Love Q&A: How to Say No?

Q:

How can I say no to my partner?

A:

Sure thing-- you just have to be super-duper gracious about it. As soon as you get the invite, "call and explain that although you really would love to be there, you have a prior commitment," suggests Colleen Thompson of Connecticut. "Leave the explanation vague so no one gets offended. You 'prior commitment' is to your marriage, so you really aren't lying." Go online that day and send a gift with a nice note ("so sorry to have to miss Emma's party," blah blah blah). Feeling guilty about being MIA at these events? Host your own shindig later that year and invite everyone. "That way, you show family members you care about them," notes Thompson. "But it's on your own terms, when you both have the time and energy to really enjoy their company."