Start Here

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Hi. I look like this. Cute-ish after a few stiff drinks.

Hi. I’m Matthew Fray, but most people call me Matt when they’re not calling me “talented and brilliant,” or a “stupid hack blogger who sucks.”

I write about marriage, relationships and divorce a lot because after my nine-year marriage ended, life got really hard for a while—even regular things like breathing and sitting still. That experience, combined with how much I didn’t like my parents’ divorce when I was little, keeps me writing things down.

Some people like it and say it helps them make sense of current and former relationships.

I tell people about my marriage and divorce because sometimes it helps others recognize similarities in their lives and relationships. Maybe they will make better choices than I did.

I believe divorce is the biggest social crisis of our time. Helping people understand how they accidentally sabotage their relationships and providing people with relationship skill-building tools is the thing I have to give.

I’m not a doctor. I’m not an expert. I’m not particularly smart.

But some people say that the way I write things helps them grasp and understand ideas in ways they previously had not.

The things that destroy our relationships work like cancer. Like people who used to smoke a pack a day or work with asbestos on construction sites with little to no understanding of the dangers, I think most people want their romantic relationships and marriages to be happy and last forever, but end up getting sick from things they didn’t recognize as deadly. Some people come back from that. For others, by the time they detect the problem, it’s already too late.

But we raised awareness about the dangers of tobacco use, and now fewer people use it. We raised awareness about the dangers of asbestos, and now people wear proper protective gear when working with it.

So too will it be with relationship health. NOTHING affects our lives quite as profoundly as our closest relationships with the people we share homes and children with.

With enough awareness, maybe we can prevent many of these bad things from happening.

It’s a fight worth fighting.

Here Are Some Ideas That Help People Overcome Relationship Problems and Pains

Some readers have been with me from the beginning.

But maybe today is your first visit, which is either awesome or horrible depending on just how shitty your life feels right now. I’ve been there. It was very bad in the early days following divorce.

That pain is what launched this place. The scars and memories are what keep it going.

I’ve written more than 600 posts here at MBTTTR. Some have been read by a few dozen people and my mom. Others have been read several millions of times and published in a bunch of languages.

There are a handful of articles I’ve written that seemed to have a profound impact on readers. Many of these were based on ideas which had a profound impact on me. Like, mind-blowing, wake-up-from-The-Matrix-level profound.

Maybe you’ll find something useful. Or maybe you’ll think it’s all a bunch of next-level bullshit. Only one way to find out.

Read These Awesome (or Possibly Sucky) Articles:

She Divorced Me Because I Left Dishes by the Sink

  • Read 4 million times here, and several million more in other places
  • Several readers said this post saved their marriage
  • Other readers said it was bullshit and that I’m a moron

Is Your Spouse Hurting You On Purpose?

  • I think intention matters
  • This post contains a deceptively simple trick for discovering your partner’s intentions
  • The comments section of this post contains awesomeness

She Feels Like Your Mom and Doesn’t Want to Bang You

  • Super-common problem reported by wives who lose sexual interest in their partners
  • A conversation starter RE: the link between sexual attraction and feelings of respect
  • Great title on this one

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands

  • There are actually 14 posts inside, like a Russian nesting doll that hates divorce
  • These make lots of sad wives cry
  • In Vol. 13, I discuss masturbation in marriage, and I often wonder what people like my mom or friends or coworkers who read that think. Publishing that took more courage than usual

Why Couples Always Have the Same Fight

  • Most couples have the same fight over and over again and it really sucks when you’re in the middle of it
  • HOWEVER, I was really happy when I realized my wife and I weren’t the only ones
  • If you recognize The Same Fight happening while you’re in it, you can break the cycle and save your marriage

Safety and Trust in Relationships: Those Words Don’t Mean What You Think They Mean

  • This post is geared toward men, and part of a series of posts I called The Things We Don’t Teach Men
  • This idea is probably more important than you think
  • Bonus points if the headline makes you think of “The Princess Bride”

The Power of Understanding

  • Unless you’re married to a psychopath who is secretly plotting evil things, most fights and most pain felt in those fights are a result of simple misunderstandings
  • Yes, I meant that, because it’s true: You don’t understand each other even though you speak the same language
  • Maybe this can help you bridge the divide and feel less confused or angry

Is He The One?: How to Know Whether You Should Marry Him

…..

