in front of a live audience at Revolution Hall in Portland, OR. In Part 2, they take on alcohol addiction with Sarah Hepola, author of the memoir, "Blackout: Remembering The Things I Drank To Forget." She talks about her years of heavy drinking and denial, and helps take on a question from a letter writer who is earlier on her journey.
Jul 21, 2016
Dear Sugar Live In Portland: Part 1
00:53:06
The Sugars record the show in front of a live audience at Revolution Hall in Portland, OR. In Part 1, they talk reinvention with the writer Lidia Yuknavitch, asking: "How can we treat our mistakes as opportunities for growth, rather than moments of total self-destruction?"
Jul 13, 2016
Family Secrets, Part 2: Truths Revealed
00:38:03
In Part 2, the Sugars turn from the holding of a secret to its discovery. What happens within a family when a secret is revealed? They take a letter from a woman who is reeling after learning that the two men she trusts and adores — her father and her husband — have both been keeping big secrets.
Jul 02, 2016
Family Secrets, Part 1: Unspeakable Truths
00:42:26
Every family has its secrets, but it's how those secrets are dealt with that determines the power they hold. In Part 1, the Sugars consider the implications of keeping a secret within a family system. They take a letter from a woman who, since her early teens, has kept a dark and powerful secret from her mother about her stepfather.
Jun 24, 2016
How Do We Forgive Our Fathers?
00:50:02
Father's Day is a fraught and complicated day. In this episode, the Sugars take two questions on fatherhood — from a new father who fears that his depression will be felt by his baby daughter, and from a young woman who yearns for a deeper connection with her distant father.
Jun 17, 2016
Wedding Drama, Part 2: The Big Day
00:40:02
Most of the questions the Sugars receive about weddings are about the drama that precedes them — the expectations in the build up to the big day. But that doesn't mean Wedding Day is drama-free. There just isn't much to be done about it at that point. As Cheryl says, it's like a ball rolling down a hill. The Sugars bring in the ultimate witness to wedding-day drama: Lois Smith Brady, the founding columnist of the Vows section in The New York Times.
Jun 10, 2016
Wedding Drama, Part 1: Great Expectations
00:37:02
It's wedding season, and the Sugars have been getting all kinds of letters that reflect the anxiety and expectation that accompany preparations for the big day. They take on all forms of wedding drama — from a difficult in-law demanding extra invitations to a homophobic mom at a gay wedding to a dramatic friend of the bride who's making it all about herself.
Jun 04, 2016
Dear Sugar: I'm Falling For My Ex-Husband
00:33:24
The Sugars take a letter from a 62-year-old divorced woman who is shocked to find herself considering a reconciliation with her ex-husband, after years of unhappiness inside the marriage. The situation is further complicated by the fact that he is engaged to another woman.
May 29, 2016
When Politics Is Personal: Romantic Partners
00:39:43
The Sugars wonder if romantic relationships can survive profound political differences. They take a question from a young woman who prides herself on being a strong feminist, and worries her boyfriend doesn't share her views. They also hear from a progressive Democrat who has married into a conservative Oklahoma family and is finding it increasingly difficult to stay silent about her true beliefs.
May 20, 2016
When Politics Is Personal: Friends & Family
00:40:31
It's election season, and while politics may not seem like the domain of Dear Sugar Radio, it can become deeply personal. In Part 1, the Sugars look at how politics can get in between our relationships with friends and family—whether it be our parents voting for a candidate we despise, or our friends sharing views we find abhorrent on social media.
May 14, 2016
The Inevitable Guilt Of Motherhood
00:34:40
Being a mother means feeling conflicted in some way about the balance between raising one's children and the rest of life. The Sugars take two letters from women in the midst of such conflicts—one from a career-driven young woman who cannot fathom going back to work after the birth of her son, the other from a daughter who feels caught between the needs of her dying mother and her newborn baby girl.
May 07, 2016
Dear Sugar: How Do I Stop Lying?
00:28:00
We revisit an episode about compulsive lying with guest Leslie Jamison. The Sugars take on a letter from a young woman telling her friends about imagined experiences of rape and loss.
