Liars, Cheaters, and Reuniting

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Welcome to BEING Studios Audio Reality®.

Meet Henri, 62, a Chicago native who is reconnecting with a son she put up for adoption 40 years ago. Will she be able to answer the hardest question of all: Why did she give him up? Meanwhile, as Gloria continues to delve into dating as a senior, she finds that her past trauma with liars and cheaters has left her in a place where she doesn’t trust easily — or at all.



Jason, Henri, Leah, Buzz, Chris, Deb, Gloria

Gloria  00:07

I’m Gloria. I’ve started this book about being single, but it’s also about sex and dating. He was the last person that I was in love with. And that ended because I realized or he finally fessed up to the fact that he was married. I wrote a dossier of our relationship.

Leah  00:30

Like a file, like the CIA has?

Gloria  00:32

Yes, because I gave it to his wife that I haven’t really read aloud to anyone and a long time. I’m thinking about maybe checking out some singles. Oh, my gosh, are you scared? You know, it’s different to do this. As a senior.

Buzz  00:49

My name is Buzz. And I recently moved out here to Los Angeles to pursue my lifelong dream of being an actor.

Gloria  00:57

A few months ago, a documentary crew started following us around recording our every move, navigating everything from family relationships, work, and more. There was always a story worth telling. And that’s what you’re about to hear. You’ll witness moments alongside us. And you’ll get into our heads. This is BEING Golden.

Henri  02:02

My name is Henri. I am 62 years old, originally from Chicago, Illinois. You looking really good every time I see you look better and better. That’s my son Chris. I live in LA, but I’m currently visiting him in Washington. How Sophie and the kids doing?

Chris  02:22

Kyoko starting, select soccer. So you know she’s excited about that. She’s moving up to the big girls team. So they got a couple of games coming up this weekend.

Henri  02:31

Did you tell them I was coming?

Chris  02:33

Yeah, well, no, no, I didn’t tell him I wanted to surprise them. So you know, we’re gonna, we’re gonna, we’re gonna just pop in on her/

Henri  02:40

I got a craft that I want us to do together as a family. I got all of these beads and things that we’re gonna do some family bracelets.

Chris  02:47

Yeah, Kyoko and Kiyomi are kind of now into jewelry making.

Henri  02:53

I’m a mom of five. But at 20 years old, I gave up Chris for adoption because I wanted him to have a better life and I was not in a good situation. And then five years ago he found me and we have been building a beautiful relationship ever since.

Chris  03:09

So you stay here and I’m gonna hop out and I’ll go get him.

Henri  03:14

One of the best parts about reconnecting with Chris and him finding me is not only did I gain a son but I gained four beautiful grandchildren. Chris and I have really developed a great relationship. It’s not without hurdles but it’s also had a beauty that I didn’t expect and I think mainly is because he’s found me when I was older is a more mature relationship. We can relate to each other on a much better level. What’s your favorite?

Buzz  04:57

This is Buzz, Deb is somebody that I I’ve known for over 50 years she and I dated when we were in our 20s, we had a tremendous relationship, and things just didn’t work out.

Deb  05:09

I’m out into the mountains again on Tuesday.

Buzz  05:16

Deb lives in South Carolina. Over the years, we have always talked about how do we rekindle this relationship. And people have always asked, Will they get together? Won’t they will they won’t that has gone back and forth. But it’s just never worked out. And the kids tell me about Michael.

Deb  05:34

He’s going to, the final two years of college.

Buzz  05:39

I mean, we’ve remained friends over all these years. She’s one of my very, very closest confidants and it’s strictly platonic. What did I do this week? Not a whole lot, a couple of really big auditions that I did for a couple of commercials last week. So those are still hanging out there. There’s been no decision on those.

Deb  06:01

And those are national?

Buzz  06:03

Yeah, those are not national commercials. Yeah. I don’t know I work it every day, I just try to work the system, I kind of went into a heightened anxiety on my side. And I got a little bit discouraged, so that I didn’t sleep for a few nights or, you know, a night here and there when I was losing sleep. And I go for a lot more walks, and I got go a lot more into my head, and I have to get out of that head.

Deb  06:26

Are you having any fun? Are you getting to enjoy LA?

Buzz  06:31

I’m seeing, you know, a fair amount of it. Again, it’s a matter of affordability.

Deb  06:35

There’s so many things you can do that cost nothing? I think that’s important. There’s some balance while you’re there. Because if you’re just there to accomplish something, then you’re going to feel more intensely. That’s not happening. Yep. Do you get lonely?

