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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Love Q&A: How can we avoid a cleaning argument?

The Nest Q&A

I want both of us to be on the same page when it comes to cleaning the house, but he just doesn't follow through on promises. How do I keep this from being a major argument all the time?

When conflict arises in a relationship, there are generally three paths to peace. You can change the behavior (he learns to clean), change your perspective (you get over it) or you leave the relationship (who would leave over a few dirty dishes?).

You could try emphasizing to him in a gentle, kind way about how much it would mean to you for him to chip in. You could also tell him that I said (and this is completely true) that women and men who share household responsibilities tend to have higher sexual satisfaction. You might even turn cleaning into something fun and sexy by taking a page from Christina Aguilera’s marriage and instituting Naked Sundays. Oh, except your naked days might involve doing chores naked together.

If you can’t seem to get him to change, you may need to change your perspective in order to steer clear of arguments. So he doesn’t clean. Are there other things he does that you don’t? Or that he’d be willing to do such as take out the garbage, fix things around the house, keep the car tanks full, or get the oil changed on your car whenever you need it? Might he be more apt to do the laundry? Or could you find it in your finances to hire a cleaning service to come once or twice each month? In marriage, it’s important to choose your battles and get along for as many of your years together as you can. Finding out how to do this is the challenge but it’s worth it.

Nestpert: Debby Herbenick, PhD is a research scientist at Indiana University, a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute and author of Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure & Satisfaction. She blogs at MySexProfessor.com.

-- Debby Herbenick

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