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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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How to Improve Your Dinner Relationship

Make time to share a meal -- and great conversation -- with these tips.

Long days at the office and jam-packed social lives mean that for you guys, dinner is usually consumed in front of the TV or at your desk. And sitting down -- at a table, no less -- just to eat and talk is a rarity. Well, you’re certainly not alone, but believe it or not, your parents were onto something with the nightly TV-free dinners at 7 p.m. Eating dinner together at the end of the day is an important ritual that can benefit your relationship and your health. It helps you stay connected, wind down after a stressful day (so falling asleep will be a bit easier) and even eat better (studies show you eat less when you’re not distracted by TV, work or the computer). Convinced yet? Good. Now read on for tips to making the most of the dinner hour.

Log Off

If you’re surfing the net, you can’t carry on a meaningful conversation. And it doesn’t exactly send the message to your partner that you’re interested in hearing what they have to say about their day. So make dinner a computer-free time.

Turn Off the Tube

Likewise, TV is a distraction. Don’t force your partner to compete with Jon Stewart. There’s a reason they invented TiVo, people. So turn the TV off and actually talk to each other for 30 minutes. Novel idea, huh?

Put Dinner on the Calendar

It’s easy to let work, friends, etc., get in the way of dinnertime, so make it a priority by scheduling it into your week. Okay, we realize eating together seven nights a week isn’t realistic, but aim to do it at least a few times a week. Trust us -- your waistline and your relationship will thank you.

Listen and Remember

Remember something your partner told you about their day from the morning or night before, and follow up on it. It shows you actually care about what they have to say.

Be Specific

You may have forgotten how to just talk (sans TV, other couples or the paper in front of you), so here are some pointers for getting the ball rolling again. Ask about things that you know happened during their day (like a presentation or meeting with the boss), bring up a news article you read on the train that you enjoyed or talk about your upcoming vacation or weekend plans.

Take Turns

Don’t hog the floor, even if you had the worst -- or best -- day ever.

Avoid Landmines

Now’s not the time to air grievances, tell your partner your mother-in-law is coming to stay with you for a week or nag your partner to vacuum. Make your dinnertime ritual something you both enjoy and look forward to by saving downer topics and heated conversations for another time.

Compliment the Chef

Remember cooking takes time and effort; do always thank your partner for cooking (or picking up) your dinner. A great way to show your appreciation? Ask how you can help, both before and after dinner. Do the dishes or post-takeout cleanup. Come on, it’s only fair.

Nestpert: Dr. B. Janet Hibbs, couples psychologist and author of Try to See It My Way: Being Fair in Love and Marriage, TryToSeeItMyWay.com

-- Samantha Leal