Introducing My New Book “This is How Your Marriage Ends” Now Available for Preorder

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I like the book cover. I hope you do too. (Image/HarperOne)

On January 17, 2020, I was sitting in my office cubicle wrapping up another workday in corporate marketing. Before shutting down my computer, I checked my personal email and saw the subject line “TIME SENSITIVE coaching request – NY Times reporter wants to feature you.”

I had experienced some attention from large online publications in the past, had been invited on a handful of podcasts and radio shows, been mentioned in a couple of books, and certainly from the viral blog post She Divorced Me Because I Left Dishes by the Sink. But this was different. As a former newspaper reporter, I was like: “Holy shit. The New York Times.”

What even happens when the New York Times features you?

I had no idea. I guessed that I might get an increase in requests for coaching services, and that seemed cool to me.

Over the next couple of weeks, Times reporter (and book author) Jancee Dunn and I had a series of phone interviews. They seemed to go well. I was told the story would likely run sometime in March.

As you’ll no doubt remember, March 2020 is when COVID emerged as a whole damn thing in North America after beating up a number of other countries on its slow march toward the rest of us. A bunch of NBA players walked off the court and pro basketball was suspended indefinitely. Actor Tom Hanks and his wife tested positive for the virus while in Australia.

Then a bunch of things we historically take for granted like bars and restaurants and hair salons closed, and—BAM—it’s a global pandemic, and in the context of life disruption and news coverage, we were collectively experiencing the biggest news story of my, at the time, 41 years of life.

And even though it strikes me as a little bit cringy and selfish now, I remember having the thought a week or so later: Figures the New York Times would reach out to me, and then the biggest news thing ever would happen, ensuring that no one will ever give a shit about some divorced idiot writing things on the internet.

Jancee from the Times emailed to tell me they were going to hold the story. Made sense.

Then something funny (not ha-ha funny, more ironic-funny) happened—people were quarantining together, romantic partners and families, and for the first time in everyone’s lives, most people weren’t getting the space, time away, or diverse social and professional interactions with other people that they were accustomed to.

Everyone was relying on those they lived with for everything.

In the mathematics of everyday life, we inadvertently hurt one another with our words and actions. We do that even when we spend most of the day Monday through Friday away from home. But when all of that stopped? When everyone was locked down together? The instances of hurt, anger, sadness, resentment, trust erosion were happening at an exponentially higher rate than ever before.

The editors at the New York Times thought late May was the perfect time to run the story, which was super-inconvenient since I hadn’t yet shed my quarantine weight. Not only did the pandemic not lessen people’s interest in the subject matter I write and talk about, but it actually increased it in a counterintuitive way that I never saw coming.

On May 18, 2020, the feature story about me and my coaching work ran in the New York Times digitally, and it ran in the print edition on May 21.

Within 24 hours of the story hitting the Times, I was invited onto Ryan Seacrest’s radio show, I had appointments scheduled with several television producers, and I had book agents and talent agencies reaching out to me.

My life hasn’t been the same since.

I signed on with Creative Artists Agency within a few days. Two weeks later, I received a life-changing book contract offer from HarperCollins along with a few international contracts in Europe and Australia, and it’s been a bizarre but mostly pleasant rollercoaster ever since.

This is How Your Marriage Ends: A Hopeful Approach to Saving Relationships

(Preorder your copy for a March 22, 2022 delivery.)

I kept my day job until I could afford not to, then I took the leap in late September 2020 to be a full-time book author and relationship coach.

I borrowed bits and pieces from blog posts that captured certain ideas. I shared new personal stories about my own life and, with permission, the lives of several of my coaching clients. And to the best of my ability, I attempted to lay out the way I believe good people are inadvertently bad at relationships. I attempted to tell the story about how two people who genuinely love one another can erode trust in their blind spots, slowly papercutting their marriage or long-term relationship to death.

I wish I knew how to measure this book. I wish I knew how to say just how good or average or bad it is to properly manage the expectations of anyone who might care to read it. A handful of people have read it. They claimed to like it. My editor called it “tremendous,” and promised he wasn’t exaggerating. I hope he meant it.

But still. What will really matter is what it will or won’t mean to the people in the fight. The husbands and wives and boyfriends and girlfriends and fathers and mothers. Maybe especially the mothers, because of how much they invisibly give.

I wrote this book for my ex-wife. For my son. For my mother and father. For my friends. For my clients. For you.

One guy born and raised in the Midwest, accidentally sucking ass at marriage, but insisting that anyone who thought so (there was only one) was a little bit dumb and a lot bit wrong.

