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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Relationship Q&A: How to Handle a Stressed Out (and Grumpy!) Husband?

Q.

The Nest Q&A

My husband's thesis has put him under a great deal of stress recently. As a result, he's become fairly grumpy, and has admitted that he often gets angry with me for no reason. He has also told me that he is uncomfortable with this reaction and wants to fix it. How can we get over this hurdle?

A.

Writing a thesis is stressful -- believe me. Having completed one myself, I can vouch for what a difficult process this is for your husband -- and your marriage. Students often become extremely anxious and depressed due to the lack of structure and academic support that comes with working on a thesis. It’s not a surprise that unresolved personal issues often surface during those long hours alone. And it’s probably one of the reasons many people never finish their theses!

But life (and love) must go on despite the academic demands. I am so happy to hear that your husband is taking responsibility for his negative reaction (and, let’s face it, downright grumpy behavior) and wants to fix it. I have some suggestions that will go a long way in helping you both through a stressful time. First, daily exercise will reduce some of his stress. A good physical workout will help him sit still so he can concentrate and focus on his writing without so much frustration. Second, unless you’re a fellow student, he probably needs more support than you can give him. Scheduling meetings with one or two other thesis students would be helpful for him. They can compare notes and nudge each other along. If he needs more support, working with a professional writing coach to facilitate his progress can also be of tremendous value.

Being snapped at and ignored will definitely cause you to pull back, so both of you need to take responsibility to turn this around. Of course, you can support each other, but only to a certain point. It is important for you and your husband to acknowledge that even though you are married, you each need to be responsible for managing your own stress.

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

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