Apr 30, 2016
The Infidelity Episodes: The Other Woman
00:45:36
The Sugars return with another installment in the Infidelity Episodes — looking at the often-overlooked experience of the other woman. After the Sugars had taken on the Betrayed and the Betrayers, they received dozens of letters from women struggling to make sense of what it means to be involved in a cheating situation, while being neither the one who cheats nor the one who is cheated upon.
Apr 25, 2016
The Irrational Jealousy Of Lovers And Friends
00:27:23
The Sugars take on jealousy — the fiery, irrational kind we feel toward our lovers and friends. They read a letter from a woman struggling with her competitive instincts toward an attractive new friend of hers, and from a man having trouble with his wife's close friendship with an old lover.
Apr 16, 2016
Letter From A Closeted Atheist
00:33:52
The Sugars take a letter from a young woman who was raised in a deeply Christian household. As she has grown older, her beliefs and values have become increasingly at odds with those of her parents. She loves and respects her mom and dad, and doesn't know how to tell them that she is no longer a Christian — which to them will mean her eternal damnation.
Apr 08, 2016
Friends With Benefits, Foursomes And Other Messy Relationships
00:45:00
What if the man you love wants to break up but keep hooking up? What if he wants to see other people? How should you handle your jealousy toward a long-distance lover's friend of the opposite sex? What happens when a foursome between couples reveals hidden feelings? If someone isn't over an ex, should you stay close or walk away?
Apr 02, 2016
The Tale Of The Wicked Stepmother
00:43:38
There's a long tradition in fairy tales of the wicked stepmother. And the archetype endures in contemporary life. The Sugars take on two real-life versions of the tale — a mother whose ex-husband's new wife wants the children to call her "mom," and a stepmom who feels trapped in the role of the storybook villain.
Mar 27, 2016
The Secret Lives Of Lovers
00:42:18
The Sugars take a question from a newly married woman who is facing a nightmare — the man of her dreams has turned out to be someone else entirely. They are joined by the writer Julie Metz, who tells the story of discovering her own husband's double life following his unexpected death. She helps in answering the letter writer's ultimate question: do I stay and make a life with a man who is not the person I thought I married?
Mar 19, 2016
The Past Is Present
00:48:13
Are we doomed to repeat the patterns of our childhood? The Sugars hear from the child of two alcoholics, who cannot tolerate her new boyfriend's drinking; from a young woman whose partner is reminding her more and more of her emotionally damaged father; and from a daughter who is stuck in a co-dependent relationship with her mentally ill mother.
Mar 12, 2016
Grief And Jealousy Collide After An Ex's Death
00:24:25
The Sugars receive a pained letter from a young woman whose ex-boyfriend was recently murdered in an altercation at a bar. His death came not long after she had cut off communication in an effort to move on. She's grappling not just with feelings of sorrow and guilt, but jealousy — toward a young woman who came into his life after they'd broken up.
Mar 05, 2016
Powerful Women And The Men Who Love Them
00:36:28
In this episode, the Sugars take two questions on the dynamics of gender, power, and love — one from a man and one from a woman. A young man struggles with jealousy when his girlfriend gets a career opportunity he wants for himself, and a woman finds she's no longer attracted to her husband now that he's not the breadwinner.
Feb 27, 2016
My Best Friend's Wedding
00:36:07
We revisit an episode about friendship with one of our most beloved Sugar guests — the writer Ann Patchett. In this episode, the Sugars take a question from a young woman whose best friend since childhood is about to get married to a man she's known for only six months. The two friends are very different, and the letter writer worries that her impulsive, drama-prone friend is rushing into another bad situation.
Feb 20, 2016
The Allure Of The Forbidden Crush
00:46:59
The Sugars look at one especially painful form of love: the crush. They take questions from two letter writers struggling with illicit love interests — one from a career-oriented woman who finds herself drawn to her boss, the other from a recently married woman fantasizing about her husband's younger brother.
Feb 13, 2016
Rapid Fire: A Wealthy Sister, An Impatient Girlfriend, An Unshakeable Love
00:38:14
The Sugars are back for another batch of shorter questions and answers. They take on six quick questions, ranging from a letter writer who is jealous of her sister's wealth to a young woman who is growing impatient for a proposal from her longtime boyfriend to a woman still pining after her girlfriend from a decade back.
