Been There, Done That was released on Jan 5.

By Chancellor Agard and Emily Strohm
Updated December 02, 2020 12:37 AM
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Credit: Getty

Al Roker needed some convincing to write a book with his wife Deborah Roberts.

In their new book Been There, Done That, Roker, 61, and Roberts, 55, share stories about their respective childhoods, marriage and children. Writing this book required both of them to dig deep and get really personal, which was something Roker was hesitant to do at first.

“While I have written about my personal struggle with weight and fatherhood, this was something that I was not used to,” the Today show personality tells PEOPLE. “Writing about my marriage was something that I really wasn’t anxious to share.”

The book was Roberts’ idea, and the fact his wife wanted to do it convinced Roker to go for it. He says it helps that they decided to write separately and from a “he-said-she-said” point of view.

“Al worried that we would not do well writing together since we have different styles and was initially not enthusiastic. But, once we landed on the idea of writing alternate chapters and revealing our different points of view, we were both on board,” the ABC News journalist says.

In the book, Roberts opens up about the loss of her childhood best friend, the death of her father and a major conflict she once faced as a working mom. “I hesitated to reveal such intimate times, but ultimately decided I wanted to be true and honest.”

Although they tried not to share the book with people before it was published, they did make a few exceptions for two people who ended up having some input: their children. Leila, 17, and Nick, 13, were on board when they were given refusal rights to anything written about them, and Leila got her room redecorated in exchange for her cooperation.

“Leila even proofread a chapter about her for accuracy,” Roberts says.

Roker adds: “There is one chapter where not only Deborah and I go back-and-forth, but the kids comment as well. Nick was a little upset that Leila had more lines in that chapter than he did.”

Been There, Done That was released on Tuesday.