Buzz  06:56

I can if I let myself go there, if that makes sense. And there’s a couple of friends that I try to go see at least, you know, once or twice a month.

Deb  07:05

I mean, maybe it’s changed since I was there. But LA can be an empty place. So if you’ve got friends that you can have real conversations with. That’s huge. You know, I’ve always believed in what you’re going after and learning you need to do this. S

Buzz  07:23

I know you have been; you’ve been a cheerleader for a long, long, long, long time. You know, coming off a week that I’ve had where I have second guessed myself a couple times on, did I make the right move at the right time? I know that I had, I’d hit a low point, emotionally. And I just have to keep reminding myself that I’m just not going to be happier anywhere else. I keep the faith that this is exactly where I’m supposed to be. All right. Have a really wonderful evening. Thanks a lot, sweetie. I’ll talk to you soon this week. Bye.

Gloria  08:19

This is Gloria here. I’m doing a little writing tonight and decided to get on this app and see who’s texting me and his interested in me. You know, people send me comments about how I look and I seem fun and no one’s really clicked for me. There’s this one message I received. And it was from a friend of a man who was interested in me. And the friend was a younger guy. I’m assuming it might be his father. And I thought, oh, no, I’m not gonna do this with another man that I saw. I think he’s very handsome. He lives within 15 minutes from me. We’ve had a couple of exchanges. And I I’ve liked kind of going back and forth with him. But it’s, it’s interesting. It’s so different to date, in this day and age and to try to get to know someone on an app or to just really gauge it a lot on their looks at verse. I’ve had a couple of people asked me for coffee, but I’m not quite ready to take that step yet. But as I get better at this might be I’ll get bolder at this.

Henri  09:51

Oh, it’s beautiful out here, Gloria.

Gloria  09:55

It’s just, it’s pretty shady. I come here quite a bit just paint sometimes, sometimes I write, you know, but how was your weekend?

Henri  10:05

It was fantastic. I just got back from my visit with my son, Chris. And he just, you know, he’s like the best dad in the world. I mean, the kids are on him from the minute he wakes up until he goes asleep. It’s like dad, dad dad, and then the dogs there with him to try to get him to pay attention. And he’s just running the whole time, but he does it effortlessly. He’s so cool.

Gloria  10:31

I’m curious, does your son take after you in any way?

Henri  10:37

We have the same kind of personality. We like the same things. We laugh about the same thing. I think he’s hilarious. He thinks I’m hilarious.

Gloria  10:45

You know, it’s interesting to me that two people who have been apart for what, 40 years now that they could come together, and they can have this connection.

Henri  10:58

Our relationship is really great. But there’s also a lot we haven’t talked about, like, why did I give him up for adoption? What was going on in my life?

Gloria  11:07

But you gave him up at birth.

Henri  11:12

In the last five years that we’ve been building our relationship together, I’ve been waiting for Chris to ask me the hard questions. And he never has, it’s been something that I want. And I don’t know how to really approach it.

Gloria  11:26

So are you comfortable with saying why you decided on this, getting your son up for adoption?

Henri  11:36

I was just, I was really young. I already had a baby that was nine months old. My relationship with his dad didn’t work out at all. And I mean, I was only 19 at the time. So I just wanted him to have the best possible life. You know, and I knew he couldn’t have it with me.

Gloria  11:58

I’m sure it was a difficult decision for you.

Henri  12:01

I think Chris hasn’t asked me. Because I think it’s a difficult question for him. Even though Chris and I have this great relationship, there’s this brick wall there like a bridge that we haven’t crossed yet. The longer I go without having this conversation with him. I’m more anxious, because I know it’s coming. So the anticipation of this conversation is just getting really tough for me.

Gloria  12:31

I believe there’s no right or wrong way to do all this. I think that you take it as it comes. And it didn’t happen organically.

Henri  12:41

Yeah, I think it would be hard pretty much for anybody to want to know. But I don’t know. So I’ve been struggling with that a little.

Gloria  12:53

You’re good. Your space is so peaceful and

Leah  13:24

How long have you been here?

Gloria  13:25

Seven years? I’ll probably die here. Hopefully not tonight.

Leah  13:29

Not tonight for sure. Well, have you talked to any of these app guys?

Gloria  13:37

Not yet. My attitude toward the apps is just I think they’re a little awkward.