Feb 06, 2016
Looking For The One, Part 3: Reimagining Spinster
00:43:53
The Sugars consider the way forward for their single letter writers. For many of the women they hear from, finding "the one" has become the all-consuming focus of their lives. The anxiety and the reality of their situations makes it hard for otherwise confident, successful women to esteem anything else. The Sugars are joined by the writer Kate Bolick, who suggests a new way of thinking about life as a spinster.
Jan 30, 2016
Looking For The One, Part 2: The Reality
00:49:34
The Sugars have been avoiding the most frequently asked question they receive from women: Will I ever find the one? In the first episode, they explored the anxieties around that question. In Part 2, they focus on a particular anxiety that comes up over and over in letters from advice-seekers who have begun to question their past and present relationship decisions — should I settle?
Jan 23, 2016
Looking For The One, Part 1: The Anxiety
00:34:33
The Sugars have been avoiding the most frequently asked question they receive: Will I ever find the one? In this first episode on the theme, the Sugars explore the anxieties of the women who write in — I'm happy, I'm successful, everything else in my life is going great. But I can't find a partner. What's wrong with me? Will I ever find someone? Is it too late? Lena Dunham joins the conversation with her trademark candor.
Jan 16, 2016
Happy One Year Of Sugar
00:55:00
The Sugars look back at some of the most memorable letters of 2015. They check back in on a young gay man who was agonizing over whether to come out to his homophobic family, and a new mother who was struggling with boundaries after her alcoholic father relapsed during his first visit with his granddaughter.
Jan 09, 2016
Dear Sugar: Back To The Beginning
00:54:25
The Sugars often tell advice seekers: You have to go back to the beginning to get to the bottom of it. So, as 2016 begins, to mark the first year of Dear Sugar Radio, we're revisiting the pilot episode where it all began.
Jan 02, 2016
Sugar For The Holidays
00:49:46
The Sugars take on some of the big questions of the holiday season. How do we balance the competing demands of families? How do we act like adults when we return to our childhood homes? And, what if we aren't sure we should return home at all?
Dec 20, 2015
Moms Who Hate Motherhood
00:46:27
Motherhood has a near-sacred status in our society. If we dare speak negatively about it, it's only to say: "Motherhood is hard, but it's worth it." But for some mothers, it isn't. In this episode, the Sugars take on the taboo.
Dec 12, 2015
The Weight Of Love
00:47:46
The Sugars explore the fraught relationship between body image and romance. In one letter, a married woman reconsiders her priorities after losing 100 pounds. In another, a young man wants his girlfriend to lose weight, but does not understand why she’s so upset when he broaches the subject.
Dec 05, 2015
The Deal Killer
00:40:03
The Sugars are taking Thanksgiving weekend off. We'll be back next week with a new episode. This week, we revisit an earlier episode — The Deal Killer.
Nov 28, 2015
Dear Sugar: Live In Cambridge
01:03:21
The Sugars record the show in front of a live audience at First Parish Church in Harvard Square. Taped on the occasion of Cheryl's new book of quotes, Brave Enough, the Sugars discuss the importance of quotations in their own lives. The questions come from the audience — from a Harvard grad student who just lost a loved one to suicide to a young person gripped by jealousy in romantic relationships. They are joined on stage by rock star Amanda Palmer.
Nov 21, 2015
Letter From An Aching Single Father
00:25:29
The Sugars take a question from a single father who's just dropped his oldest son off at college. He is seized by feelings of guilt — that his attention was often elsewhere, that he didn't do enough to prepare his sons for the world. They are joined by the writer Brad Watson, himself divorced with two sons.
Nov 15, 2015
Dear Sugar: Do I Follow My Head Or My Heart?
00:25:27
The Sugars get a letter from a young woman who has fallen head over heels in love. She and her boyfriend only met a month ago, but they are already in deep. Everything seems perfect, and yet the letter writer can't help but wonder if the traumas of her new love's past are hiding somewhere under the surface, threatening to resurface. The Sugars do something new — and get the letter writer on the phone to speak with her directly about her fears.
