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.

More about couple issues Less about couple issues

Hot Topics -- Join the Discussion!

"How do you deal with pushy in-laws."

"Do you have a cleaning schedule?"

"Has marriage changed your relationship?"
Married Life

“What are your financial goals?"
Money Matters

Relationship QA: Tell Him I Want More Sex?

Q.

The Nest Q&A

My husband and I have been married for six months. He's 36, I'm 27. He is an absolutely wonderful man, and when we have sex, it's great. The key word is when we have sex. This problem hits another one -- the lack of communication skills that he has always had. Trying to ask a man "Why no sex drive, buddy?" is a very hard thing to do. Any tips on how I can communicate my needs to him without hurting his feelings?

A.

If you want your relationship to feel close and intimate, you have to share your thoughts and concerns. If you want intimacy, you need to create an atmosphere that lends itself to trust and honesty. That means actively participating rather than waiting for something to happen. If you feel safe with each other, it will be much easier for you to discuss something that might hurt your partner’s feelings. If you avoid discussing difficult and potentially hurtful subjects, you drift apart and the emotional bonds between you weaken.

I suggest that you come right out and tell your husband that you’re concerned about the lack of sex. And you’re right -- you shouldn’t overtly ask him why his sex drive isn’t, um, up to par. Instead, ask him how he feels about the frequency of your sex life. You mentioned a lack of communication skills, so expressing himself and coming right to the point is probably hard. Give him some space to think about it and suggest that you talk about this again in a few days. These discussions call for getting rid of distractions, including television and phones. Maintain good eye contact and let your tone of voice reassure him that you are not attacking him in any way. Be ready to listen to what he has to say. (Listening means you are not speaking or reacting!) Your husband may have some feedback for you that you may find uncomfortable and hurtful. If you can accept each other’s feelings without getting defensive or having an argument, you are on your way to real intimacy, when identifying solutions to your problems will flow a lot more easily. The key is to focus on intimacy -- something that goes far beyond what happens in the bedroom.

Nestpert: Dr. Ingrid Schweiger is the author of the upcoming book, PARTNERS FOR A LIFETIME: SEVEN STEPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE, to be released in January 2009.

-- Dr Ingrid Schweiger

See More: Couple Issues , Love & Sex , Sex Q&A