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Welcome to The First Years of Marriage
A newsletter about the conversations, problems, and challenges that begin once the honeymoon ends.
Welcome to The First Years of Marriage Newsletter! We talk about the conversations, challenges, and changes that begin once the honeymoon ends. Advice from experts, mistakes from me (Jen Glantz), and things you’re going to want to know as you continue to ask yourself this question - “I’m married, so now what?”
“Love is a sweet dream and marriage is the alarm clock.” — Jewish Proverb
I’ve been to approximately 176 weddings in my lifetime.
I’ll never forget my first because it was in 2001, months before 9/11 happened. The wedding was in Downtown Manhattan and the bride was running late.
I was 13 and hungry. I could smell the fried foods inside the chafing dishes and begged my dad to tell me when the bride and groom were going to get the show on the road so I could stuff myself silly and dance to Ricky Martin.
He wondered with worry too.
As a distraction, my dad walked me over to the windows and pointed his finger at two tall, matching buildings. I looked at the Twin Towers for a second and looked back at him.
“Why do buildings in New York City have so many windows? What’s everyone looking at?”
My dad didn’t know how to answer that, but he scanned the room, realized the bride still was nowhere to be found and everyone was starting to notice.
“People don’t need something to look at,” my dad replied. “They are just eager to see what’s not in front of them.”
What I didn’t know then that I do know now is that he wasn’t talking about the Twin Towers, or the windows, or the fact that when you’re sitting in a cubicle for 8-hours a day, looking outside is your only reminder that there’s more to life than just spreadsheets and emails, passive aggressive requests from your boss and co-workers who smell like their microwaved tuna casserole lunch.
He was talking about marriage.
Let’s get one brutal and popular stat out of the way, my friends…
So many reasons.
Here are just a few:
Falling Out Of Love
It's Not A Partnership Anymore
You Weren't Ready For Marriage
Lack Of Emotional Support
Lost Sense of Self
If you think about, society sets us up with so many tools and timelines for getting to the altar. Ever go to a bookstore? There’s an entire section just for dating self-help books. There’s even 23,778 wedding planners out there to make sure your big day goes off without a hitch. There’s almost 12,000 divorce lawyers in the US waiting for your phone call when you’re feeling like it’s time to call it quits.
But you know what there’s not?
There’s not much out there that helps you figure out how to be married, what kind of really belly-jerking topics will pop up to have a conversation on, and what the heck you’re supposed to do with this person you just combo’ed your life with once the honeymoon ends.
That’s why I started this newsletter.
For you, and for me (more on that later).
Happy marriage? Sad marriage? Weird marriage? Boring marriage? Confusing marriage? Regret marriage?
This newsletter isn’t just to help you have a healthy marriage or to save you from getting divorced.
This newsletter is one million things but mainly, it’s a conversation.
It’s a place to read about the real, raw, and relatable moments that happen when two people sign a legal document (hello, marriage license) and start to figure out what it means to be married, what topics pop-up, what feelings and emotions seep through the front door, what awfully hard decisions have to be made together, and all the other things you wish someone on the internet was talking about when they talked about the topic of marriage.
My goal is to make you feel like you’re not alone in navigating marriage and the things you never thought about before you said “I do”.
I’m Jen Glantz, a writer based in Brooklyn. Some know me as the founder of the one of a kind business, Bridesmaid for Hire, where I’ve worked hundreds of weddings as a professional bridesmaid for strangers, some know me from their bookshelves, others as the host of the You’re Not Getting Any Younger podcast. Very few people know me from the bench outside Joe’s pizza, where I spend a lot of my free time.
The First Years of Marriage includes diary-like essays and observations, expert advice, eye-opening facts, thoughtful (and sometimes oddly entertaining) resources.
If you’d like to subscribe, here’s where you can do that:
I’ve never been good at relationships.
But I’ve been publicly honest about that since 2011 when I started writing about my life on the internet.
My first book, All of My Friends are Engaged, gave readers an inside look at how quickly I could mess up a first date (15-minutes is my record time), how much I clung onto relationships that were missing something, and how much I didn’t want to live a “timeline-like” life that all of my friends were living at such a young age.
My second book, Always a Bridesmaid for Hire, took readers on the journey of how even when my love life was failing, celebrating my friend’s success took up my weekends. I was always their bridesmaid. Eventually, I turned that skill into a business (Bridesmaid for Hire) and have been hired by hundreds of strangers to be their bridesmaid for a day. This time in my life taught me about how strange love can be, how complicated and unique every relationship is, and how most people walk into marriage with trash bags of issues, secrets, and problems they’ve somehow never shared with their partner.s
My third book, Finally the Bride, allowed readers to take a seat at my dinning room table as I opened up about how I met my now husband, Adam, in an uncanny way, and how scared I was for marriage because of the many weddings I worked and the tough situations I witnessed along the way.
I’ve also written thousands of essays and articles on the topic of relationships for over 50 publications (Glamour magazine, NBC News, Business Insider, The Washington Post, PopSugar, Marie Claire magazine, and more).
Writing about relationships, getting personal, and tapping into expert advice, has always been my “swim lane”.
Starting this newsletter, during my own first year of marriage, for you to read, felt like an extraordinary relationship to enter.
When the bride was missing and I wanted chicken fingers so badly, my dad knew if he didn’t walk me over to the windows to eyeball a view of the city, I’d scream out:
“I object! Now, let’s eat?”
But what he was trying to say, about marriage, was this:
Was that people are so eager to know what’s next, what’s out there, what’s coming for them while they are living in the only moment they possibly can live in - the moment they are in right now.
That’s just how new marriage is.
You walk down the aisle, you kiss to forever, you write repetitive thank you cards to a guest list of people you won’t see again for a long time, and then, well then, it’s impossible not to wonder….
Welcome to The First Years of Marriage newsletter where we get really real about life as a newlywed after you said I DO and have no idea what to do...next.
Love you (for as long as we both shall live),