Assorted Laws of Marriage: The First Week, the First Year and More

First Week of Marriage

Making the Bride Happy

The groom is commanded to make his bride happy for seven days. He may not go to work (unless she wants him to do so). He must be with her and do whatever she wants, even if it goes against his judgment of what is reasonable.

Being Together

Neither the husband nor the wife should be alone for the first seven days after their marriage. If they are apart, they should each be accompanied by someone else. This is a custom and not a halacha.

Note: There is no requirement for bride and groom to be together all of the time during the seven days after their wedding if they don't want to be together.

First Year of Marriage

Making the Bride Happy for First Year

The husband is required during the first year of marriage to make his wife happy. He should go where she wants, do what she wants, etc., within reason. After the first year of marriage, the couple should work out their differences via compromise from the husband and from the wife.

Family Finances

Wife's Assets Brought into Marriage

Property that the wife brings into the marriage can remain hers if she chooses, or she can say her husband may use the item but he will owe her for that amount. It is best to give it into the marriage and she will be owed that same value regardless of passage of time. At the wedding, a gift to the bride will be the bride's; a gift to the bridegroom will be the bridegroom's.

Wife's Earned Assets

A woman who works does not have to give her husband the money. If a woman wants to keep her earnings for herself, she must tell her husband that he should not provide her with food. He is then exempt from feeding her, but he must still provide her with shelter, clothing, medical expenses, jewelry, and makeup (and certain other needs).


Beds after Menopause

A married couple does not need to have separate beds once the wife has passed menopause, but it may still be possible for the wife to become nida, in which case they would have to sleep separately.


Spouse You Decide To Divorce

You may not have intercourse with a spouse whom you have decided to divorce.

Receiving the Ketuba

At a Jewish divorce, the ketuba is given back to the man or destroyed after he has paid the money he owes to his now-ex-wife, as written in the ketuba.

Copyright 2015 Richard B. Aiken. Halacha L’Maaseh appears courtesy of Visit their website for more information.