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Dear Abby: Dad's bursts of enthusiasm collide with boys' bedtime

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Dear Abby

Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY: My husband gets very upset when our 4-year-old sons don't share his enthusiasm over something that excites him. He wants them (and me) to jump up and down or cheer when he's excited about something. The problem is, he tends to share his news when we're getting ready for bed or just plain tired. I feel guilty for not acquiescing, but at the same time, I don't want to fake it. Any suggestions for a compromise, please? -- AT A LOSS IN TEXAS

DEAR AT A LOSS: Explain to your husband that you are "sorry" he's upset at the lack of enthusiasm he's receiving when he's excited about something, but his TIMING is off. If he expects you and the children to be his cheering section, it would be helpful if he timed his announcements so they don't conflict with bedtime, when everyone's energy level is low.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married for seven years. He provides financially for our family, while I work part-time. My husband is an "open book" when it comes to discussing our personal finances with others, while I am extremely private about this type of information.

Recently, our neighbors stopped by, and he told them what we paid for some work we had done on our house, which they did not ask to know. I was appalled that he did it, and asked him after they were gone not to tell people such private information. I'm very uncomfortable discussing our salaries with others, while he thinks it's something for all to know.

We're a middle-class family, and I'm by no means embarrassed by our finances, but I think it's preferable to abstain from discussing these matters with others. He thinks it's rude not to tell people what we pay for things and how much we make and save. Is it common practice to discuss personal finances with others? -- PRIVATE LADY IN NEW MEXICO

DEAR PRIVATE LADY: Rude?!

Nowhere is it written that people "have" to discuss their finances with anyone other than one's spouse, immediate family or CPA. Keeping quiet about financial matters is not a breach of etiquette; it's good judgment. What your husband is doing could be perceived as bragging, which creates resentment and jealousy rather than impresses others, and anyone who reads my column knows it can drive people away.

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