You know, I never imagined writing non-fiction. Certainly not about divorce and relationships, and certainly not about me, personally.
But from a very young age, I did dream about writing a book.
I kind of thought some super-cool novel that everyone wanted to see made into a film would be the neatest version of that, but sitting here on the cusp of turning 43, nine years removed from those unforgiving, tearful, vomity early days of divorce, I don’t have the vocabulary to properly explain how much gratitude I feel about everything that’s been happening.
I’m proud of the personal growth I’ve gone through over these past nine years more than anything, but a very close second is the creation of this book. Today “This is How Your Marriage Ends: A Hopeful Approach to Saving Relationships” hits bookstore shelves, and readers’ front porches in North America for those who preordered the book.
On April 7, 2022, we will do this again in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and probably some really cool places I don’t know about.
For those of you who have followed the blog for a long time, you might recognize some of the stories, and certainly most of the themes, but hopefully in a new, improved, (slightly) more mature way, enriched by other people’s stories that bring to life so many of the things we’ve talked about on this blog.
Side Note: Welcome to MatthewFray.com
Welcome to the new home of the blog.
I know that new things are weird and different, and sometimes difficult to like at first. I hope the much-improved user experience and aesthetics eventually wins you over.
This site will be a living, breathing thing subject to evolve and change as this author and Other Things journey takes us wherever it’s going to take us.
Thank you for being here.
Get Your Copy of This is How Your Marriage Ends
I’ve tried really hard to never ask you for anything on these pages. I think I encouraged you to donate to charitable causes a couple of times.
So if I’ve earned any goodwill in all of this time, I’m trying to use that now. I’m not afraid to tell you that I really would like this book to be more than some fleeting thing no one gives a shit about only to rot in sadness and be forgotten sooner than later.
If the ideas we share here have ever resonated with you or connected with you, please consider getting a copy. Please consider gifting a copy. Please consider telling a friend or family member.
I can’t thank you enough for your support and encouragement through the years. I believe very strongly that you guys saved my life, and you’ll find language in the Acknowledgements section of the book that says exactly that.
Thank you for being part of the most important, inspiring, growth-inducing conversations I’ve ever been a part of.
Things are going to be a little different moving forward, but nothing about the spirit of this work will ever change. I hope you’ll stick around for the ride.
Metaphorically speaking, I may just be tall enough for it now. Love you guys.
14 thoughts on “My New Book Gets Published Today and I Really Hope You’ll Buy a Copy”
Dear Mr. Fray,
At the risk of sounding psychic, I would like to make a prediction. You are about to hit the Big Time, achieving immense fame and fortune with your book. Sounds great, right? What could go wrong? Well, Richard Bach, author of “Johnathan Livingston Seagull” (boy, does that date me!), once wrote about being blindsided by the repercussions of his massive life change. He asked (paraphrasing) “Why hasn’t anyone written a book about what to do when sudden celebrity and wealth happens”? I think that it will happen to you because when I read your interview in Salon, it touched a chord in me, and I Immediately bought 2 copies of “This is How Your Marriage Ends”. Multiply my response by the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, and you’ll never be anonymous again. Pardon the mixed metaphor, but you’ll become a regular guy caught in an unrelenting spotlight while simultaneously swimming upstream against a powerful current. On the plus side, though, you’ll be able to buy yourself a Jay Leno size fleet of Jeep Grand Cherokees! I hope you will do well. Stay safe, and please consider writing the users manual for instant stardom I’ve suggested. Thank you for learning from your divorce experience, for your amazing honesty for writing your present book, and most of all, your time spent in reading my message. That time is about to become very valuable.
A Concerned Fan
If I was your wife I would leave you too. Next time hire a cleaning lady. I need to talk to your wife. She didn’t leave you over the damn dishes unless she’s a cleaning lady. There is no way hell I will buy your book. My god man what a SAP. Your just a loser!!! I can’t believe I read your blurb in the Atlantic. I spend the last 45 min tying to find your email to tell you what a bumb you are. Your better off being divorced if your getting left cause you don’t care about dishes in the sink. You should have thrown the dishes in the trash then. I’m amazed at what a loser you are. God damn. L O S E R. Remain single. Don’t ever date.
