BOOK EXCERPT: 'Been There, Done That' by Deborah Roberts and Al Roker

At first glance Deborah Roberts and Al Roker may seem like an unlikely pair.

ByABC News
January 4, 2016, 8:19 AM

— -- Deborah Roberts is an intrepid member of the ABC News family, known for her meticulous and detailed reporting, but hardly a day goes by when she isn't asked about her husband, NBC News weatherman Al Roker.

At first glance they may seem like an unlikely pair.

"We don't like the same foods. We don't like a lot of the same music. We don't like a lot of the same theater or events. But we love each other very much. And we have a deep and abiding respect and feeling for family and I think that's what grounds us," Roberts said.

"Yes," her husband said in agreement.

Roberts and Roker –- who have two teenage children, Nicky and Leila -– say their abiding love has allowed them to handle life's ups and downs, and in their joint memoir, "Been There, Done That: Family Wisdom for Modern Times," they share both the funny and difficult lessons of their 20-year marriage.

"Been There, Done That" is available January 5, 2016. Read an excerpt from the book below:


Several years ago, I was on assignment interviewing a man and his wife who were facing a tragic situation. After the interview, I went into their bathroom to wash my hands and noticed a sign they had hanging up on the wall that was headlined “Rules of Life.”

There were a number of great phrases written on the plaque about finding peace and being positive, but the one that stuck with me that day was, “Always give people more than they expect.” That resonatedwith me because it reminded me so much of my mother. She is the first person who taught me to think above and beyond when you are doing something with or for someone else.

Just recently I was in a cab making small talk with the driver, who told me that his wife was ill and that he was having a tough day. I was busy on my e-mails and hadn’t intended to be distracted but soon realized that this guy just needed a small lift— someone who respected the “time of his day.” So I gave him my attention, and when we arrived at my destination, I wished him well and offered a bigger tip than I typically would give.

Giving people more than they expect can become an everyday habit, one that fills your emotional bucket by giving to others in ways they never see coming. It can be something as simple as dropping someone off in front of their house instead of at the corner because it’s cold outside or complimenting their smile just to leave them feeling a little happier.

Last winter was an especially harsh one for many parts of the country. We had more snow and bitterly cold days than I can ever remember in all of the years I’ve lived in New York City. On a particularly miserable day in December, in the thick of the Christmas season, I was rushing home after work and was lucky to find a cab right away. It was one of those blessed New York moments when a cab stops on the corner where you’re standing. I made a dash for it at the same time another woman had spotted it. I didn’t see her, nor do I believe she saw me. I jumped in on one side as she made her move on the other. She had a dispirited look on her face when she realized I wasn’t about to let the coveted cab go.

Now, ordinarily, the New Yorker in me would have said, “Sorry, lady!” But something inside told me to ask where she was headed. She looked exasperated, as if she had been standing in the cold, wet snowfor quite some time. I told her I was headed to Eighty-second and Second Avenue. She said she was going to Seventy-fifth and First.