Episode 1: How to make a relationship work when you divorce one brother and you fall in love with the other

 Episode Transcript 

Episode 1: Terry and Rosalie
Kanu: Welcome to real love, real stories, the podcast. A place where couples share their love stories. This is Kanu, and I am the host. Thank you so much for tuning in, you’re listening to episode 1. And in this episode I am talking to Terry and Rosalie. Enjoy their love story.
Kanu: You know the podcast is about real love, real stories and so I want to hear your story. First of all, how long have you guys been together?

Terry: We’ve been together for about 16 months
Kanu: 16 months okay. So this is 16 months in a relationship, but what about total like how long have you known each other?

Terry: We've known each other for probably about two decades.

Kanu: Two decades, okay. That's actually a perfect segue into my next question, how did you both meet?

Terry: Oh well as it turns out Rosalie was Once Upon a Time married to my brother. We met
when Rosalie married my brother at my mother's house if I'm recalling correctly...

Kanu: Is that about right Rosalie?

Rosalie: Uh, no. But it was close. It wasn't exactly that day I mean that sounds like super awesome and scandalous but we actually met in 1997, we met and then I got married a couple years later. At your [Terry] mom's house.

Kanu: Oh so you met him was it right at the time of the wedding or somewhere around then…?

Rosalie: We met a couple years before that. He lives in Michigan,  me and my ex-husband lived in California. So we would come out and visit like a couple times a year I think. I probably had met Terry you know a couple of times it's not like we were very well acquainted and so we met a little bit before the wedding I guess I would say.

Kanu: Okay so maybe we should put a little bit of context into this. Like you said, it's not as scandalous as it sounds. So maybe speak to a little bit about how you were married to his brother and now you two are together. Can you put a little bit of context as to what happened there a little bit?

Terry: Oh well I can speak to that a little bit I think, Rosalie can help to flesh this story out. My brother is largely estranged from my family, by his choice and so when he and Rosalie parted ways you know we had known about that here in Michigan but hadn't really stayed particularly close. Of course had I known Rosalie better at the time probably would have made more effort but as you know as it turns out you know that they had a parting of ways and then Rosalie sort of lived her life in California I lived my life in Michigan. We didn't meet again for many years later when Rosalie found me on Facebook and said ‘hey I'm gonna bring my kid to Michigan to meet some family members, can you kind of help me out a little bit with that’ and I said absolutely and then we just started chatting from there and things kind of grew.

Kanu:  I love it

Terry: I should add to this story that in the meanwhile I became divorced from my wife as well that's been about six years again

Kanu: Oh gotcha. It was around the time so when Rosalie was married to her first husband, you were also married to somebody else,

Terry: That is correct

Kanu: and then the divorces kind of happened close together. A couple year difference or something?
Terry: Yeah I think well about five or six years ago for me and Rosalie 13 or something like that

Kanu: Okay that Rosalie anything you want to add to that? I always like to hear you know from the guys perspective and then from the lady perspective, if anything you want to add to that...

Rosalie: Yeah no I mean I think that Terry has it pretty accurate. We were just kind of living our lives separately but I probably had a more friendly warm relationship with my in-laws than I did my husband turns out. So you know there was one brother in particular out of the family that I kept in touch with and was very close to and he passed. So when I saw Terry on Facebook a couple years later, you know I have fond memories of my in-laws and I always got along fine with Terry and when we connected. I didn't know he was single it wasn't one of those kind of you know reach but I wasn't reaching out for any reason other than ‘hey you know like let's catch up it's been a long time’. And then when we started catching up it was like we just had a lot of things I don't know if I'd say in common, but we have a lot of similar quirks or there were just a click that wasn't expecting and I don't think Terry was expecting either.

Kanu: That's so cool so I like how you started talking about the in-laws and stuff. Can you speak a little bit about how the family handled that? Because you divorce one brother and now you're dating the other brother so usually I can only imagine that doesn't go quite well.  I would love to hear from you what that was like.

Rosalie: Well what I can say is  luckily for me, much of Terry's family is kind of estranged from each other. We have a couple of sisters in-laws that know and they've been like you know two thumbs up really cool about it. And then of course we have some common nieces which makes things a little funny, and they and they've been very supportive. I have two daughters and they just think Terry's super cool and he has two daughters that I don't know if they think I'm super cool, but they definitely seem to be tolerating the situation.
Kanu:  That's awesome. You mentioned you both have kids you know from your previous relationships so Rosalie what do your kids call Terry and then Terry what do they call Rosalie?