Hey. Thanks Jerry. This is a really nice, thoughtful note. I’m so flattered you spent 45 minutes hunting down my email just so you could leave this comment that I can delete any time I want. I ALSO can’t believe you read the blurb in the Atlantic. There were some big words in there. Congratulations?
Hot damn Jerry. You are totally bang on…at missing the point completely.
Doh! How did I miss this?
Glad it’s still alive and active!
This blog has really served as a place for growth and community.
It will always carry weight and value for me.
I didn’t realize this book was only freshly published when I bought it after seeing an online reference to the dish blog. How bad would it be to use a highlighter on each page emphasizing the things I have repeatedly said before giving the book to husband of 33 years? I call the daily abandoned coffee cup: leaving it for someone else to clean up an SEJ (someone else’s job). Thank you for this book. I hope my husband can read and understand and turn things into YMJ (yes, my job).
I bought your new book. I’m a 65 year old man who has been married to the same woman for 39 years. You’d think we would have figured it out by now. Matt’s book was very helpful. I never realized that I was invalidating my wife. Good information for marriage and it’s especially helpful from a man’s perspective.
Interesting that your story reflects much of what psychologist Toby Green wrote about in her book “The Men’s Room A thinking man’s guide for surviving
women of the new millennium”, she wrote this book in 1999, and what I have learnt from reading her book is that nobody teaches men how to be, it is almost like this secret society that exists. I wish I had been able to develope the skills that Toby wrote about.
A self published book from here I wrote back in 2014 sort of starts up this way with the fatal flaw being not rinsing plates off
Hi Matthew, very interesting insights in your book and a nice summary in the latest issue in ‘The Atlantic’. Yes, I totally agree we need to be aware of and be RESPECTFUL of our partner’s needs! Even if those needs are hard to understand, after all WE might have some needs that are hard rationalize, explain, and may even seem silly! Many times, both parties have a hard time understanding and verbalize those needs and frustration over those unmet needs not being met comes out in unrelated ways. For example, a long-term relation ended “Because I did not take out the garbage on Thursday.” “But I work out of town on Wednesday and Thursdays, I am not here!” Obviously, there were other unmet, unspoken, needs that were coming out in unrelated ways. However, I do have an observation, sometimes there are ENDLESS needs, the partner is just not happy with your and no matter what you do to please them, they will never be happy, maybe it is just the way they are. 🙂 Also, it is time to ask yourself “Why do I put up with, even enjoy, this abuse?” 🙂 Again, great book. Keep it up! Robert
Hi Matt, I just finished your book in two days. I came across the Atlantic article earlier in the week and reread multiple times over the course of 24 hours before taking a chance and downloading your book. See, I was actually hesitant to do so, not because I didn’t enjoy your article and think I’d find your book helpful, but rather because I was afraid that it would instead push me two steps backwards in what feels like a carnival Ferris wheel of endless rotations and stops which you can never really get off of. Not sure if that makes any sense but the thing is, I am or was your wife. I first read the article with my mouth gaping wide. As I told my therapist the following day, it was like an author who didn’t know me, saw and heard me more clearly in however many words infinitely more so than the man I had committed the last fifteen years of my life to. Every example, every explanation, it was like you had been spying on the years and years of endless pleading, begging and despair I have endured simply because I chose, I won’t even label good or bad, just simply the wrong man. And here I am, two days away from my 40th birthday, two small children, a divorce filing and for the first time in my life the prospect that I am alone. And yet the crazy thing is and one that I had come to realize and which you YOU, not my husband, validated for me, is that despite the wedding rings, the shared last name, the fancy family vacations, I’ve actually already been alone for a good portion of these last fifteen years, I was just so determined to make myself believe otherwise. Thank you Matt for your book, for your words, for your self awareness and vulnerability. Thank you for restoring my faith that there are good men out there and that at the end of the day, it is still better to be alone with yourself than in a relationship with someone who perpetually denies and resents your loneliness in order to avoid any culpability for contributing to that very feeling in the first place. I’d like to say I dream of my husband reading your book and having some kind of aha moment or epiphany. But just like your wife, I’m already bled out.
