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OPINION | DEAR ABBY: Dad’s bursts of enthusiasm collide with boys’ bedtime

by Abigail Van Buren | May 14, 2022 at 1:00 a.m.

Dear Abby: My husband gets 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. 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. — 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, but his timing is off. If he expects you and the kids 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 ex-husband and I have been divorced for more than two years. We had our wedding reception in a live music venue, and we would go there every weekend to hear the music. We were divorced shortly after our marriage because he had frequent violent outbursts. After our divorce, he called and asked me on a date. When I went out with him, it was great. We listened to the musicians, and no one knew we were divorced.

My ex had serious surgery, which I helped him through, but because of a violent episode from him, I’ve now severed all ties. I’d like to go back and listen to the music, but I don’t know what to say when they ask me where he is. — Uncertain Music Lover

Dear Music Lover: When you are asked, all you need to say is, “’John’ and I are no longer a couple, so you won’t be seeing him with me anymore. I may have split with my husband, but I haven’t fallen out of love with your music.” It isn’t necessary to share any details beyond that.

Dear Abby: My grandparents have been very generous. They provided for me in ways my parents could not when I was a child. They allowed me to take music lessons and vacations and paid for my higher education. They also started an investment fund for me that has grown nicely.

Now I’m married (I’m 37; my husband is 42), we are financially stable and obtaining financial counseling, and have decided to put the funds in a different form of investment. Grandma objects to any changes to these gifts and puts pressure on us. How do I thank her for her generosity and let her know we are handling our finances now? — Cutting The Apron Strings

Dear Cutting: Start by telling your grandma again how grateful you are for everything she has provided. Explain to her what your investment plans are for the money, and your reasons for wanting to change. If she has concerns, hear them out and suggest she discuss them with your financial adviser, which might put her worries to rest.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother,Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at P.O. Box 69440,Los Angeles,CA 90069 or visit


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