The wedding goes off without a hitch. Then, marriage – with all its messiness – begins.

Budget battles. Misunderstandings. Irritating in-laws.

Where to go for help?

Newlywed Jacquelyn McCoy, 24, turns to thenest.com, a Web site offering everything from budgeting tips and entertainment ideas to advice on fighting fair and home buying.

But best of all, it sports message boards, populated by newlyweds just like her.

“When we first got married, we thought things would just fall into place,” says McCoy of West Palm Beach, Fla. “He’d do certain things and I’d do certain things. Like, I thought I’d magically learn how to cook. But things didn’t just fall into place.”

To her rescue: The Nest, launched in December and created by the same folks who started the wildly popular wedding planning site, theknot.com.

Though the site is gender neutral, it’s popular with newly married women in their 20s and 30s. And that’s a lot of women, with more than 2 million Americans saying “I do” every year.

But in many cases, these women are far more sophisticated than brides of the past. For instance, some already lived with their boyfriends before walking down the aisle.

“That makes them both better prepared and less prepared,” says Carley Roney, who created The Knot Inc. “They’ve established being a couple without being married. As a result they’re used to not dealing with things. Then they get married and think, “I’m not going to put up with this forever.”‘

“This” might be dirty socks flung on the floor or a hubby spending more time with his buddies than his bride. Before those vows, the thinking goes, “Oh, this will change when we’re married.”

It doesn’t, of course. That’s clear from message board postings, where newlyweds vent on everything from unsatisfying sex with their DH, Dear Husband, to an impossible MIL, Mother-in-Law.

If you wonder why Nest fans don’t just chat with friends about such things, the fact is, some do.

That is, if they have newlywed pals going through exactly the same thing, which isn’t always the case.

“You feel like you’re not alone,” says Nest fan Elizabeth Scott, 24, an insurance rep in Greenacres City, Fla., who married six months ago. “You can go online at 3 a.m. and someone will always respond.”

And anonymity can be a plus. Some newlyweds don’t want family or friends to know there’s trouble in paradise so soon after the wedding day.

For weeks McCoy chatted with a woman whose six-month marriage was in trouble. McCoy suggested everything from cooling off to counseling.

“There were bad fights every day,” says McCoy, who works for a nutritional company and was married eight months ago. “Since they didn’t know how to communicate, the fights ended with insults. More than anything, I was an ear for her.”

Maybe the best thing The Nest offers is a place for brides to congregate once their Big Day is over.

On The Nest, they find camaraderie while chatting about budgets, rather than bridal gowns, and paying for a house, rather than a honeymoon.

Plus, there’s a message board that keeps them looking ahead.

It’s called Babies on the Brain.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.