If you’re on the brink of marriage or just trying to prepare yourself for the “one day, someday” of getting engaged, there’s a plethora of books, courses, devotionals and relational aids that promise you the insights you need before making such a commitment.
By: Laura Bennett
Add to that our Christian views on God’s intention for marriage, and our approach to this one-of-kind union becomes burdened with a lot of expectation, assumption and, invariably, some naivety.
Dustin Nickerson is a comedian-turned-author, who in his “anti-marriage advice” book, How to be Married: To Melissa, pushes back against a one-size-fits-all attitude toward marital coaching, instead laying his marriage bare as example of what a marriage can look like, and allowing people to draw from it what they will.
“The main motivation behind writing this book, was that everything I had been told was inaccurate,” Dustin said in our interview.
“Not because it was intentionally misleading, but because it was too general and not specific.
“Particularly when you are in a religious context, there’s a lot of expectation and pressure on [your] marriage that all of your needs and desires are going to be fulfilled and met [in marriage].
“That can happen in a marriage, but no one’s being honest with you – in any helpful way – to help you achieve that.”
“The main motivation behind writing [How to be Married: To Melissa], was that everything I had been told was inaccurate,” – comedian Dustin Nickerson
Routinely performing over 300 hundred shows a year and amassing over 50 million views for his videos on YouTube alone, Seattle native Dustin is used to being the butt of his own jokes – with his marriage being ripe ground for a good laugh.
“Marriage is very hard, but it’s also hilarious,” Dustin said.
“The whole idea that you would get two people to try and exist together in such a vulnerable, delicate, intense way, is just hilarious.”
“Marriage is very hard, but it’s also hilarious,” – comedian Dustin Nickerson
One of the most cliché pieces of marriage advice is to “learn how to fight well”, which Dustin said he and his wife have perfected because they “have so many runs on the board”, which he said isn’t all bad.
“I know fighting in and of itself is not good, but it has gotten us to some important places,” Dustin said. “Because you really do have to be willing to ride the full emotional roller-coaster with a person to fully understand them.
“Melissa and I have had some big fights that have ended in tears on both sides with a lot of anger, a lot of personal things that are very, very hard to go through.
“But when you unpack why they happen, you understand you got to an important, beautiful place that we needed to get to – that, unfortunately, we could only get to this way.
“Life with Melissa is a roller-coaster, but I’m tall enough for the ride.”
Dustin Nickerson’s book How to be Married: To Melissa is out now.
Article supplied with thanks to Hope Media.
All images: Dustin Nickerson social media
About the Author: Laura Bennett is a media professional, broadcaster and writer from Sydney, Australia.