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Four Common Marriage Problems -- and Solutions

Fights Over "Stuff"

He complains repeatedly about the stacks of old paperbacks next to your already overstuffed book shelf. Each time, you retort, "Seriously, do you really need all seven of those cameras?"

What's the problem? More often than not, picking on our partner's possessions is code for, "I don't like this about you, so change already!" But it's unfair to demand that someone drop every quirk and live up to your expectations. "People are package deals," says Michele Weiner-Davis, a psychotherapist and author of The Sex-Starved Marriage (Simon & Schuster). "There will be some things you love and some you don't. That's part of being married."

Cleanup time: Sometimes the stuff in question is genuinely important to one of you, in which case the other should just accept it as an annoying but minor part of the overall adventure. But if the two of you are constantly arguing over possessions that really aren't such a big deal, or if you're stuck because no one has the time to sort through and decide what to throw out, brainstorm solutions together. For instance, you could hold a garage sale and include some of your book collection and his extra cameras to start a fund for the flat-screen TV you've both been wanting.