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 understand ideas and make sense of their personal relationships 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.

…..

Shameless Self-Promotion Note About My Coaching Services

I started coaching in 2019. Clients and I work collaboratively through current and past relationship stuff in order to improve existing relationships or to prepare for future ones. Other clients are trying to find themselves after divorce or a painful breakup. We talk by phone or video conference. People like it. Or at least they fake it really well by continuing to schedule future coaching calls and give me more money. If you’re going through something and think I might be able to help, it’s really easy to find out for sure. Learn More Here.

…..

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 crap. 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.

485 thoughts on “Start Here

  1. Hendrick says:

    Congrats on your thought catalog work! Came across your page today and hope you keep writing and sharing your work! Hope your 2018 has been well!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sally says:

    Mr. Must, I’m one of the too-many-to-count wives who believed in their man. My bad, as the kids would say. Thank you for choosing to stop being an asshole. That’s very cool. I choose to stay with an entitled, narcissistic jerk who thought betraying me for 30 years was no big deal as long as he didn’t cross certain lines. He was recently diagnosed with an aggressive, incurable form of cancer. We’ve got four kids. Hence I’m here for the duration. My jerk tells me I’m too afraid to leave; quite the contrary, I’m afraid to stay, but I’m courageous enough to do so for the kiddos. He won’t ever give me credit for that or anything else, because he would interpret that as a criticism of him. Eeeerrrrgggghhh.

    Like

  3. Heywood says:

    This is straight up pathetic dude. If it is actually true that you were dumb enough to be 100% at fault in your marriage why should any reader take anything you say here seriously?

    The fact that you are somewhat articulate speaks otherwise. Please get some counseling, you need it.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Oh, there’s little doubt I need counseling.

      But since I never even came close to saying I was 100% at fault in my marriage, I’d say you’re talking out of your ass and thus must wonder why I should take you seriously?

      Like

      • Deborah Sterkowitz says:

        I’m thrilled I found this website / blog. Marriage and long-term, relationships, specifically marriage are never 100% the other person’s fault. How you respond, what you think, say, do makes a different in what the other person thinks, says, does. Hello reality.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Amanda Judge says:

    Im a mom of 3 girls with a Iraq veteran husband who suffers from ptsd and tbi

    Like

  5. Ann says:

    I found this site by searching “Shitty husbands” because I have a shitty husband and what you wrote described my husband to a tee. I left your site open on the iPad we share hoping he reads it and maybe thinks about our marriage and maybe changes? And yes I have tried talking to him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      I’m sorry, Ann. Totally get it. I’ve been getting this more than ever lately so I shit you not, I’m making a little e-book and it’s sole purpose in the world will be to serve as an ice breaker for this very thing.

      I want to title it and write a perfect intro to help a man read the seven or eight blog posts that readers have told me should be included (edited and rewritten), because they’re the ideas they most want to relay to their husbands, but usually result in a fight when they try.

      If I do my job, I will create a document that minimizes the crappy emotional responses men have to feeling criticized and hopefully help them better accept these ideas designed to communicate the pain their wives are feeling and trying to express in order to strengthen/save their their marriage.

      It’s something I want to release as soon as possible. I hope it doesn’t disappoint you.

      Oh! And while I’m at it, I’m making the Open Letters into a second one, because I figure: Why not?

      Hopefully they can help someone.

      Thank you for reaffirming that this is a useful project I’m working on.

      Like

    • Barb Gudgeon says:

      If he’s anything like my husband he will say this is crap. I eventually left him, took my kids because he abused them as well. We have been apart over 30 years now and he still says that I am the crazy one. Oh, by the way, he is on his 4th wife…

      Like

  6. Marina says:

    Thank you very much for your site. Put a lot of things in prospective for me, helped me to better understand my whole marriage and its impact on my well being. I just wish an “Open Letter To…” was not named that way.
    For all the same reasons listed in the blog. This header will push targeted audience away. Women will read it (because they are the ones who will type those words in Search engine and find your articles). Most of men who actually don’t need to read it- will read it. Just because they are curious of the subject and want to actually improve their relationships.
    The ones who do need to read it- will not even skim it. They are good guys and good husbands, married to hysterical freaks who should have had a lobotomy done prior to marriage. Or at least shut up and smile for the rest of the life, with help of alcohol and Xanax.
    BTW, it is amazing to me how many marriages around me stay together, with the help of huge dosages of drugs and alcohol taken mostly by wives. However, to be fair- by some husbands too.
    Good luck with your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      Thank you for checking it out, Marina. I appreciate the support and feedback very much.

      Like

    • Barb Gudgeon says:

      Wow Marina, I have no words, just Wow!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Frankie G says:

      Marina- You must be a narcissistic idiot to say women need a lobotomy. Grow up and realize this blog was created for people with struggles. Apparently, your high horse keeps you from having any. So do the world a favor and google something that starts with chronicles of a snob. You’re a disgrace. I’m disgusted with women like you. Uh, I’m sure your spouse really enjoys your stuck up attitude. Women who read your post will have little faith and trust with other women because of your lack of compassion.

      Like

      • Chrissy B says:

        Lmao wow, I think someone needs to reread Marinas post because they totally missed the sarcasm in it!

