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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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Real Couples Confess: We’re Unconventional -- and It Works!

From spouses who practice polyamory to a duo who refuse to walk down the aisle, these happy couples are redefining the (happy!) American marriage.

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Luke and Mary: Polyamorous Partners

Luke is married. But he's also dating three other women. And his wife, Mary, is okay with that -- she’s dating other people too.

Luke, 37, and Mary, 40, practice polyamory, so while they're legally married, in love, have two kids, own a home and work full time, they also encourage each other to explore physical and emotional connections with others. Think: marriage with benefits.

It seems like monogamy causes a lot of pain," says Luke. "When people don't have the freedom to explore, they associate their partner with being trapped. I want Mary to explore." Here are their rules: Luke and Mary are completely open with each other about their extracurricular relationships. They only date other poly individuals. The most important rule: They always put the kids first.

Luke and Mary's sex life is as up and down as any other couple's. "Sometimes it's taken pressure off our sex life," Luke says. "Sometimes it's enriched it." The couple say they rarely get jealous -- and if they do, they talk it out. Neither spouse has ever insisted that the other end a relationship. In fact, both are careful to make sure they have "restorative time with others," so they come home to each other ready to give 100 percent. "If Mary found someone she loved and wanted to go away with, it would hurt," says Luke. "But I'd be glad for her too. My love for her is so true that I only want the best possible world for her."

Photo: Courtesy of the couple / The Nest