Is marriage worth it? Mother Pukka and Papa Pukka answer your questions

Anna Whitehouse and Matt Farquharson, aka Mother Pukka and Papa Pukka, answer your burning questions about marriage and children. 

Is getting married necessary? Are kids bad for relationships? And where is my happy ending? Anna Whitehouse and Matt Farquharson, aka Mother Pukka and Papa Pukka, have been married for twelve years, have two daughters, and they’re still trying to figure this stuff out. Their hilarious, honest and heartfelt book Where’s My Happy Ending? follows them on a journey to find out what it takes to make it to forever. As they interview celibate monks and former sex-workers, romance novelists and psychologists, they’re forced to turn the spotlight on their own relationship. 

Anna and Matt are the Sunday Times-bestselling authors of 
Parenting the Sh*t Out of Life and the hosts of the hugely popular Dirty Mother Pukka podcast. In this extract from the book, Anna explains why they decided to go on this journey together, and the couple answer the internet’s most burning relationship questions.

So where’s my happy ending? Disney built a brand on dreams coming true. Fairy tales always end with this vague sign-off: ‘And they all lived happily ever after.’ Who did? Where is this place? Who are these people? Lately, an After Eight is as close as I’ve got to combining ‘after’ and ‘happy’. (Even then there’s the risk that someone will leave the empty wrappers in the box, flipping me into an angsty rage.) But if you can’t milk some solace from a post-dinner confection, it’s surely the end.


There’s an idea that we somehow magically gather up all the components – a home, a toothbrush, someone who isn’t too much of a bell-end – and then you’ve made it. You get to gallop into the final furlong, across the finish line and bask in that heavily touted happiness. It’s supposed to be a kind of joy that is like easing yourself into a vat of treacly dessert wine while overlooking an ochre sunset and eating a trifle. But what if it ends up more like swigging cider on a park bench?


I wanted to write this book with Matt because it feels like the great vacuum of space between ‘I do’ and ‘The End’ needs a little reconsidering. It feels like ‘happily ever after’ might be the way for a freshly rescued Cinderella, but what if your foot doesn’t fit the shoe? Perhaps being ‘whisked away’ also means microwaving a lukewarm cup of tea so that your chosen person has a hot brew. Maybe being ‘swept off your feet’ can simply include someone disposing of their toenail offcut in the right bathroom receptacle.


So what is true romance truly like, and do we really need it? What do porn and social media and kids and laundry do to relationships? What’s a throuple?


We’ve followed a pretty well-worn path so far. Now I want to know if there’s another route I could have taken.

Anna and Matt answer the internet’s questions about marriage:

Anna and Matt answer the internet’s questions about kids:

Image: © Emily Gray

Where’s My Happy Ending?

by Anna Whitehouse

Book cover for Where’s My Happy Ending?

Whether you’ve just had your first date or you’ve been married for ten years, it’s hard to know if that person really is the one. Matt and Anna set out to discover what it takes to make it to forever, by asking our greatest questions about love. This is a hilarious and searingly honest look at love and relationships, social media and children, as Matt and Anna navigate the muddy waters of modern romance.