The Volokh Conspiracy

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"Strangers on the Internet" Podcast Episode 21: Second Marriage in the Second City

Neuroscientist Prof. Talia Lerner and former military sniper Phillip Nightingale talk about their unexpected relationship


The twenty-first episode (Apple Podcasts link here and Spotify link here) of Strangers on the Internet with co-host and psychologist Michelle Lange features a conversation with married couple Prof. Talia Lerner and Phillip Nightingale. They are our first guest couple, and Phillip is our first male guest altogether on the podcast.

Northwestern University neuroscientist Talia did not think that a heavily tattooed former military sniper would be in her romantic future, and yet that is how the dating app process shook out in the end. Phillip proved to be the interesting, open-minded, poetry-writing partner that would turn into a capable stepdad to her son and involved father to their subsequent daughter together. Our Chicago-dwelling couple came from different socioeconomic classes, ethnic backgrounds, and religions, and via therapy and solid communication forged a path toward what became a happy second marriage for both of them.

How did Phillip abandon his plan to travel the world and instead navigate becoming an academic spouse? And what were the reasons Talia agreed to add a third child to their family when initially, Phillip criticizing her parenting of her oldest kid on a first zoo trip together almost led her to call it quits on the relationship? Follow us to the Midwest for this modern-day love story you don't want to miss!