Marriage Be Hard
12 Conversations to Keep You Laughing, Loving, and Learning with Your Partner
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Discover the keys to upholding your vows while staying sane in this hilariously candid guide to relationships, from the husband-and-wife team of comedian Kevin Fredericks and influencer Melissa Fredericks
FINALIST FOR THE NAACP IMAGE AWARD • “Kev and Melissa are not afraid to tell the truth!”—Tabitha Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Feeding the Soul
Growing up, Kevin and Melissa Fredericks were taught endless rules around dating, sex, and marriage, but not a lot about what actually makes a relationship work. When they first got married, they felt alone—like every other couple had perfect chemistry while the two of them struggled. There were conversations that they didn’t know they needed to have, fears that affected how they related to each other, and seasons of change that put their marriage to the test.
Part of their story reads like a Christian fairytale: high school sweethearts, married in college, never sowed any wild oats, with two sons and a thriving marriage. But there’s another side of their story: the night Melissa kicked Kevin out of her car after years of communication problems, the time early in their marriage when Kevin bordered on an emotional affair, the way they’ve used social media and podcasts to conduct a no-holds-barred conversation about forbidden topics like jealousy, divorce, and how to be Christian and sex positive. (Because, as Kevin writes, “Your hormones don’t care about your religious beliefs. Your hormones want you to subscribe to OnlyFans.”)
In Marriage Be Hard, the authors provide a hilarious and fresh master class on what it takes to build and maintain a lasting relationship. Drawing on interviews with experts and nearly two decades of marriage, they argue that
• Compatibility is overrated.
• Communication is about way more than simply talking.
• Seeing divorce as an option can actually help your marriage.
• There’s such a thing as healthy jealousy.
Real marriage is not automatic. It ain’t no Tesla on the open road. Sometimes it’s a stick shift on a hill in the rain with no windshield wipers. But if you get comfortable visiting—and revisiting—the topics that matter, it can transform your bond with your partner and the life you’re building together.
Written for those tired of unrealistic relationship books—and for anyone wondering if they’re the only ones breaking all the rules—Marriage Be Hard is a breath of fresh air and the manual you wish existed after you said “I do.”
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
If you’ve ever wished that marriage came with an instruction manual, this is the book for you. Kevin and Melissa Fredericks have tackled tough questions about relationships on their hit podcast The Love Hour, and in this funny, helpful guide they offer a one-stop shop for all the wedded wisdom they’ve accumulated after nearly 20 years. Kevin and Melissa use humor, common sense, and loads of experience to let married couples know they’re not alone in their challenges. They share intimate and entertaining stories from their life together to illustrate some of the many ways that partnership can go wonky. (Like reading your spouse’s texts out of context. Big yikes!) Bedroom dynamics, jealousy, fighting, communication, parenting: Kevin and Melissa can help you talk about it all. Sure, marriage can be hard, but the Frederickses are here to help make it a little bit easier.
The Love Hour podcasters Kevin and his wife Melissa Fredericks dial up the laughs in their candid debut about the trials of marriage. "Staying married takes some serious work, and everyone needs as much support as they can get," they write, and to that end they draw on their relationship troubles to offer guidance on resolving marital difficulties. The authors recount how Melissa felt slighted after Kevin purchased a car without consulting her because he thought it would be "the manly thing" to do, and they counsel readers to be honest with themselves about their desires and to be transparent with their partners. On sex, they describe growing up "churchy" and believing that abstinence meant purity, a belief they suggest left them ill-equipped to build a healthy sex life, which they found requires "first knowing yourself and then revealing yourself." To improve communication, the authors provide such "relationship check-in" questions as "How would you identify yourself and the roles you play in your relationship?" and "Do you have unspoken needs that aren't being met?" The authors' humor ("Sex was God's idea, and what an idea it was!") and willingness to probe intimate details of their relationship ("I have felt devastatingly alone even when Kevin was right in the next room") contribute to the appeal. The result is a funny and deeply sincere look at improving one's marriage.
An insightful read
Such an honest, real and eye opening account of the amount of work it takes to be married and stay married