About MBTTTR

Must Be This Tall To Ride is a metaphor for not being good enough. We all feel inadequate in certain situations or with certain people. It’s a bad thing and no way to live.

I think about, talk about, read about and write about the human experience as I see it in an effort to live better. To stand and walk taller.

I can be better today than I was yesterday. And I can make that same choice again tomorrow. I hope you will too.

It’s awesome that you’re here. Thank you.

Subscribe to MBTTTR

You can subscribe to this blog by scrolling annoyingly far down this page past the comments and enter your email address under “Follow Blog via Email.” I typically post once or twice per week, and will never spam you. You can also follow MBTTTR on Twitter and Facebook.

429 thoughts on “Start Here

  1. latenightblond says:

    A man comfortable with himself and his choices, happy with his marriage and his happy wife – and yet so deliberately hostile and rude… I find it both surprising and curious that you’re on this site, drawn to this subject, and invested enough to respond – not once but twice. After reading your comments I find myself wondering if you’ve had a bad experience that still clings, if you simply like to argue or if your wife is as happy as you present her to be. You sound bitter with a well honed edge to the ax you’re grinding. I wish you peace to go with the happiness you say you have.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jeff Strand says:

      I’m not bitter, I just hate to see so many guys today getting a raw deal. Getting the message out to them to avoid feminists like the plague is going to save a lot of decent men from a lot of misery and agony. I mean, those poor guys today are brainwashed into thinking they’re Neanderthals if they don’t want to tie themselves down to a brassy, sarcastic, easily-triggered feminist who will analyze everything they do for signs of misogyny – and who has spent years riding the c*ck carousel and collecting a few STI’s along with all that experience on their knees.

      So these men need to be de-programmed. Take the red pill, so to speak.

      I guess stating the case I am making boldly, and in an unapologetic and straightforward way, comes across to you as hostile because you’re used to hearing from mangina and white knights who put feminists on a pedestal. That needs to stop too.

      Good luck to you.

      Like

      • Tisha says:

        I think you’re a sensational example of what he writes in his blog. It takes a big man to put someone else first. I certainly haven’t met one and I’ve been married for 26 years…lucky guy!

        Like

  2. Felicia says:

    Love your stuff dude.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. karyn says:

    who is this jeff strand guy is he for real?

    Like

  4. Kelly says:

    I believe Jeff is “for real” but I hope this comment section will eventually realize that nothing you say to him will change his mind and the only way to get him to stop is to stop responding to him completely. The mentality is such that you kind of have to start treating him like a child.
    Also, go CAVS!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kelly says:

    I may or may not have cried a little.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jeff Strand says:

    If you think the Cavs was something, just wait till the Fall when the Cubbies win it all…for the first time since 1908! They’ll be dancing in the street down on Rush Street!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Kim says:

    I’ve read your entire blog…in one night, last night. I so badly want your epiphanies to be my husband’s. I’ve cried and hoped for years my good guy would recognize all the great things our life together has to offer. I am a wife who realizes today I am married to the old you. My marriage is over and I’m the only one who knows it. The hope I’ve held onto for so long is gone. I’ve also withdrawn of physically intimacy. Divorce has NEVER been an option for me. For better or for worse. I meant it. I realize letting him go will be the last sacrifice I make for my marriage. I hope for him to find a better him, so as to not repeat the same mistakes. We’ve been together 20 years, married for 8. He is asking for a divorce. Too add specifics would be redundant for you and your readers. Actually, I think I feel some relief now. I really want to thank you for making me realize he will not recognize his role in this mess until it’s over. I hope your valuable insight is found by all the husbands and wives out there struggling to find a better marriage before it’s too late. Your advice really is an outline on how we all should treat one another. Thanks again…Best wishes to you Matt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kim….I could have written this very same comment; only difference is the years: 25 together, and married 14 years for me. Divorce war is ongoing still 11 months and counting.
      Thank you Matt….you are an inspiration. May men be enlightened by your raw honesty. ♥

      Liked by 2 people

      • Matt says:

        Thank you for taking the time to say so, Chrissy. I hope you’re okay and that things settle for you soon.

