Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole


DEAR HARRIETTE: I need some help with my husband, who refuses to travel outside of the United States. We have been married for six years, and every year I tell my husband that I want to travel to Paris and Italy for vacation. And every year he politely tells me no.

When I asked why he is not interested in traveling outside of the U.S., he responded, "We can see everything we want right here in the United States." To prove his point, this is what my husband decided to do: Instead of going to Europe, we went to Las Vegas and stayed at the Paris hotel, and we visited the Venetian hotel to ride the gondolas.

I have to admit that we had a great time in Vegas, but I really wanted to go to Europe instead. How can I change my husband's mind about traveling outside the United States? -- Would-be Globetrotter, Chicago

DEAR WOULD-BE GLOBETROTTER: I hope you thanked your husband for his creative attempt to satisfy you and himself. You have to admit that his compromise was clever.

I suggest that you dig a little deeper to try to find the source of your husband's apprehension regarding international travel. Is there something in his past that might preclude him from securing a passport? Did he have a bad experience before meeting you that had to do with international travel?

If he sticks to his guns, begin to talk to him about other options. It could be that his lack of interest in going does not preclude you from going. Perhaps you can go to Europe with some of your girlfriends or with an organized tour group. Indeed, if you go and come back with a wealth of stories, he may change his mind and choose to join you the next time.

DEAR HARRIETTE: A superior sent me a rude email earlier this week. Her request was reasonable, but the way she phrased the email was unnecessarily rude and harsh. I'm not sure if I should bring it up with the other superiors or if it would put them in an uncomfortable position. What should I do? -- Offended, Boston

DEAR OFFENDED: If you can drum up the courage, speak directly to the woman who wrote the email. Request a meeting. Acknowledge the tasks that she requested. If you have completed them, state that fact. Otherwise, tell her when you expect to be finished. Then add that the note was a bit disconcerting for you because it was so harshly delivered. State that you want to do a good job and fulfill her expectations and that it will be easier to do so if she is not so harsh.

Your superior may not respond favorably to your request, but I think it would be best to go to her first before reporting her to others. If you do not feel that you have been heard or acknowledged after talking with her, go to human resources for support.