And I think that might be most of us. Miscalculating what our words and actions (or lack of) might do to the minds and hearts of our romantic partners. Failing to notice how a bunch of stuff happening or not happening in our blind spots is breaking trust with the people closest to us. Drifting apart. Slowly slowly slowly. Moving away from each other until our bonds are too weak to hold.

It’s rarely about character. It’s occasionally about trauma and mental/emotional damage from our youth. But it’s almost always about our habits. About the things we do and say and feel on autopilot each and every day, with little to no awareness of what it’s doing to our partners and families. Of what it’s doing to ourselves.

About how we serially invalidate the experiences of those we love. About how we defend our character when the real problem is our behavior. About how we fail to love and respect ourselves in healthy ways. About how we fail to know—to REALLY KNOW—the people we claim to love the most. About how we fail to consider them each and every day when we make choices. About how we often don’t notice how lonely and neglected and abandoned a person feels when they’re made to feel so unimportant that we don’t even make it a priority to include them in our everyday decisions.

This is how your marriage ends.

And I think we can do better. With more awareness. With better habits. With improved relationship skills.

I hope this book can deliver that for someone. Maybe even several someones.

Thank you so much for your support here through the years. Ultimately, none of this happens without you. I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to thank you enough.

40 thoughts on “Introducing My New Book “This is How Your Marriage Ends” Now Available for Preorder”

  1. Matt,
    That is awesome news!! Congratulations! I believe your book will have a big impact.

    1. Thank you very much, Rebecca. I very much want people to like it. Pretty nervous about that part of it. We’ll see. Eight more months to go.

  2. Congratulations. I remember years ago when you and I used to email a little bit about this, soured relationships, where we went wrong etc. So glad to see God has blessed you to take this crushing thing from your life and turn it around into something that could greatly help others. Truly good works. Wishing you well Xoxo

    1. This is really nice of you. Thank you so much. I hope life’s been good to you and that you’re doing well. I appreciate you saying hi.

  3. I am in that space of cognitive dissonance, absolutely joyous for you while absolutely fuming because for generations, women have been expressing (screaming) the exact same things you have now been credited for “figuring out” and making what you refer to as “life changing” gobs of money [sic]. I hope the irony is not lost that this is what happens in business meetings, where a woman will put forth a brilliant idea only to have it be repackaged and credited to the guy in the room. But congratulations.

    1. I completely understand that reaction. I say that all of the time to female clients. “You know, all I’m going to do is more or less say the same things you’ve been trying to tell him for years. He’s just maybe going to listen to me because he’s not going to feel as if he’s being attacked or needing to defend himself when I’m the one saying it.”

      I’m just trying to be part of the solution. It makes sense to me that you’d feel angry at the idea of being unheard for many years.

      Maybe some day when I’m all grown up I’ll have what some might consider “gobs” of money, but it would be cool of you to not be imagining that today. “Life-changing” means I was able to leave my job and not starve for the next few years, but unless I find a way to make a career of this, I’m going to have to crawl back to office work someday if this doesn’t work out. And it’s scary. But also, worth it.

      1. Well, I placed an order for your book before I saw your reply. I hope that makes my comments more palatable. And I appreciate your validation of my sentiments. 🙂 Again, all the best and thank you.

        1. You don’t have anything to tolerate or be understanding about. You’re talking about a very real thing that has always adversely affected you and has never adversely affected me.

          Until I got divorced by being an asshole. And THEN, eight or nine years later, you could make the case I’m being rewarded for it.

          It has to be annoying and offensive to those who have suffered.

          I appreciate both your frank honesty and your support. I hope you feel that the book advocates for you and the values that matter most to you.

  4. I wish you the best. Your Honesty paid off. I think you’ve already made a difference. Good luck!

  5. Proud of you, Matt!
    I wish we could all turn our divorces (and other shitty shortfalls) into a guiding light for others. I can hear Penelope’s frustration (previous comment) and I feel it too. Thank you for being the male ambassador that women need, however unintentional. We (most of us) appreciate you and your message… which I share with my circle at every opportunity I get.

    1. Thank you so much, Kirsty. I heard Penelope’s frustration too. And I get it. Still plenty of shame triggers sharing all of these old marriage and divorce stories in the book and to clients. It never stops feeling bad. But, the tradeoff is trying to do something that matters. I know you get it. I’m so grateful for your long-time support. Thank you.

  6. V Manassero Maat

    I am so damn happy for you!!! Preordering because you showed up for me when all I wanted to do was die.

    — Victoria


    1. Hey Victoria. I don’t know exactly what you mean by that, but I’m hoping that indicates you’re feeling more like yourself again, and that you’ve gotten through the darkest times. Thanks a million for preordering the book. It’s unbelievably exciting to me to have this opportunity. I hope you’re as okay you can be.

