Thursday, June 19, 2008


“Why,” somebody asked me, “after nine years of marriage are you still interested in the newlywed year?”

“Because it’s the beginning,” I responded quickly, “it’s important and it’s often overlooked.”

Constantly overshadowed by her big sister, the wedding day, the first year of marriage often receives little preparation or attention until couples are swirling around in the midst of it. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good wedding and a fabulous party, but it’s the marriage that is most important. The newlywed year starts the foundation of a marriage and that can be scary as *#%@! I wish I had a resource that provided practical advice and reassurance during my newlywed year. At that time there weren’t many options so I took matters into my own hands – literally – and wrote a book about it.

Below is an excerpt from Help! I’m a Newlywed…What Do I Do Now? Wife-Saving Advice Every New Bride Must Know to Survive the First Year of Marriage. It’s the intro to the book that shares a little insight about why I wrote it and continue to stay passionate about newlywed life…

Why I Wrote This Book

Help! I’m a newlywed… what do I do now? That’s a thought most new wives have at some time — in the kitchen, or the bedroom, when the in-laws come to visit, or maybe during everyday conversation with your husband. Regardless of where or why you thought it — you did! And if you’re anything like me, you were probably too scared to ask anyone what you should do. That’s exactly why I wrote Help! I’m a Newlywed… What Do I Do Now? Wife-Saving Advice Every New Bride Must Know to Survive the First Year of Marriage.

As a former glowing bride, I found my wedding day to be the happiest, most magical day of my life. I married my best friend, Napoleon, a man I had been involved with for more than five years and was engaged to for one. I was ecstatic that I found the man I wanted to start a family with, to travel around the world with, and to share denture cream with once we’re old and gray. My face beamed brightly all day, and I have very expensive pictures to prove it. I was absolutely certain that I had made the right decision — I love this man madly — so why was I about to go crazy?

I must’ve read every bridal magazine in existence during my engagement. They were very informative about everything leading up to my wedding. The problem was that very little information was available about what to do when I got back from my tropical-paradise honeymoon. Not much for when we walked through the door as husband and wife and had to live with each other — and like it! There was no one saying, “It’s going to be an adjustment,” or “It’s OK not to know what to do now.” All I heard was “You must be so happy” or “You’re so lucky to be married.” Now don’t get me wrong, I was happy, but I was also terrified of my new role in my relationship!

One day, I finally got up the nerve to ask my mother why Napoleon and I were fighting more than usual. And then I asked my aunt why I had to cook dinner every night. And what was I supposed to cook? I even asked my girlfriend how to get my husband to pick up his dirty clothes after he steps out of them each day.

After opening my mouth and screaming, “Help! I’m a newlywed… what do I do now?” I found out that I wasn’t alone. And most important, that I was perfectly normal. I discovered that millions of women and men have millions of questions about being married and that doesn’t mean they don’t love their spouses or don’t like being married. It just means they need help. So here it is… help… to hopefully make things a little easier for you and your new hubby.

Now I must tell you that I am not a doctor, a counselor or a therapist. I have not completed years of scientific research, nor do I plan to bore you, or myself, with any. I’m a wife. Correction, I’m a happy, loving, sometimes frightened, confused and frustrated but willing-to-learn, madly-in-love-with-my-spouse, still-figuring-things-out wife — just like you. I’ve successfully survived the newlywed years — my husband and I are celebrating eight exciting years together — and we continue to work hard to make our marriage work.

Now some of the advice in this book is first-hand, about things that I’ve done and some are things I wish that I did. I’ve drawn from my own ongoing experiences in this exciting world of marriage and I thought it would be helpful to share all of this with you. Plus, I’ve talked to countless brides and wives — newly engaged, freshly married and old-school veterans — and have taken into account their stories, joys and fears. I’ve asked for advice and suggestions from women and men of all ages, and I welcome yours, too.

My goal is to help new wives (and husbands, too) through the kinks of their happy but also scary new unions by offering suggestions for the many challenges and situations that they may face during the beginning of marriage. Hearing that other people were going through some of the same, very real adjustments of marriage that Napoleon and I were going through — no matter how large, small or silly they seemed — left me comforted and more confident in our relationship. I hope it will for you, too.

However, it’s very important for you as a new wife to understand that every individual and couple is different. Some people face different obstacles than others and some handle the same obstacles in different ways. It is crucial to your relationship that you as a couple handle the challenges that you face in your marriage in ways that make you both comfortable and happy.

The Do’s and Don’ts in this book are suggestions that I and many other newlyweds have found to be helpful. Some you may agree with, and some you may not. That’s perfectly OK! Do take this book seriously and take all the advice that suits you, but also take it with a grain of salt and a sense of humor. And, most importantly, don’t take anyone’s advice (even mine) if you are not comfortable with it!

I love my husband, I love being married — and I’d love to keep it that way. In writing this book, I’m not only trying to help you, but to help myself, too. There’s nothing wrong with not knowing what to do in your marriage, but there is something wrong with not finding out!

Happy Marriage & Best Wishes,