DEAR HARRIETTE: My friends invited my family to visit their country house for a long weekend. Just before it was time to start our drive, they called to say that they didn't have any electricity. (There was some type of power outage.) They invited us to come anyway, but I really didn't want to go. I told my husband, and we ended up having a huge argument because he thought I was being ridiculous. In the end, we went and had a great time. The kids loved being in the dark with candles. What I didn't appreciate was that my husband refused to even consider my position. I want to be able to state my case and have us discuss it without a fight. How can I do that? I am sick of arguing with him. -- Fed Up, New York City
DEAR FED UP: Attitude is everything. The way you broach a subject often directly affects the way that people react to you. If you were instantly against the idea of keeping your plans, you may have dashed your husband's feelings. What you may want to do in the future is to say, "Let's talk this through to see what makes the most sense." If you suggest that the two of you come up with a plan together, you create space for consensus building rather than having to choose between one option or the other.