DEAR ABBY: I have a question that I have not seen addressed in your column.
How do older couples (families raised) who marry for the second time handle their finances? What is fair? Should they share all expenses equally, or is it too old-fashioned for a woman to expect to be supported by her husband?I would appreciate getting some input on a question that, I think, many second-timers grapple with. - ONE OF THEM IN SUN CITY
DEAR ONE OF THEM: Wise second-timers have prenuptial agreements drawn up by their lawyers. (Yes, "his" and "hers.") The agreement should state who shall pay for what after they're married. Much depends on the financial situation of both parties. If the man is well-to-do and the woman is not, he should support her. If she is and he is not, she should willingly support him.
If the financial status of both parties is equal, they should share all of the household expenses, trips, etc.
Problems arise if one party saves his (or her) money and expects the spouse to spend his or hers. These matters should be discussed and agreed upon before the marriage; then to avoid misunderstandings, it should be in writing and signed by both parties.
It may sound cold and unromantic, but it's sensible and realistic.
DEAR ABBY: Please put this suggestion in your column without mentioning where it came from.
If you are invited to someone's home for dinner and offer to bring something toward the dinner, and your hostess says, "No, thank you, I have everything planned," please believe her and do not bring anything. If you bring something, she will be obligated to serve it, which could cause a problem.
I attended a dinner party recently where a guest unexpectedly brought her specialty - chocolate mousse topped with whipped cream. The hostess had already made apple pie for dessert, but she felt obligated to serve the dessert her guest had brought, so she served two desserts.
The chocolate mousse brought by the guest was exceptionally delicious, which made the hostess's apple pie look very ordinary by comparison. - ANONYMOUS
DEAR ANONYMOUS: Nowhere is it written that a hostess is obligated to serve anything brought by a guest. It's perfectly acceptable to say "Thank you," then place the offering in the freezer.
DEAR ABBY: I have a bright, friendly 3-year-old child. She has always talked a lot for her age. My problem: Just lately she has begun to yell when she talks. Her normal speaking voice is becoming increasingly loud, and I cannot seem to get her to talk softly. How can I get her to tone down her voice? - RUTH
DEAR RUTH: Tell your pediatrician what you have told me. Perhaps your daughter has a hearing loss.
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