Dear Sugar Radio

Dear Sugar Radio

United States

The cult-favorite advice column is back, this time speaking straight into your ears. The Sugars, Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond, take on all your questions — no matter how deep or dark — and offer radical empathy in return. *New episodes are released weekly.*


When Bad Things Happen  

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.

Do I Wait For My Ex?  

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.

More Money, More Problems  

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.

Am I Too Young To Get Married?  

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.

Former Hellraisers (Should We Share Our Past With Our Children?)  

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.

The Infidelity Episodes, Part 4: The Other Woman  

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.

The Infidelity Episodes, Part 3: Esther Perel  

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.

The Infidelity Episodes, Part 2: The Betrayers  

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.

The Infidelity Episodes, Part 1: The Betrayed  

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.

Letters From Teenagers  

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.

Dear Dad, It's Over  

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.

Career Vs. Love  

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.

Rapid Fire: Inbox Outliers  

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 her own sister.

Love In The Digital Age  

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.

Baby Or Bust  

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.

Haunted By Ghosting  

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.

Location, Location, Location  

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.

Sexual Fluidity  

"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."

Friends With Benefits, Foursomes And Other Messy Relationships  

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.

Sibling Rivalry  

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.

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