“Every winter, my college girlfriends and all our husbands get together for a ski trip. It’s always a great time and one of the only instances we get to see each other throughout the year since we all live in different states now. The only problem is my husband and my oldest and best friend constantly butt heads. They argue and bicker a lot and have both told me in no uncertain terms they don’t like each other. Should I ask the two of them to work out their differences, or should I make up an excuse so he doesn’t have to attend this year?”
In my experience, large groups of friends can usually get along for a short trip with minimal conflict, but micro-feuds between pairs can rear their ugly heads from time to time. It seems you’ve drawn the short end of the stick here, and the issues between your husband and your friend are giving you a headache.
It’s probably petty. It’s also common, and the conflict can run the gamut from mildly annoying to completely destroying a trip for everyone involved.
How you approach the situation depends on whether or not you think it can be resolved, where the tension exists and who it affects. I think you need to ask yourself a few key questions and then remember this: The solution is about minimizing discomfort, not eliminating it.