The First 100 Days of Marriage: A User's Manual

So, the afterglow of the wedding is just winding down. What to expect now?
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Congrats -- Now What?

Your wedding: You want it, you dream of it, you plan it down to the last detail. But even as you're immersed in all the delicious details, think for a moment about what happens after you say "I do." Weddings happen in one day. Marriage goes on for all the days of your life.

Today's young people, perhaps sobered by our nation's soaring divorce rate, do tend to take marriage seriously. According to The State of Our Unions 2001, a national survey of men and women between the ages of 20-29 conducted by the Gallup Organization for the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University, 86 percent of respondents said marriage is "hard work and a full time job." Even if you've been a couple for years, live-in or not, when you get married you become a Couple with a capital C.

"Like any other major change in life, being married requires a period of adjustment, so allow yourselves time," says Nancy Rosenberg, author of Outwitting Stress: A Practical Guide to Conquering Stress Before You Crack (Lyons Press, 2003). "Your transition will be much smoother if you expect to have to work through misunderstandings, disagreements, and expectations," she adds.

From getting used to having Mr. and Mrs. on the same mailbox and negotiating the mundane chores, to finding the right fit with your sex life and your financial life, the first 100 days of marriage can be a minefield. Here's how to negotiate this exciting new time with aplomb.

Continued on page 2:  Marriage vs. Live-In


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