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how to: deal with issues

Every marriage is bound to encounter a few bumps along the road, especially when you're first starting out. We're here to help you out with solutions to couples issues and common newlywed arguments. First, find out about the tried-and-true stuff your parents probably wish they'd known. We've sorted out the newlywed "rules" you can ignore from the relationship mistakes you need to avoid. Learn the right way to handle a fight and the solutions to the most common newlywed arguments. We've also got help for couples issues that are specific to the modern marriage. For example, the four rules of Facebook for couples, how to deal when you're married to a metrosexual, and handling coworker crushes. You can also read our expert Q&A for dealing with all kinds of couples issues. Find tips on making friends as a couple, managing work stress as a pair, and avoiding common newlywed arguments about stuff like cleaning and entertaining. We'll help you solve issues with everyone -- your honey, your couple friends, your in-laws -- and find solutions that work in every part of your life, from the bedroom to the office. From whether it's okay to tell friends about your issues to breaking out of a sex rut, we've got you covered. And don't forget your fellow Nesties! We've pulled together lists of real couple gripes and likes, Nesties' marriage secrets, and their most ridiculous fights -- you're sure to relate to something! Or find even more sympathetic ears with our relationships message board.

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The Issue: Chores

If you’re the husband: We know you miss your bachelor days when the word “cleaning” meant taking a stack of pizza boxes down to the dumpster. But cut her some slack. Pick the household tasks it won’t kill you to do and tell your wife you’ll be responsible for those. Think of it as a chance to get in a little extra cardio each day.

If you’re the wife: Feel like you’re saddled with the bulk of the chores? We hear you. But before you give him the cold shoulder (or “accidentally” dye his boxers magenta), make a list of all the things your spouse takes care of (the lawn, car maintenance, etc.) and give him credit before you rib him for never turning on the vacuum.

The game-changer: Play “chore wars.” Deal each other cards with pictures of various chores on them. Once you have your hand, start bartering (i.e., trade the “dishes” card for the “taking out the trash” one). Then get up and get your jobs done. The person who completes their cards first gets to choose their prize (wink, wink).

The Issue: Sex

If you’re the husband: If you could sum up your first few years of marriage, would you use the line: “I was told there’d be more sex”? Careful, buddy, you’re on a two-way street. If you don't make the goods enticing (yes, beyond 1-2-3 missionary) how will she come back for more? Next time, turn the focus all on her.

If you’re the wife: Every couple is unique -- how often they do it, who initiates, and how much they experiment. The key is that both of you are satisfied. But if you feel like you’ve both fallen into a routine or one of you has unrealistic expectations, talk about it.

The game-changer: Make a sex date once a week. Pick up a book like The Kama Sutra and set aside one night each week for a little game. Take turns closing your eyes, pointing to a page, and doing the frisky pose featured on that page.


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