Leah  13:47

How was writing?

Gloria  13:49

Well, the portion of Bob is thick. We had this world when romance, it was very intense. Remember me telling you about the dossier? Well, this is the dossier.

Leah  14:08

Can I look through it?

Gloria  14:09

The dossier that I put together was a collection of photographs of Bob and I very intimate as far as you know, just sweet pictures of being together. And it also includes text messages between Bob and I. After I put the Bob dossier together, I talked to my one of my closest friends. We went decided to call Bob. He met me at a bar while I was meeting him for a drink. My friend went to his home, presented the dossier to his wife and she was really, really shocked by all of this, and asked my friend to drive her to the bar where Bob and I were meeting. And even though I had never met her or seen her, when she walked into the bar, I knew it was the wife of Bob. And she came over and she was very sweet. She thanked me for having the courage to tell her. So I left. But it was interesting that he called me on the phone a few minutes later, and said, well done, Gloria. But you know, I will always love you. To which I just hung up the phone.

Leah 14:10

God, how is this gonna go into your book? Do you think like, do you have? Do you have any writing that you wrote? Like, at the time of going through?

Gloria  15:57

There’s a whole section here that the emails, the conversations we had after I found out the lies he kept telling. And then my final letter to him.

Leah 16:12

Oh, my God, can you read me that final letter to him?

Gloria  16:19

Bob said, I still think of you as the only person I want to sleep with touch, travel, and experience daily events and new things with I am truly sorry about being such a fuckup, truly sorry.

Leah 16:31

My God, Bob was a piece of shit, Jesus.

Gloria  16:34

Yes. I responded with, why are you telling me this so that I have hope of you choosing me? So that I hope that we will be together and live happily ever after? You’re not sorry, you’re simply coward. You see, the man that I fell in love with does not exist. He was kind, gentle, loving. He was a man of strength and character. He was a man who had breeding it back was Yeah, man. I think I documented it pretty well documented, the hurt, and the anger. And all those things you go through. When you’re that disappointed. I cut those losses very quickly. You cut them out of your life, and you go on with your life. But it doesn’t mean you don’t remember at all. The hurt never goes away. I do not pretend to even know who you are. I know nothing of you. How sad that I cannot think of one thing that was not a lie. All I can say to you at this point is you have no concept of love. You will never have a heart that could possibly love anyone but yourself. It is far too late for someone like you to change.

Leah 17:50

Oh my god.

Gloria  17:53

I miss having that kind of love in my life. Maybe what’s emotional is that it’s the, it is part of their aging process that I probably will not have that again.

Henri  18:32

Hey, babe, how you doing? I’m doing alright. I kind of had a I went to see an apartment today. And it’s really cute actually to bed. Since I live in Los Angeles. Most of my conversations with Chris have been over the phone. It isn’t an ideal way to build a relationship. But we do what we can. So what’s up, how and you and the kids doing?

Chris  18:55

The kids are our cool, guys in New York right now, actually, right now on his eighth grade trip. He’s having a blast. Not much old White people stuff.

Henri  19:05

I love the phone. But I’d like to see him more. So like last time I was there. And we started talking about the vacation trip. I was thinking maybe we could do like a four day.

Chris  19:19

I think Sophia and the kids myself; I think will enjoy that. Like I said, the more time we spend together, the more everybody just grows together in that experience.

Henri  19:31

You know, I’m still trying to build on my relationship with you and what you just said, do you feel like we’ve progressed to a certain level, since we first met?

Chris  19:43

When we first met five years ago to now the relationships definitely a lot stronger and it gets stronger every time you come to visit.

Henri  19:54

It really kind of I don’t know. It’s kind of like, I know that I can’t make go up for the time. But I do feel now that you’re in my life to make the best of all the time, you know that we have left, but I just, I want our bond to get stronger.

Chris  20:15

Yeah, no, definitely. Yeah. Like, don’t feel like you’re not doing enough. I think the relationship we have is organically developing. So there shouldn’t be any pressure that you should do more. If it was me, and like I, you know, we’ll get my child up for adoption, and I liked the child finds me like I would do, you know, everything I could to be in that child’s life. And I think you’re doing that. For Mikey Yeah, like, I have a ton of questions, a lot of questions.

Henri  20:48

How come you never ask them?

