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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How to Deal with Your Couple Friends

How to deal with all the drama -- from weird spouses to complete cheapskates.

Our friends are so cheap! They itemize everything they eat -- down to the penny. What do we do?
If they’re the type to haggle over the bill, suggest splitting it 50/50 but offer to pick up the tip if you think your order was pricier. You’ll probably wind up spending more dough than you would have if you’d itemized, but it’ll spare you the headache. Or suggest cheap eats like Mexican, Indian, or burgers. Better yet, have them over to your place for a free meal. How could they argue with that?

Two couples we introduced are making plans to go out without us. How do we not take it personally?
Ouch. But look at it objectively -- maybe they live close to each other, are both Red Wings fans, or work in the same industry. While your instinct may be to reinsert yourself into the pack or make a comment about it, back off. Anything you say will sound like, “Waaah, you like them better than us!” and make you look jealous. Instead, seek out new friends so you won’t care as much what those four are up to.

My husband really doesn’t like my best friend. Is there anything I can do to help them get along?
You love her high-pitched squeal and the way she smells her food before she eats it. Your husband isn’t as much of a fan. Normally, you’d say, “Well, he’ll deal,” but how can he when you’re double-dating with her and her guy every other weekend? While your husband may never get the appeal of your friend, explain how good she is to you and how supportive she is of your relationship. When you do make plans with your BFF and her guy, let your husband decide the agenda. That way, he can at least enjoy the activity, even if he’s not digging the company.

We hang out with this couple who always plays the comparison game. How do we not get competitive?
Chances are they’re just looking for an excuse to brag. When they ask you about your home value or what you’re planning for your anniversary, put it back on them. Say something like, “Oh, who wants to talk mortgages…tell me about that great kitchen reno of yours!” It’s a hot-seat ejector. But if hanging out with them always makes you feel worse, cut them off, end of story.

My husband’s buddy’s wife is the most boring woman on earth. Help!
Hey, not everyone can be as fab as you are! No matter how boring this woman is, she’s not going anywhere (sorry). Even the dullest people have interests, so ask her what she’s into. If you still can’t find common ground, bring up hot celeb gossip and ask for her opinion. At least you’ll have 5 to 10 minutes out of the way!

My friend’s husband is a little bizarre, and my husband can’t stand him. How can I make double-dates smoother?
Simple: Minimize the chitchat. When couple friends get together (especially if the two women are friends and the guys are the obligated tagalongs), the girls wind up gabbing and ignoring the guys, who are then forced to talk to each other. But men aren’t like women -- they’re physical, action-oriented, and not likely to spend hours catching up over chardonnay. So if you want the guys to get along, put them in an environment where there’s little opportunity to talk. Really, they’ll be fine! Suggest a football game, bowling, a concert -- all activities that’ll keep them busy and distracted.

Nestpert: Krista Bloom, PHD, author of The Ultimate Compatibility Quiz.

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