        I really appreciate you reading and commenting.

        Like

    • Matt says:

      Apologies for the delayed response, Kim. I’m having a lot of trouble keeping up anymore.

      I know how hard all of this is. I get to sit in this comfortable place now, and be totally distracted by “regular” life happenings, but I swear to you, I remember how suffocating it can all be. You sound relatively well, and I hope that’s really the case.

      Divorce is hard.

      I think when we do things the “right” way, we expedite the healing process and get to the place where we’re just… living again.

      Best wishes to you Kim.

      Like

    • hulagirl1955 says:

      Kim, I hope you are still hanging in. If he hasn’t found anyone else, then there is still a chance for reconciliation as long as hope is alive. Divorce is not freedom or a road to happiness; it’s a fence and a wall. You are quite right – he will realize it but since you honored your vows, you are a covenant-keeper. Let your faith glow. I wish you love.

      Like

  8. sewheeler06 says:

    latenightblond,

    I aspire to write like you, so clearly and thoughtfully. Thank you for your kind wisdom.

    Sarah

    Like

  9. Maranda says:

    I love this blog Matthew. Your blog was like reading my own life unfold. I’ve been married almost 5 years and everything you write about hits so close to home. Thank you for writing his blog. It is is very insightful and very well written. I love the style of writing you do and it was a joy to read. I wish you much happyness in your life and thank you again for the great read.

    Like

  10. Maranda says:

    Very nice blog

    Liked by 1 person

  11. […] **See more from Matthew Fray on his website. […]

    Like

  12. Jen says:

    Matt,
    Your blog is amazing, and I relate to it so well, except my husband really does NOTHING to help. I’m the one that’s outside cutting grass, putting baby furniture together (before our son was born), painting the house with the help of his mom, etc. He’s very lazy, but also chauvinistic. He’ll say things like “that’s women’s work.” I sometimes wonder if there’s really any hope for us, but your blog gives me hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Michele berry says:

    I’ve been googling for months, trying to find something that would help me to help my shit husband understand what I’ve been trying to tell him. Although I keep screaming the same things in my head over and over, he just doesn’t get it. I won’t go into specifics at this moment. I just wanted to say that your blogs are verbatim what I’ve been trying to say. I was so amazed and thrilled that you have shared this powerful blog.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Alys says:

    My husband is reading this right now and I think it is really speaking to him. Thank you for writing from a man’s perspective since it is so hard for some husbands to hear these things from the wife’s mouth. Now I have to decide if I’m in the apathy stage yet… lol

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Ale V says:

    Thank you so much for this blog! Cried the whole way through.

    Like

  16. Valera1602 says:

    everyone should marry who they want by freewill or free choice but then, it’s their own fault if it doesn’t work out. and divorce should be forbidden, like in old times, so people would have more respect for the santity of marriage and family! Only in extreme abuse cases divotce should be allowed or in case of fornicstion outside marriage. This is the way God and our Creator and Lord Jesus Christ wants it. What God has joined, no man should separate.
    Womrn be women and men be men. If everyone would keep his role and their duties properly and treat each other woth reespect and love, understsnding, patience and stop beeing so selfish, and keep their word and promises, divorce would not be any issue.

    Liked by 1 person

    • latenightblond says:

      And in a perfect world that might be true – the last part that is, after “treat”. Do you think divorce is something new? If so, you need to read that bible you have again. I’m sure there have been marital problems pretty much since marriage started, since it involves – gender, age and culture aside – people. But this is clearly an imperfect world full of imperfect people (some of whom, like yourself, can’t spell or use spell check) trying to (in the most part) deal with it. And they’re here, like me, trying to do that better, with more understanding.