  7. Hi Matt, congratulations. You deserve all of this success and more. I’m so happy for you.
    Perhaps you can give seminars to men only and enlighten them to look at things differently.

  8. Congrats on your book! I hope to buy it when I’m able. Sad my marriage just ended a month ago. Your advice is ON POINT! Wish I could have convinced my husband of that. Best wishes. Keep doing what you’re doing. Hopefully you can save someone else’s marriage. ??

  9. Congrats on the book Matt!

    Let’s hope a millions of men hear your message!

    Also, let’s face it, you got random marriage proposals before but you will get LOTS of weird and wild marriage proposals after your book comes out. Maybe your son can pick one out for you like the kid did for Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle. ? (next book: Accidental Asshole Recovery: the 12 step guide towards becoming Tom Hanks good at relationships)

  10. 8 or 9 years? Has it been that long? Cripes! I had no idea I’ve been following you off and on for so many years!

    Matt, you have morphed into a lovely person. I’ve learned so much from you. Thank you for so many years of your vulnerability and ownership. Looking forward to reading your book as an ebook waaaaay down here in Ecuador.

    1. That’s right. Just over eight years of blogging. About 8 1/2 since my marriage ended. It’s pretty wild how fast it goes.

      Really nice sentiment. This notion of morphing into a lovely person. That’s what this chapter of my life was supposed to be about, varying degrees of success depending on the subject, but I’m certainly proud of the mental and emotional work I’ve done RE: relationships.

      Thank you so much for reading and for your long-time support.

  11. Congratulations! Amazing! But also… of course. You’ve always had a way of thinking about the difficult things and then saying what needs to be said in a way that is both straightforward and lovely. I’m so glad this is happening for you. And for the rest of us who now get to read your book.

    1. Thank you, Jen. It means a lot coming from you. You’re an especially wonderful writer. It’s great to hear from you. I hope your family is well.

  12. Eight years ago I came across your blog while searching for ways to save my failing marriage. I remember what it felt like reading your posts and thinking, “this guy is writing about me!“ I also remember thinking about how much the world could benefit from knowing about your blog. It looks like that is finally happening and that is awesome! I can’t wait to get my copy of your book.

    1. VINCE. I remember, sir. All of it. You were one of the first guys to get real and share all of the shit they were dealing with in the comments. The end of a marriage. The situation with your family. I remember you having kids. Maybe four of them. It meant a lot, and continues to, that you were willing to share your life with the rest of us.

      I trust you’re in an infinitely better place and that life is treating you well. It’s awesome to hear from you.

  13. Can’t believe it’s been eight years. You’re right about a comment you said above, it’s nothing new, but coming from you (an unbiased male), your thoughts and ideas have made an impact. My partner and I were able to get back together thanks to some of these realizations about empathy, understanding, and that the little paper cuts are in fact a big deal.
    BIG congrats to you. Can’t wait to read it!

    1. Thank you so much, Lisa. That’s really nice to hear about the reconciliation between you and your partner. I hope you’re very well and that life is being good to you both personally and professionally. It’s so nice to hear from you again. Thank you for the well wishes.

  14. Dear Matt,

    Woohooo! Big congratulations to you! I’m so excited about your new book. I’ve already preordered it.

    A little over 4 years ago, I remember asking hopefully if you planned to write one, and you said yes, and I’ve been looking forward to it ever since. And here it is at last! I cannot wait to read it and buy extra copies for others who will be sure to enjoy it. You continue to give wonderful perspective with your healing words and it means the world to me.

    You pinpoint painful places and offer genuine insight and life-changing practical solutions with lovingkindness, which makes you an amazing counselor, teacher, and guide. And now you are a bonafide book author! I’m so happy for you!

    May God continue to bless and keep you and yours safe, happy, and well.


    1. Not a big-enough heart emoji available. So please just imagine a really really big one.

      Thank you so much for the support and kind words, K. Flattered and grateful.

      1. You blog is well written and you are expert at bringing humor to the most serious of human frailties. That’s a gift they most don’t have. Enough people will love your book, and you will definitely be proud of yourself and your work!

    1. Mike. Thank you. Did you order the UK version? We just recently got the new cover finished for that one. I think it’s nice. It’s really crazy watching the different international versions of this come together. We most recently learned there will be an Italian version, in addition to the German and Dutch versions as well. Pretty incredible to me.

      You’ve been an active, meaningful contributor to the comments here. You know more about relationship dynamics than I ever will. I’m truly grateful for the time and wisdom you’ve invested here.

      Thank you so much for preordering them book. I hope you like it.

      I hope to be actively writing here again soon. It feels like it’s time.

      Please have a wonderful holidays, Mike.

      1. And the same to you! Honestly, I don’t know if it’s the UK edition, I preordered it on on kindle…

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Matt Fray

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