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 kindness experiment

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The Kindness Experiment

Our writer spent seven days secretly doing sweet things for her boyfriend to see how it would affect their relationship. Here's what happened.

Photo: Stephanie Williams / The Nest

Our writer spent seven days upping her “nice” factor and secretly doing sweet things for her boyfriend, Andy, to see if it would have any effect on their relationship. Here’s what happened -- and what they both learned.

Monday

The Kind Deed: Serve breakfast in bed

7:43 a.m. The plan was to serve homemade breakfast in bed. But as with most things that involve me and the kitchen, it didn’t go as planned -- and breakfast ended up being coffee and an egg sandwich delivered from the deli. Still, even my half-assed gesture paid off. Andy looked at me like I was the cutest thing in the world when I presented him with the goods.

Tuesday

The Kind Deed: Call to say “I love you”

2:54 p.m. Of course I tell Andy I love him. But I’m not really the I-called-just-to-say-I-love-you type, which he knows and loves about me (right, Andy?). Due to the rarity of the occurrence, Andy didn’t recognize my work number and screened my call. When he finally did pick up, he was psyched to hear from me.

4:54 p.m. Karma works fast! Two hours after I dropped the L-bomb, I received a Pinkberry delivery (my fave!) at work -- courtesy of Andy.

Wednesday

The Kind Deed: Pay his parking ticket

8:11 a.m. When I saw his $65 parking ticket on the car, I was pissed. But remembering my pledge, I grabbed the ticket and paid it -- sans lecture. I’d said I’d be nice, and paying someone’s parking ticket ranks high on the niceness scale.

Thursday

The Kind Deed: Make a playlist for his iPod

8:47 p.m. Unfortunately, this one was a flop. I mean, he thanked me and all, but it was kind of like when he pretended to like the sweater his mom got him for Christmas. Humph.

Friday

The Kind Deed: Replace his cell phone

6:49 p.m. Andy’s cell has been on the fritz for a while, so I surprised him with a new one. And unlike last night’s doozy, it was a home run!

11:58 p.m. Okay, I’m glad Andy’s into his new gadget and all, but I’m starting to get jealous.

Saturday

The Kind Deed: Stock the fridge

11:22 a.m.

I decided to fill our fridge with Andy’s favorite foods: frozen pizzas, guacamole and chips, beer and bacon. And you know how they say, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”? “They” are right!

Sunday

The Kind Deed: Pimp out the man cave

11:45 a.m.

I call Andy’s office the “man cave” because it’s a mess of papers, empty cans, crumb-filled plates and hats. So for my last kind act, I gave it a makeover (think: manly but clean and organized). I’m pretty sure it was a success, because Andy hasn’t left the man cave since.

Andy Says…

Oh, so the whole time, I thought Kristin was just trying to be sweet -- but it was all just for a story, huh? But seriously, I definitely noticed how extra-sweet she was being, and it may have inspired me to do nice things in return. Plus, getting the royal treatment was pretty great. So, can you guys assign her more stories like this?

-- Kristin Koch