Nov 07, 2015
Sibling Rivalry
00:35:34
The Sugars take on sibling rivalry. The mother of an only child wonders if she should have another but fears cruelty and conflict between the siblings. And a young man is caught between his parents and his brother, who is refusing to let the family spend time with his son.
Oct 31, 2015
Dear Sugar: Is My Husband's Pot Habit A Problem?
00:32:33
If someone smokes pot multiple times a day, but is still a highly functional partner, parent, and worker — is there a problem? That's the question to the Sugars from a letter writer whose husband has been a habitual marijuana smoker for years. If it is a problem, she wonders, is it his or hers?
Oct 24, 2015
An Experiment In Radical Brevity
00:31:42
The Sugars try something new — answering more questions, more quickly. While they always give their hearts and souls to the letters they receive, some questions are just a little more straightforward. The Sugars take on six quick questions, from siblings discovering incriminating texts on their father's phone to women reeling from encounters with sociopaths to this single sentence — "what do I do if I can't stand to stay with him but I can't stand to leave him either?"
Oct 17, 2015
The Wounded Child Within
00:23:41
The Sugars are taking this week off, to focus on answering new letters. We'll be back next week, but in the meantime, we revisit this conversation about the traumas of our past and their role in our present.
Oct 10, 2015
When Bad Things Happen
00:32:33
The Sugars grapple with a difficult question — how do we make sense of the fact that very bad things can happen to people who have done nothing wrong? They take letters from a visual artist who has just learned he is losing his sight, and from a woman whose life has been transformed by her daughter's life-threatening condition.
Oct 03, 2015
The Infidelity Episodes: Esther Perel
00:50:21
The Sugars exploration of infidelity culminates in Part 3, a conversation with Esther Perel. The relationship therapist is focusing her attention on the subject of infidelity - what it is, why we do it, and what it means to us. They also take a question from a married man who longs for lost intimacy with his wife, while also engaging in multiple affairs on the side.
Sep 27, 2015
The Infidelity Episodes: The Betrayers
00:33:27
The Sugars exploration of infidelity continues with Part 2: The Betrayers. They take letters from a desperate wife, whose husband gave her a second chance after an emotional infidelity, only for her to do it again; and from a young mother who has gotten herself tangled up with the next-door neighbor after years of unhappy marriage.
Sep 18, 2015
The Infidelity Episodes: The Betrayed
00:44:05
The first in a multi-part exploration of infidelity. In Part 1, the Sugars consider letters from the Betrayed; in Part 2, they'll consider the Betrayers. They're also joined by the writer and performer Lauren Weedman, who experienced one of the more nightmarish clichés of infidelity, and tells the story.
Sep 12, 2015
Dear Sugar: How Do I Survive The Critics?
00:27:26
Dear Sugar Radio is taking off Labor Day 2015 weekend. We'll be back next week with new episodes. In the meantime, we're reposting this episode from March 2015, "How Do I Survive The Critics?" with special guest George Saunders. We thought, going into the new school year, it's a good time to revisit the topic — how do we handle judgment about our work, even the harshest criticism?
Sep 04, 2015
When Life Takes A U-Turn
00:45:08
There are those moments in all of our lives — sudden and radical — when we get spun around and everything feels out of our control. The Sugars take questions from two letter writers who have come to such moments.
Aug 29, 2015
The Unmothered Mother
00:28:11
The Sugars take a question from the mother of young twins. Her own mother left when she was two years old, and her stepmother was a controlling and manipulative presence in her life. The letter writer is afraid that these toxic experiences being mothered make her destined to fail as a mother.
Aug 22, 2015
Dear Sugar: Do I Wait For My Ex?
00:26:06
In this episode, the Sugars take a question from a young woman whose boyfriend recently broke up with her because of questions about his sexuality. The letter writer is heartbroken and confused — and trying to figure out what it means and whether to wait around while he figures it out.
Aug 15, 2015
Social Butterfly In Love With A Hermit Crab
00:34:53
The Sugars take a question from a young woman who takes great pleasure in socializing. Her fiance, on the other hand, dreads group settings and gets very agitated every time she wants to go to an event together. She wonders what is so unpleasant for him about spending time with her and her friends.
