DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband and I are planning a trip with our three children next month to visit friends and family in California. We made a budget for our family of five to stay in a three-star hotel. My husband wants to bring his mother with us. It will be a tight fit in our SUV, which I do not have a problem with, but what bothers me is that my husband wants his mother to stay with us in our hotel room. I offered to get two rooms, but he feels I am being unreasonable. I feel that three adults and three children is a lot to pack into a small hotel room. This should be a fun and happy time for my family, but I am frustrated and angry over this situation. Am I being unreasonable? Or should I just accept it and deal with being miserable? -- Unhappy Wife, Memphis, Tenn.
DEAR UNHAPPY WIFE: You should not go into your vacation with the mindset that it will be a miserable trip for you. Why? Because you will be guaranteeing that you will be looking through a miserable lens the entire time.
Instead, do some research. Find out if the hotel has adjoining rooms. Many hotels offer this option for larger parties. In this way, you can present the option of the space and privacy that two rooms can offer with the proximity that an open door between the rooms provides at the same time. If they have this available and it fits within your budget, present it to your husband.
Be clear with him that your concerns are real about the additional room. Push for this compromise. You need to be a united front before you head west.