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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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Are You In a Marriage Rut?

Rut #1: Watching TV During Dinner

Why it's bad: Yeah, we's the season finale! But ever heard of face-time? You can't connect with your eyes glued to the tube.
Bust it: Set aside an hour for one-on-one dinners sans TV, phone, or Blackberry three nights a week. You'll feel closer within days.

Rut #2: Going Too Long Without Sex

Why it's bad: If the amount of sex you're used to having starts to slide, you get used to the decreased intimacy, and can go even longer without wanting that closeness.
Bust it: Don't wait until you feel like doing it. Initiate sex just because. This will jump-start your feelings so you'll crave it more often.

Rut #3: Going a Whole Workday Without Talking

Why it's bad: You may start growing apart emotionally after disconnecting so much during the entire workweek.
Bust it: Initiate daily contact with a quick "How's your day?" email. Postwork, pick up their fave dessert or call from the store to see if they need something.

Rut #4: Not Fighting

Why it's bad: It might seem like staying mum is better, but not talking out issues when they first bubble up makes 'em fester.
Bust it: Be calm but firm. Say, "It hurts my feelings when ______. I was hoping we could figure out a new way to handle the situation together."

Rut #5: Going out More with Friends Than with Your Spouse

Why it's bad: It sends the message that your friends only get to see the "fun" you, and your spouse is well, just the person you live with.
Bust it: Still go out with your crew, but switch it up by making your mate your partner-in-crime for your wild night out. They may just surprise you. -- Nestpert Susan Fletcher, Ph.D., author of Parenting in the Smart Zone

Rut #6: Feeling Let Down After the Wedding and Honeymoon Are Over

Why it's bad: It's very normal to feel let down after all the drama of wedding as theater, however, brides are not so willing to face this and even more reluctant to admit to the feelings.

Bust it: Date night is imperative, even in the first year of marriage, as is making time for one another despite busy schedules. Wives report they feel they 'disappear' quickly, and this can be avoided by planning happy, romantic outings, even a walk in the park, or a Saturday at the zoo.

Rut #7: Getting Stuck in a Boring Routine

Why it's bad: Nothing busts passion like not having some romance and being too consumed with work, family, money issues.

Bust it: Try not to complain once you are in a routine and if your husband is whining about something, diffuse it. Suggesting creative and spur-of-the-moment dates is an easy way to battle routine.

Rut #8: Prioritizing Your Career Over Your Relationship

Why it's bad: A couple where both partners are preoccupied with their careers faces challenges in terms of time.

Bust it: Time is so critical for the relationship to flourish and for the wife to feel nurtured and as if she counts. Having honest conversations about how to make time and admitting it can be a problem is the first step. If you are busy, time together should be scheduled, just as business meetings are scheduled.

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-- Judy Koutsky

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