      Like

  17. Quinn says:

    Okay, I just about managed to scroll to the bottom without getting dragged into a troll-baiting argument with Jeff. That would have been a wholly unproductive use of my time and would probably have ended with me slamming my laptop shut in despair so I’m glad I dodged that trapdoor… He’s everywhere! Omnipresent Jeff.

    ANYWAY! I’m obviously late to this party, but I like your blog! Nice to meet you Matt!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      Many thanks, Quinn. I read a couple of your posts. You’re a talented and funny writer.

      Thanks for being real and human. The world needs as much of that as possible.

      Cheers from the States, miss. #Smithwicks

      Liked by 1 person

  18. The Angel says:

    Hi Matt,

    Did u read the book, games people play by eric bern? If not, it would be great to read your feelings and thoughts about the book in general and also in context of marriage and things you mention on the blog… thanks

    Angie

    Like

    • Matt says:

      I haven’t, Angie. Is the book especially meaningful to you in some way? Is it one of the books that’s impacted you the most?

      Or do you simply believe it applies to things being discussed here?

      Like

  19. Nicole Perry says:

    I think your article about the husband leaving the glass next to the sink just saved my marriage .. thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. monaresa says:

    So much of what you say resonates with me. I love that your blog isn’t all about blaming the other person and making them out to be the bad person; as so many blogs about divorce are. Great blog!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Matt says:

      Hey! I just shared one of your posts last night on Twitter because it was outstanding and steeped in hard truth.

      This one: https://convincingchaos.com/2017/02/27/the-stuff-no-one-tells-you-about-divorce/

      So good. Thank you for writing it.

      Also, thanks for sending this note. I could tell from your post that you went through the same cycle that I did, only I don’t know where you are in the timeline.

      I’m just a few days away from completing Year 4.

      Each year has gotten substantially better than the year before, minus the parts that involve our children.

      Thank you for saying hi.

      I’m going to give myself a reminder to share your post on FB later (not a huge audience – sorry), but it definitely deserves more eyeballs.

      I can’t tell you how important I think it is for people to see, read, hear, and feel other people who know the same hardships.

      The raw power of that “I’m not the only one” feeling is — to me — incalculably significant.

      So, again, thank you for putting your insides on display.

      It matters.

      Liked by 2 people

      • monaresa says:

        Thank you for this. And thank you so much for sharing. I’ve been divorced for almost 6 years and yes, it does get better as every year goes by.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Matt says:

          And you can still capture all the things like they just happened yesterday.

          I don’t know whether to be sorry as a fellow divorcee, or jealous as a writer.

          You’re very welcome for sharing. I thought it was particularly good. If everything you write is like that, many people will read it one day.

          Liked by 1 person

  21. Cyndy Jaramillo says:

    Matt,
    YOU are the most awesome writer. I cannot stop reading your blogs. It’s like you’re a secret therapist, helping me get through this shit show of a marriage. I wish and hope that I can eventually find someone like you to live the rest of my life with after this divorce.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      Too kind. I’m so sorry you’re going through all the shit right now.

      Don’t try to find someone like me, please. Just be an amazing you and the person who deserves and fits and complements you will just happen.

      Rooting for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Dawn Marie says:

