Marriage Be Hard: 12 Conversations to Keep You Laughing, Loving, and Learning with Your Partner (Hardcover)
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.”
About the Author
Kevin Fredericks is an NAACP Image Award–nominated comedian, the founder of KevOnStage Studios, and a superstar on social media. His work and commentary have been featured by Good Morning America, Complex, Ebony, Newsweek, The Daily Beast, and MSNBC.
Melissa Fredericks is a Los Angeles–based influencer dedicated to helping women become the best versions of themselves through honesty, transparency, and vulnerability. Together, she and Kevin are the founders of The Love Hour, a podcast that has been downloaded millions of times.
“Honey, listen, I’ve been married for nineteen years, and the title of the book lets me know that Kev and Melissa are not afraid to tell the truth! They had me at chapter 1, ‘Expectations Be Hard.’ Baby, this book ain’t hard to love!”—Tabitha Brown, actress, vegan foodie, and New York Times bestselling author of Feeding the Soul
“While Kev and Melissa show us how hard marriage can be, they also show us how beautiful it can be if you’re willing to be vulnerable and really do the work. This is essential reading for anyone married or for anyone remotely considering marriage.”—Tommy and Codie Oliver, creators of Black Love, Inc.
“Marriage Be Hard is a relatable, honest take on life, love, and relationships. In their typical style, Kev and Melissa are authentic and engaging, playful and downright hilarious. They humbly offer readers real talk that both models healthy relational skills and vulnerably pulls the curtain back on some of the most common marital concerns. As a relationship counselor, I’d recommend the book to any couple wanting a fun, structured way (with awesome prompts!) to approach some deep, growth-promoting conversations.”—Morgan Johnson, MA, LPC, relationship counselor and trust recovery specialist
“As a licensed marriage and family therapist, I was particularly interested in the ‘Communication Be Hard’ chapter. I know from my work that all aspects of communication can impact relationships for better or worse. The ‘check-ins’ at the end of each chapter cause the reader to engage in reflective evaluation of their own behavior. Written with the same authenticity and honesty that Kev and Melissa operate with on their podcast, this book will undoubtedly help folks improve their relationship with their partner and themselves.”—Stevon Lewis, licensed marriage and family therapist
“Kevin and and his wife Melissa Fredericks dial up the laughs in their candid debut about the trials of marriage. . . . The authors’ humor and willingness to probe intimate details of their relationship contribute to the appeal. The result is a funny and deeply sincere look at improving one’s marriage.”—Publishers Weekly