Chris  20:54

I think I just figure the more times, we see each other, that relationship can build to where I’m, like, really comfortable, which is asking you out the blue questions I have, you know, I’m still working to processing it all, actually, you know, because I don’t deal with emotions. Normally, you know, I mean, I really don’t even deal with them, period.

Henri  21:25

I just want you to know that if it’s ever anything that you want to know, outside of what we talk about, and I know you got a lot of questions. I’m just always here to answer them for you. And I hope you know that that’s coming straight from my heart is real.

Chris  21:40

Yeah, definitely. I appreciate that. So maybe next time we can kind of have more in depth, conversation. You know, I’m just trying to, I think we’re all still in process. And we’re all figuring it out together.

Henri  21:55

I know it’s time to have this conversation. I know. Chris’ has got some questions. He wants to get some things off his chest. And I want to give him the answers and get some things off my chest as well. Okay, love, I’ll let you get some rest. I love you.

Chris  22:09

Okay, I love you too.

Buzz  22:30

You look spectacular. You always look spectacular. Is that the coast out there? See all the way to the water?

Gloria  22:39

I think so. Buzz and I have become really good friends in the last few weeks, kind of like brother and sister. We tease each other a lot. I think I tease him more than he teases me. Buzz is a perfect person to kind of get me laughing and not taking myself too seriously. So what do you been up to just do little writing. And I’m kind of reading through some old stuff or read through a little bit today with a friend.

Buzz  23:12

Did you have to dust anything off to get to certain pages?

Gloria  23:16

You know, I had to carefully turn some of them. Because I hadn’t read it so long after Bob. But reading it again, brought up all those emotions about love and trust and betrayal and how we react to those things. And you had all that with this guy. And at some point, I just thought, Oh, God, he’s too old to be a cat and cheetahs run around this and that. I really thought it because of the age thing. Surely he gotten that out of the system. So yeah, now I’m at a point where I guess people can cheat until they die. Yeah, it’s sad. When I think about the pain I went through in my last relationship. Maybe that’s it’s probably why I’ve been dragging my feet on even wanting to connect with someone. You know, I’m 71 years old. Do I really want to put myself out there and go through that kind of pain again. So what do you do? Have you ever had anyone like that? You trusted and found out you couldn’t?

Buzz  24:36

No, I really haven’t. I mean, you hear every heartbreak song on the earth about people cheating on this one and cheating on that one and no trust on this end and no trust on that end.

Gloria  24:47

So you never cheated?

Buzz  24:51

If there are barriers, does that also indicate that you have absolutely no trust in all men? Is that the case? Do you start out judging that you’re not going to trust them.

Gloria  25:04

I don’t listen, all men cheat, but I think a lot do. And when I made a man that I’m thinking about dating, it’s on my mind. I don’t think I would very trustful of a man.

Buzz  25:25

When I hear Gloria talk about the barriers that she’s put up to dating, yes, she’s obviously been hurt. I’ve had my heart broken. I think everybody’s had their heart broken. If you haven’t, I don’t think you’ve lived. The only thing that I worry about in that situation is how open she is. To lowering those barriers.

Gloria  25:47

I’m not gonna, I’m not ever gonna go through what I went through with Bob again. You know, that’s the wall.

Buzz  25:54

You believe all men or you believe all men are basically cheaters?

Gloria  25:59

Yeah, I think 90% had cheated one time or another.

Buzz  26:13

That’s the point. You know, you may have to dig a little deeper, but there are good guys out there. And to just cut them all off. I’m not sure that’s really the right thing.

Henri  26:52

Hey, babe, how you doing? What are the kids doing in school?

Chris  26:57

Yeah, they still in school, they got like, three more hours there.

Henri  27:02

I’ve really thought almost every day since I met Chris, about this conversation. I never prepared what I was gonna say. But I go over it in my head a lot.

Chris  27:16

Oh, it’s crazy, man. Because I don’t know when to go to sleep because I gotta be up at one in the morning. So like, oh, slept this morning. I didn’t even know I existed. Yoko came in. She said, Dad, I think somebody’s ringing the doorbell.

Henri  27:30

We have a lot to go through. I’m anxious. And I’m excited. But I’m also a little bit scared. I’m apprehensive because I don’t know how he’s gonna feel about the answers that he gets. What if my answer isn’t good enough? And so I wanted to openly you know, just ask, is there anything that you really just wanted to ask me and you avoided it or any?

Chris  27:59

I think it would be. It would be why you chose to give me up for adoption. And I’m only asking that because like that current, I have kids now. And so I just couldn’t.