Rosalie: This is this should actually this should entertain a few people. My kids, because they both are very cheeky and they have my sense of humor, they call Terry uncle dad. Which Terry seems to enjoy greatly.

Kanu: Uncle dad, I like that.

Terry: My kids just call Rosalie, Rosalie. I think that that's their comfort level. So yeah that's what they have adapted.

Kanu: Do you have any terms of endearment for each other?

Terry: Terms of endearment no. Probably the typical stuff like babe and darling.

Kanu: Yeah? You call you call him darling Rosalie?

Rosalie: I'm not quite as fluffy in that. I do, I mean I think you know we are like the typical. He's right you know, nothing out of the ordinary. You know babe honey that kind of thing. I am not super creative when it comes to that stuff so I just pick up what's ever in the vernacular and go with that.

Kanu: Okay and then I wanted to find out what is the one quality that you like of the other partner.  Like Rosalie what do you like about Terry and Terry what do you like about Rosalie?
Terry: Oh that's easy she’s completely fearless. Nothing fazes her and anything I suggest she's like yeah we can do that.

Kanu: That's awesome I love it. What about you Rosalie?

Rosalie: Uh well I think I probably like the fact that he is more grounded and more practical than I am. So I am the one that says sure let's do it, let's go for it. I’ll suggest things and Terry's more like let's take a pause and let's think about it, you know let's act like adults for a minute. So it's kind of a good balance to my ‘I'm ready to do anything at a moment's notice’.  He has that in him but he likes to kind of be a little more practical and it's probably good for me that he is that way. But he's also very playful and he's very tolerant of my crazy behavior and weird notions and so I think he's very patient.

Kanu: Oh you know what, that's one thing that a lot of people are lacking. I know I'm lacking in
that area I'm not very patient so kudos to you Terry.
Terry: She keeps accusing me of that but faking it well so far I guess.

Kanu: On the flip side of that, what is the one annoying quality about each other that you put up with that you probably wouldn't put up with each other if you were not so in love?
Terry: Well we haven't discussed Rosalia's penchant for changing the radio station every five seconds, but that's one thing that we probably need to have a discussion about in the future.

Kanu: That's awesome what about you Rosalie?
Rosalie: Well now I'm gonna feel like a jerk because mine's actually a little bit more intense than the radio station. Which is completely made up by the way because you don't let me touch the dials, I dont know where that's coming from. What I would say about Terry is that the one thing that is a challenge for me is that I'm very unregimented. I just kind of go with things and he has a structure in his life and it makes sense. It's what you would see with someone who's been a bachelor for a number of years. God bless him, I come to visit and I'm always nervous that I'm leaving like a mess behind me because he's been very clean and orderly and it's a wonderful quality but it drives me batshit crazy.
Kanu: I wonder how that's gonna be when you actually are living together full-time. I don't know how often you go visit or he comes to visit, so I wonder what that's gonna be like when you're like actually living together full-time.

Rosalie: I think he's gonna loosen up a little bit.

Kanu: And he's patient like you say right?

Terry: Right absolutely.

Kanu: There you go. What would you say is one of the secrets to your relationship? Like what makes it successful and think about the people that might be listening, like what advice would you have to people in regards to how a relationship should work?

Terry: Well you know I think we've been kind of making it up as we go along so far. But what's really worked is that both Rosalie and I think, if I can speak in her behalf briefly, is we have a very strong position of being non-judgmental. Doesn't mean that we're going to always agree with what the other person says. We will not will accuse anybody of some moral wrongdoing for having a certain type of feeling or position on something. It's really a matter of you know I'm willing to accept her 100% how she is, she's willing to accept me a hundred percent and that goes a long way because then you can have some really deep level trust when it comes to communication. You can feel that you can open up and you know of course communications really have to connect at the center of it all. So that's what I would say is they have a feeling of openness and mutual acceptance that goes a long way.

Kanu: Yeah I really like that a lot. I mean you know because you're two different people getting together and if you were getting into a relationship with judgment and based on what you feel and maybe your belief system I mean that can derail a relationship pretty quickly. I think that's really awesome. Then just to share a little bit about why I'm doing this podcast is that I'm a single person and I got to a point where I got frustrated and you know maybe one might say that I am not patient enough to like wait to meet that one. So I wanted to hear from both of you one from you Terry a guys perspective and then from Rosalie from the woman's perspective. Just in terms of like what would you say to somebody like me who is searching for that one.