    Wow, Matt!! I’ve just discovered your blog, and everyone that I’ve read so far is right on target! You finally got it — although I’m sorry it was too late for your marriage! Did you have a female brain transplant!? :-) I’ve been married 32 years (20+ in marriage counseling!) trying to make it work. I’ve discovered that our childhood plays a huge role in our marriage–I’m oldest of 5 siblings w/alcoholic father who physically/verbally abused my mom, and my mom who was/is wacko and physically/emotionally abusive to us! I wound up being the rescuer which caused me to be a codependent–constantly fixing, planning, going over the boundaries. My husband was diagnosed w/ADHD (which he won’t admit & obtain treatment) and is transferring unresolved anger issues from his mother/father’s relationship onto me–overcontrolling mother who meant well (gave good milk, but kicked over the bucket!) and a low-key/unmotivated father who basically ignored his wife. I keep saying our relationship is like oil/water–they don’t mix! It’s a miracle we’ve stayed together this long. Now that our kids are grown & out of the house–he’s decided he’s moving out–can’t handle the “stress.” This stress is apparently being caused by my continued counseling, and me finally figuring out what’s going on. I’ve been working on my codependency and have improved-he even said so. However, he is not working on or making any attempt to work on these issues that I was able to identify through my counseling: Verbal abuse–diverting (bringing up something I did instead of dealing with what I brought up), countering (playing devil’s advocate or disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing with what I say), withholding love/communication, and finally, not validating, valuing or empathizing with my feelings or opinions. Mind you, if they are the same as his–not a problem. But if they differ or he feels they aren’t important, all HELL breaks loose. In the guise of “I’m just trying to understand,” and through the plethora of nonsupportive words that follow, I realize that the reality is he doesn’t think I should have that feeling, thought or opinion, and that he actually wants to control what I think and feel! (Also getting an apology is like pulling teeth. If I let him know he hurt me, he thinks because it wasn’t intentional, he doesn’t need to apologize). Thank God I finally figured it out — unfortunately, after so many years of counseling and so much $$ and time wasted! I wish I would have found your blog sooner–perhaps it could have helped our marriage. Who knows–I actually sent him the link to your Divorced Because of Dishes link, because one of big blow ups was because he left the dishes in the sink piling up for (4) days, and just because I mentioned it nicely, “I hope this doesn’t become a habit,” he yelled and screamed at me for not appreciating all he does, I’m sweating the small stuff, and why am I destroying our marriage over dishes — He doesn’t get it — IT’S NOT ABOUT THE DISHES!! IT’S ABOUT LOVE AND RESPECT! Thanks for getting it, Matt — I hope you are able to save other marriages with your candid blogs! I’m praying for mine! It’s in God’s hands — I feel I’ve done all I could! Hope you are able to have a great marriage some day! Dawn Marie

    Liked by 2 people

  23. […] found a blog: https://mustbethistalltoride.com/about/ This man has analysed himself deeply since his divorce and he has some interesting points. His open […]

    Like

  24. Juan Visser says:

    Dear Matt,

    I am a South African guy who has found your blog the must pertinent piece of writing for a man going into and dealing with a divorce.

    I was a shitty husband and found your blog last year and it helped me change to be a better man, for my kids and my wife.

    Unfortunately it was a little to late. After a 5 month contract in another province I came back home to move the family together to the same province…needless to say 24 hours in and one removal truck later I find myself in one province and my family in another with the final words on my relationship being I don’t remember when I last loved you.

    So yeah 10 years married to the love of what was my life and now nothing…It is tough.

    But in saying so I must admit that the humour and honesty I found coming back to this blog had made me feel less guilt and find a sense of acceptance.

    So thank you

    Like

  25. Liza says:

    My husband and I have been in a relationship for 12 1/2 years. My husband who had been acting very cold towards me finally admitted that he did not love me anymore and did not want to be with me ; only after I insisted that he answer my question of why he was treating me so coldly and did he love me. He said he does not want counseling and doesn’t want to work on it. I was devastated and heartbroken to say the least. I knew we had issues but not once did I think we were at the end of our relationship. I feel so hurt and angry at the same time. I begged him through my tears to give us a chance that I love him and I was willing to change , my tears and pleas fell on deaf ears , he had nothing to say he was just done gave up on us. Now we just coexist talking at each other when necessary. We have a 10 year old daughter who found me 😭 so I told her daddy broke my heart. First thing I thought was he is seeing someone else how else can he be so cold-hearted. Any advise for a broken hearted lady?

    Like

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