        Like

      • latenightblond says:

        Sorry, Frankie – her point kind of whistled past you without being caught. Unfortunately, sarcasm doesn’t always translate well. She was simply stating the opinions and beliefs of certain men which stop them from understanding why they should change, which is why they’d be the last to ever do it.

        Like

  7. […] I’m just some asshole writing on the internet, and EVEN IF I was totally ‘right’ about their prospects of having a healthy marriage and […]

    Like

  8. 16eparis says:

    You mention “Shitty husbands” – makes me ponder…for one to be a ‘shitty hubby’ would they also be likely a ‘shitty brother’? Actually, guess what – my ‘shitty brother’ is divorced too! But, I wouldn’t want to place him in any grouping, with regards to your great intro page here…he truly is on a level all his own, and no, that’s ‘not’ a good thing! I was stunned to see the comment from ‘heywood’ – have no clue where he came with his thoughts – but then again, I’m ‘not’ him, and we are all ‘different’. So, I’m ‘not’ “knocking” him personally, cause I don’t know him. You should write an article, on this ‘logic’ or ‘thought’: when people (most often women…) say: “You need to marry a man, who treats his mother well. Find out how he treats his mother, if he’s good to her, or better, he’s a gem! If he’s shit to her, stay far away from him, he’s toxic”! (btw, yes, my ‘shit brother’ would be in *THAT* grouping! He hasn’t seen his mom in about 15 yrs since dad died – he’s divorced, everyone loves him, most hate me (but i could care less about that part….) I’d be curious to see/hear your take on ‘men who treat their moms like gold’ and ‘what their outcome’ is with regards to relations etc… From what a 90 + yr old female neighbor once told me: “you take such wonderful care of your mom, women like this with men & my mother told me to marry a man who loved his mother” – I guess 90-year-olds and up *do know* what they’re talking about! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    Like

  9. Chantell Lee Bertollini-Brooks says:

    I want to huddle in a closet and read every post..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      Acceptable.

      It’s like your very own 7 Months in Heaven game, except your friends aren’t huddled outside and nothing particularly fun happens. I recommend taking a drink or five in with you each day.

      Like

  10. Briana Tremone says:

    Hey Matt,I just read your blog for the first time today. I like it and I like you. Here’s something you’re going to love (I’m trying not to sound religious about this, but it’s the most massively useful tool I’ve ever seen for human interactions)
    The title is:
    NonViolent Communication A language of life 3rd edition Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD

    After every chapter there are questions, and he tells you whether you are or aren’t in agreement with him on that answer – ’cause you got it right when you wrote something lto the effect of “make sure you and the other person are actually hearing what each other
    means!
    I’ve bought this book, like, 13 or 14 times and I keep giving it to people. It works! Marshall has (had – he died) a track record of conflict resolution that’s almost unbelievable. If you’re starting to make helping people be what you DO (and I totally support your decision BTW) you’re going to love this.

    Also, If you like Bene Brown, look up Esthar Perel on you tube. She’s also a beautifully insightful couples therapist.(and her accent is delightful.)

    I think you can do a lot of good in the world. Average guys don’t have a lot of other average guys to talk to who know this stuff.

    I’ll come back and check out how you’re doing. More power to you brother.

    Briana

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Aaron Brown says:

    Hey there, Matt!

    Just read you’re blog about treating your ex right. What a great read! It’s so true. My ex and I are very similar. We we’re married for almost 19 years and have 3 kids ages 20, 18, and 6! We’ve been divorced for a little over five years now. Yes. Kiddo number three was conceived after the papers were filed. We do holidays together, birthdays together. Hell man, we do everything together still! It hasn’t always been this way, but we came to a realization that all of the stupid shit we argued about just didn’t mean anything anymore because we weren’t together anymore. It changed our lives! I love her and always will. I can say the same thing about her. I’m a over the road truck driver so my schedule is very crazy and unpredictable. She’s so patient and understanding. I give her money for the kids and none of it is in the courts at all. Our children are the center of our lives and they have reaped the benefits of this in so many ways. She is my best friend and more of a partner now than she ever was when we were married. My parents often joke that we have a better divorce than most people’s marriages. Keep writing, man! Wisdom from failure is priceless and you, like me, obviously failed and learned. I’ll send all of my buddies to read your stuff!
    Thank you,
    Aaron

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      This is quite the story.

      I really liked it. Thank you, Aaron. To your family. And to living well on your terms instead of what others might want or expect. Awesome.

      Cheers to all of you.

      Like

  12. Tracy Brown says:

    Matt,

    Write the book and hire a brilliant PR person to just put you on a couple key media spot!

    I haven’t even consumed your whole site yet, but it is obvious the universe provided you with quite the lesson and perspective for this 2nd act. (I am sorry though that you had to endure the pain to learn it, but that is the case with some vital lessons.)

    In the very least, I have new ideas on how to communicate via analogies and can take a deep breath at knowing that at least one male gets the glass thing. (I’ve said I would prefer he walk through the house with both middle fingers extended because at least that is clear, non-passive aggressive communication about intent. Ha!)

    Save the glass. Save the world. (Or at least my personal sanity.)

    Seriously, write the book.
    Tracy

    Liked by 1 person

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