Aug 07, 2015
Letters From Teenagers
00:58:09
In this episode, the Sugars take questions exclusively from teenagers. They answer two letters that get at the universal themes of adolescence — the sense of being alone, the fear of being left out, the desire to please others — and one letter from a teenager for whom outside forces have marked her teenage experience as different from her peers. The Sugars are joined by Tavi Gevinson, the 19-year-old founder and editor of Rookie, a digital magazine for teenage girls.
Aug 01, 2015
Dear Sugar: Do I Tell My Mom I'm Gay?
00:28:05
The Sugars take a question from a young man whose mother has metastatic breast cancer. He is spending a month back home in Kentucky over the summer, then returning to graduate school in the fall. He is wracked with guilt about not being with her, but also at the thought of her dying without knowing who he really is — a gay man in a family where homosexuality has always been condemned.
Jul 24, 2015
Love In The Digital Age
00:35:13
Love is complicated in the digital age. Many of us go online in search of connection, but those interactions often leave us feeling profoundly disconnected. The Sugars take on two questions that explore different ways in which we try to connect online - one from a married woman who finds herself caught up in an illicit relationship on Facebook, the other from a young woman who is obsessed with tracking her boyfriend's ex on Instagram.
Jul 20, 2015
My Best Friend's Wedding
00:36:32
The Sugars take a question from a young woman whose best friend since childhood is about to get married to a man she's known for only six months. The two friends are very different, and the letter writer worries that her impulsive, drama-prone friend is rushing into another bad situation. She wonders whether to confront her. The Sugars are joined by the author Ann Patchett
Jul 11, 2015
Dear Sugar: I'm An Undocumented Immigrant
00:26:50
In this episode, the Sugars take a question from a young woman who came to the United States as an 11-year-old undocumented immigrant. After years of uncertainty and limbo, she is now poised to become a citizen, but wonders how she can ever make up for the time she lost. The Sugars are joined by the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Ruben Vives, who grew up under similar circumstances.
Jul 08, 2015
Dear Sugar: How Do I Stop Lying?
00:27:32
The Sugars take on a letter from a young woman who is a habitual liar — telling her friends about imagined experiences of rape and loss. The lying always seems to happen at a moment of emotional connectedness, when the letter writer wishes to share her feelings of sadness and depression, but struggles to find the right language to do so.
Jun 29, 2015
How Do We Forgive Our Fathers?
00:49:13
We all know the narrative of the good father. That's the father we all want, but it's not the father we all got. The Sugars take two questions on fatherhood — from a new father who fears that his depression will be felt by his baby daughter, and from a young woman who yearns for a deeper connection with her distant father.
Jun 23, 2015
More Money, More Problems
00:38:42
Money makes us crazy. In this episode, the Sugars take questions from two letter writers struggling with complicated relationships to money. The first, an aspiring playwright, feels guilty about all the advantages that her parents' wealth has provided to her. The second, a divorced mother, is unable to control her spending and on the verge of bankruptcy.
Jun 13, 2015
Dear Sugar: Am I Too Young To Get Married?
00:13:29
In this short episode, the Sugars take a question from a young woman who is engaged to the man she's been with since she was 19. As a child of divorce, whose parents were married young, the letter writer knows that there are risks.
Jun 03, 2015
The Wounded Child Within
00:23:32
Are we ever able to fully let go of our past? The Sugars address a letter writer grappling with that essential question. At 68 years old, she is troubled to recognize that her life is still being influenced by her early experience with an alcoholic father. The Sugars are joined by a Freudian psychoanalyst, who also happens to be Steve's father.
May 24, 2015
The Land Of The In-Law
00:53:44
Entering into another family is like entering into another culture — with its own codes, expectations, and set of rules. Naturally, it's a situation ripe for conflict and contention. The Sugars field questions from two letter writers dealing with fraught in-law relationships.
May 19, 2015
Dear Sugar: I'm Sleeping With Younger Men
00:15:05
The Sugars take a question from a woman in her forties who lives a second life. She is known as a professional, PTA-going mom — but she's secretly sleeping with significantly younger men. She's beginning to question whether her behavior is healthy. Meanwhile, her "real" life is in a state of crisis.