Rosalie: Um well I think that the the big thing I mean I don't want to go too big and get out of control here, but I think that women especially have a pressure on them. Were programmed from an early age, from when were little girls, that basically your whole goal in life is to end up with a partner. Because you're supposed to you know, find a man or you know nowadays a woman whatever, find a partner and have some kids. It's like a status symbol and so when you are middle-aged as I am if you are unmarried I probably get asked several times a year why I'm not married because suddenly that's a big deal and that's how I'm seen in the world by what my marital status is. You know it is kind of something people judge me on.  I reject that and it irritates the heck out of me because I think that what it does, is it has women primarily more so than men really focused on external goals. Like achieving a certain relationship status and I think that it also encourages women not to look inside themselves or to value every relationship you have I have a lot of love in my life and even as a single person before Terry was in my life. I had you know there's friendships, there's family and there's co-workers. There's love everywhere but we placed such a you know bounty on a romantic love that women often think the only love that matters is that of a mate. That's my soapbox so I think that the best thing that a woman can do is not chase after anything or anyone. I think for me you know Terry's the last person, I mean let's look at how we know each other, he's the last person I thought was gonna pop up in my life for a million reasons. One is he lives across the country but you know I wasn't looking for a relationship with Terry. I think I can speak for him, he wasn't with me either but we just started experiencing a beautiful connection and we just kind of let it go from there so I would say as a woman who's not attached in the world, I would say you know really get to know yourself get to know what's important to you and you will kind of not notice that there's not a romantic partner sitting right next to you. That tends to be I hate to say it, but kind of when all of a sudden someone pops up and you think oh let me check this out. So that's my big soapbox rant but I would say chasing is not the way you want to really dig yourself. The people that are surrounding you will be people you dig as well. Who knows what the connections can be, but you know love doesn't have to be a certain way. It doesn't have to be romantic, it doesn't have to be a partnership, it can take all kinds of forms. So I think if we don't shut ourselves down to that and we just say open you know a lot of things can happen.
Kanu: Ya I like that a lot and I you know you kind of spoke to some of the things that I experienced as a single person in my 40s. I got married one time, got divorced and then you know on-and-off dating since then. And I don't have kids so people look at me and they
go you know ‘you're so beautiful’ or ‘you're so educated’ or you know whatever that labels it put on me and then they ask me like why aren't you married. You can't find anybody? Like I mean it's really coming from a place of concern but at the same time and the other thing is like you don't have kids you never wanted to have kids. I get where it's coming from and I respect that but at the same time when you're hearing it from all different angles it just to me it's heartbreaking because I feel like maybe I haven't quite satisfied what everybody is expecting of me. Then it just becomes this you know I started to say poor me poor me you know?

Rosalie: And I think it's important that you know I reject it in my life. I don't think that I attached my status in the world as you know what my relationship is based on. But I have grown women friends who are my age and older are actually kind of, I don't know if it's jealousy or what, but there's kind of a pissy-ness like a competition. Like there is a thing that exists where women really don't want to see other women happy. It's like they're more comfortable with me when I'm the single mom in the group or when I'm you know this or that and it's like you know I'm not buying into that crud anymore. I'm making choices in my life that makes sense to me and it doesn't have to make sense to anybody else it's not like I had an easy road to get here. You have to do a lot of self-discovery, you have to commit that you are number one, not your partner. I mean I hate to say that but you have to feel whole and complete yourself because partners come and go. That's just how it is, people leave, people get sick, people whatever. So I think the most important relationship is really with yourself and you know I got to the point where I just pretty much tell people you know if they asked me why I'm not married you know I'll turn around and say well why are you married.

Terry: Yeah we've all made that decision anyway

Kanu: That is so funny. Okay so what about you Terry from your perspective?

Terry: Well you know from the male perspective you know I think Rosalie is really onto something. She calls me a unicorn so for what it's worth on it, I never wanted to live a life that was defined externally you know. I wanted to find a partner who said let's live this life together and who cares what anybody else thinks. So you know one of the things I found so attractive in Rosalie lately, is she was like ‘I don't care what anybody thinks you know I like you you like me let's make this work’. You know the marriage that I was in previously, I always felt that there were so many other external influences. You know we had to do things certain things, we had to be a certain way and it was a certain lifestyle. I just wanted to give up on that pressure so you know what I'm looking for in my life right now as somebody who thinks I'm pretty cool and I want to be with somebody that I think is pretty cool personally and then you kind of create your own context and make it grow you know. I think that's where we're headed and and you know what that's what I liked so much about Rosalie is she belonged to herself first.

Kanu: Oh I love that very much. Thank you for sharing! I’ve never met you both in person but I can definitely tell that there's some really strong love between the two of you! Again I want to thank you both so so much for being a part of my podcast and sharing your love story.

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Kanu Jacobsen