Henri  28:24

Imagine? That was my initial thing that I always wanted to talk to you about. Because it was I mean, I was 20 years old. And I was engaged to his dad, we were happy. I thought I was going to have a family. I thought I was going to be a good mother. And then I found out that his dad was on drugs. And for me that just cracked my world. And I felt like everything just came tumbling down on me. I was literally at school when my water bag broke. I was coming in. I literally just turn right back out and went to the hospital. I did not know what I was literally going to do. And to that day.

Chris  29:18

I can’t like put myself in your shoes and like I haven’t like tried to, I just try to like what was that process for you?

Henri  29:28

I was in labor. And I’m like, okay, my child needs the best survival possible. I asked to speak to a nurse. I said, do you do adoptions here? And she said, yeah, we do them and they make everything seem so beautiful. You know, they told me about the family, like the education level of them and all his stuff. So I wanted him to have the same chance of a good life that I had as a kid. I thought a two parent family was going to be the best thing that could happen to him, the adoption people, they came up there and they were like, no, don’t see the baby don’t have them in a room with you. And one of the other nurses kind of like looked at her. And as she says she wants to hold her baby. And so I just held you. And then when they left, I sneak, and I nursed you, I had heard that if you breastfeed your child, then they would always find you, that there will be a connection. And so I always believed it, you know, I always believed that he would find me. I kind of felt like I was just lending out my love to somebody else for a while, and then I would get it back. I wasn’t thinking about myself, I wanted him to be happy. And he could not have been happy in the situation that I was in.

Chris  31:08

Well, I always knew in the back of my mind, I was like, what my parents who got to be, who they were, but I never like had any feelings of resentment or anger toward you put me up for adoption, I always felt that it was for a reason that that was probably out of your control. You know what I mean? So I never like really had any resentment, or still any resentment. You know, like, like, your situation was different. You were way younger, right? And you already had a baby. So like, I can’t.. There’s a lot of emotions. But I feel good that we’re reconnecting on our relationship. And I think it has a bright future for all of us, myself and my family and kids. It’s not the […] but, you know.

Henri  32:16

I’m really relieved that Chris has been very empathetic about the reasons that I gave him up for adoption. And we got a lot more conversations, and I’m just looking forward to having all of them. I love you. And I’m glad we had this chance to talk in this gonna be more talks. But I’m glad you’re accepting of at least because this is like I said, a conversation that we never had before. And I’m glad.

Jason  33:01

Hi, Gloria. I’m Jason. Nice to meet you. How’s your day going?

Gloria  33:06

Pretty good. Today, I am going on my very first meetup with a man that I met online. And he seems very nice. It’s just, it’s something that I haven’t done in a long time. Are you a musician?

Jason  33:24

I do sing. But professionally, I’m a bass player.

Gloria  33:29

My first husband was a bass player. But I divorced. My last love relationship. He was married.

Jason  33:47

Yeah, my last. And it was a long four year relationship. And I didn’t see it coming.

Gloria  33:55

I’m not sure where this is gonna go. I think there are things that are part of me and my little qualifications that I worked through, but I’m definitely willing to stick it out and see where it goes. My sister’s wife’s name is Helen and they have been together for years and Helen is celebrating our 100th birthday in two weeks.

Jason  34:19

Well, please tell your sister congratulations.

Gloria  34:21

I will say you don’t know this guy but I liked him. He was very nice. And he said to you. Please, please come to our wedding.


BEING Golden is an audio reality original from Lemonada Media’s BEING studios. Executive Producers are Jessica Cordova Kramer, Stephanie Wittels and Kasey Barrett. Our co-executive producer is me. Sele Leota. Our segment producer is Mariah Gossett and our associate producer is Greta Stromquist. Liz Lipschultz is our Story producer, and Millee Taggart-Ratcliffe Is our Story consultant. Scott […] is our audio supervisor and field recordist. Additional field recording by Kurt […] and […]. Mix and sound Design by Ivan Kuraev and Bill […]. Our music is by Signature Tracks. Special thanks to Providence St. John’s Health Care Center and Rough Improv. You can find us online at Lemonada Media and connect with us across all social platforms. For a list of current sponsors and discount codes for this and all other Lemonada Media series. Visit If you liked what you heard today, please tell your family and friends to listen and subscribe, rate and review us on Apple, Spotify and wherever you get your podcasts. Until next time, thanks for listening and thanks for BEING.


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