May 10, 2015
When Friendships End
00:33:21
Friendships are different from any other type of relationship in our lives. They are purely voluntary, and so can feel more tenuous. Do you tell a friend if you are unhappy with the relationship, or do you just leave? And if you do leave, how do you break up with a friend? In this episode, the Sugars field questions from two letter writers who both feel exhausted by a friendship, and want out.
May 03, 2015
Former Hellraisers (Should We Share Our Past With Our Children?)
00:29:42
The Sugars respond to a letter from a woman whose teenage son has discovered her high-school yearbook — filled with stories of bad behavior from her past life. In answering the letter, the Sugars are joined by the poet and author Mary Karr, who has written three memoirs about her reckless youth and raised a son who was intimately familiar with those years.
Apr 26, 2015
Dear Sugar: I'm Bad At Breaking Up
00:15:23
In this short episode, the Sugars take a question from a young man whose ex-girlfriends have felt blindsided when he ended the relationships. He is questioning his intuition - having ended the relationships because he felt there wasn't a future with these women, but wondering if he just wasn't articulating his needs to them.
Apr 11, 2015
Big Love (Polyamory And Its Discontents)
00:43:51
The Sugars field questions from two letter writers in polyamorous relationships, facing two very different challenges. One woman is feeling guilty that she is taking more advantage of the arrangement than her husband; the other has fallen in love with her polyamorous boyfriend and now longs for monogamy.
Apr 05, 2015
Dear Sugar: My Brother Is Too Affectionate With His Boyfriend
00:11:35
The Sugars take a question from a woman whose brother has recently come out to the family. He and his boyfriend sit on each other's laps and kiss in front of the family - which bothers the letter writer's sister, who doesn't want to explain homosexuality to her two-year-old son.
Mar 28, 2015
The Hidden Worlds Of Guilt And Shame
00:31:32
Many of us spend huge amounts of our emotional resources hiding the things we feel guilty or ashamed about. In this episode, the Sugars field questions from two letter writers beginning to acknowledge some hidden shame - a woman who is obsessed with the time she spent caring for a sick friend and a woman who has spent 15 years uncertain if a sexual encounter was rape.
Mar 21, 2015
Dear Sugar: How Do I Survive The Critics?
00:27:13
The Sugars take on the pain that comes with being judged for one's work, and the ways in which we can learn from even the most brutal of judgments. They're joined by the writer George Saunders, who helps field a question from an author feeling crushed by first reviews. Saunders recalls his own first experience of being publicly condemned, which sent him down to his basement for three days.
Mar 14, 2015
The Family We Carry
00:37:10
The Sugars field questions from a new mother who walked in on her alcoholic father relapsing in her home, and from a woman grappling with how to be childless in a society in which parenthood is so revered. They're joined by the writer Elizabeth Gilbert, who made the decision not to have children.
Mar 01, 2015
Making Love
00:43:19
The Sugars celebrate Valentine's Day by fielding questions from a married woman whose long-dormant passions have been reignited by an old high-school boyfriend, and from a young woman struggling with whether to leave behind her cheating, closeted girlfriend.
Feb 14, 2015
The Deal Killer
00:40:03
The Sugars explore the deal killer — the thing that turns out to be the limit, that is too much for a relationship to withstand. They field questions from a woman tiring of her boyfriend's severe anxiety, a grieving young woman whose boyfriend is jealous of her dead ex, and a man deeply ashamed of his obsessive desire to make a woman pregnant.
Feb 08, 2015
The Two Stories We Tell
00:51:26
The Sugars explore the two stories we tell — the story of how we want to be seen, the public self, and the story of who we really are inside, the private self. They field questions from a feminist struggling to reconcile her stories in the wake of an emotionally abusive relationship, and from a twenty-something virgin who has spent her life letting her family write her story.
Jan 23, 2015
Dear Sugar: I'm Addicted To Painkillers
00:12:32
The Sugars take a question from a new mother who is secretly addicted to painkillers, but afraid that she can't be the mom and wife she wants to be without them.
Jan 10, 2015
Dear Sugar, Episode 1: Meet The Sugars
00:54:03
In the pilot episode, the Sugars field questions on a father’s infidelity, how many children is too many, and whether a relationship can survive when one partner is smarter than the other.
Dec 15, 2014