It begins in September. My husband starts trolling travel sites on the Internet and, after dinner, retires to the living room with brochures emblazoned with pictures of the vast Sahara and the high Himalayas. Then he begins to throw out possibilities for our summer vacation: Barcelona? Kyoto? A trip down the Volga?

I resist. Travel strikes me as one of life’s more absurd endeavors. If you live here, why go there? Why not sit on the front porch, go to the local Italian restaurant, and rent a Bollywood movie? As far as seeing the sights, isn’t that why they invented IMAX?

But couples, if they endure, are sites of compromise: The extreme of one partner cancels that of the other and thereby creates a reasonable middle course (reasonable being, admittedly, a relative term). Take, for example, a typical… More…