Jodi- Just like you, I, too, felt as if Matt had been spying on my marriage without me knowing it. He hit every single nail squarely on the head! I wish you nothing but the best possible happiness as you move on in your new life.
Matt- Your writing was an eye-opener for me. I thought I was completely crazy, but your posts helped me realize that I am not the only wife out here thinking and feeling the way I have for about 26 of the 31 years I have been married. I read every single blog post you wrote and then went out and bought your book the day after it was released. Just finished reading it tonight. SPOT ON. I have been telling everyone I know to check out your blog and buy your book. I tell them, if they don’t want to end up like me- separated and headed for divorce- to read everything you wrote and act on it. Unfortunately, it’s too late in my case and my 31 year marriage is ending, but please keep up the good work and may God bless you for sharing your story and helping others.
I confess, I have not read the book, only a blog post and the interview in the WSJ. While I agree with the fundamental premise, I disagree men are responsible for most divorces and that men don’t respect the little things. Just as in “are you afraid when the elevator door opens” one can only really speak from your own perspective. As hard as you try to empathize and mentally change places, you can’t really feel the same experience. My marriage fell apart because my ex-wife acted very much as (I believe from my more limited exposure) interacted very much as you suggest men act. Though she was more active in her control. She told me the music I liked was terrible and I was stupid for listening to it. She ignored my attempts — as weak as they were — to talk about things. She countered everything with some negative comeback. She fought – overtly or covertly – many things that were important to me. I am not perfect and always accept my responsibility in our divorce, but it was far more not sticking up for myself and forcing conversation than not respecting her views. I’d say the opposite, I tried hard to respect what she wanted. I supported her career change which dropped our family income but she wouldn’t respect mine. It happens both ways is my point. How do you avoid this? Listen, engage, talk, respect. In counseling, I said I just wanted to be heard, understood and respected. I didn’t want to always have my way but wanted respectful engagement. My ex was incapable of this. and, if you know your partner finds it hard to discuss feelings and frustrations (as it is for many men) help them. If you sense they want to talk, encourage it. Be open, even if it sounds like criticism, ask questions, don’t reject but embrace. Try to understand where its coming from. You don’t have to agree, but the voice needs to be heard. Assume the discussion is coming from love and a desire to move forward together. And, a final thought back to the elevator. Too often I read female authors write about what men think and what men want. My ex used to say “what you really mean is ____” I can tell you that she was wrong 100% of the time. What I meant was exactly what I said. Women who write “what men think” are always wrong. Perhaps just a little wrong, but they are not men so they cannot so assertively present the male thought without it passing through a female lens. If we all opened our mind to the simple fact that our perspective is always jaded by our position – which you bring up in the Elevator post — we would be far better off.
I’m sorry that you were married to someone who seems to have treated you the way I too often treated my wife in my marriage.
I’m not talking about it in a biological way, and I’m sorry the WSJ couched it that way because I was VERY deliberate in my responses in that 90-minute interview which they pared down to that.
What I’m saying, good sir, is that if you lined up every man and every woman on earth, a greater amount of men would exhibit this behavior than women. In a math way. A statistical probability way. Not because of gender or biology. We can simply observe it.
I don’t frame things the way you seem to have interpreted.
I’m very sorry your marriage went as it did. I posit that it did so in many ways because your wife had the same poor habits and lack of self-awareness that I did.
I’m sorry that it happened to you.
Thanks for taking a moment to come here and share your experiences.
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