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We could spend hours diving into every aspect of table do’s and don’ts, but I want to give you my top 13 tips that will help you navigate any social or business gathering with confidence.

When God knitted together our precious children before they were even born, I am convinced he also wove in their personalities, gifts, and a love language! The concept of “love languages” is that each of us expresses and receives love in a unique way. The five love languages identified by Gary Chapman in his bestselling book are: Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Gifts.

When God knitted together our precious children before they were even born, I am convinced he also wove in their personalities, gifts, and a love language! The concept of “love languages” is that each of us expresses and receives love in a unique way. The five love languages identified by Gary Chapman in his bestselling book are: Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Gifts.

Vacations are back on the calendar, and many people are crossing the country through our friendly skies. I thought a refresher on airport and plane travel might do us all a little good.

I heard the most interesting ad the other day. There is a company that offers private-type flights for the commercial world. They describe themselves as a “hop on jet service.” On their website it states, “The convenience of private air but at commercial prices.” I looked them up, and there was one flight from Dallas to Houston for only $99!

“Conflict is part of every marriage. Thirty-seven percent of newlyweds admit to being more critical of their mates after marriage. And 30 percent report an increase in arguments. Whether you argue does not determine the health of your marriage. Far more important than how often you argue is how you argue.

With Father’s Day coming soon, you and your family will be celebrating one of the most important men in your life- Dad. As a child, he was your hero, your protector, and your solid rock. Now that you are older, you admire him for all that he has done for you and you still look to him for advice and wisdom. Picking out the perfect gift for Dad is not easy!

School is almost out for summer! Many of us want to gift our child’s teacher something special at the end of the year for all the love, kindness, and patience they have poured out on our little ones. Being a teacher is not easy, and they are so deserving of our gratitude especially after this wild 20/21 school year! Some common go-to gifts you might have thought of are bath and body products, Starbucks gift cards and mugs, but below are some additional gift ideas your child’s teacher will be touched to receive:

School is almost out for summer! Many of us want to gift our child’s teacher something special at the end of the year for all the love, kindness, and patience they have poured out on our little ones. Being a teacher is not easy, and they are so deserving of our gratitude especially after this wild 20/21 school year! Some common go-to gifts you might have thought of are bath and body products, Starbucks gift cards and mugs, but below are some additional gift ideas your child’s teacher will be touched to receive:

Graduation is a pivotal point in a young person’s life. It is the beginning of a season of responsibility, coming of age, and independence. As these twenty-somethings are about to discover the meaning of “adulting,” here are some gift ideas that will no doubt be a blessing in your college grad’s new life.

If some of you are thinking, “I believe I have read this letter before,” you would be correct. Our son and daughter (in law) had a beautiful wedding ceremony planned for April of 2020. As with thousands around the country, they had to postpone the big event, but chose to hold a private covenant ceremony in our backyard. Well, we are finally celebrating their wedding vows, and it was on my heart to re-post the letter I wrote to my son last year. Some things have changed (he is now 25, not 24 as the letter states), but I hope you enjoy!

 I heard the most interesting ad the other day. There is a company that offers private-type flights for the commercial world. They describe themselves as a “hop on jet service.” On their website it states, “The convenience of private air but at commercial prices.” I looked them up, and there was one flight from Dallas to Houston for only $99! 

“We read a lot of articles and books about how to get through the engagement process, but no one ever talked to us about what it would be like the first year of our marriage. I wish we had known what to expect,” said one of the couples my husband and I mentor. This is a common comment, and if you find yourself having similar feelings, do not fret! You are not alone. The first year of marriage is fabulous, but it can also be difficult. Two people learning to become one does not happen overnight.

We all like to think we have good manners in marriage, but with the people that are closest to us, we can sometimes find ourselves slipping a bit. As stated by Cindy Grosso of the Charleston School of Protocol, manners are not about a bunch of rules. Manners are the outward manifestation of the condition of our heart. If we have a heart that loves, honors, respects, and cherishes our spouse, then these traits will show in how we behave.

Society is opening and people are resuming long overdue vacations. This is great news! I recently posted some tips on making your travels successful, but let’s focus on dos and don’ts of traveling with friends.

 

1. Boundaries: When traveling with others, set guidelines, boundaries, and expectations before leaving town. If you know you and your husband want one night to yourselves, express this up front. If a quiet breakfast in bed is necessary to start your day, see if this fits with the group’s schedule. 

  • Patti Hatton

Q/A Communicating with a Quiet Spouse

Updated: Oct 22, 2020

Q: My spouse comes from a family that does not share their feelings with each other. He is quiet which makes it difficult to communicate. I come from a family that shares everything. How can we better communicate with each other?

A: Opposites attract, and I can see why you were drawn to one another. If you learn to meet in the middle, a beautiful balance can be obtained. Not knowing the full situation, I will give one word of caution. Sharing “everything” is not the norm for healthy relationships (depending on what you mean by “everything”). Once a word is spoken, it cannot be taken back and there are some things that are sacred between husband and wife that need to be treated as such. When it comes to sharing information about our own life, we can take liberties, but we need to seriously discern if information about our spouse is ours to share. A good test for this is imagine your conversation with a parent or friend is being video-taped. Would you want that videotape being replayed for your spouse? Would he be happy with what you revealed? If not, we need to hold those conversations to ourselves. Otherwise, trust issues will arise between the couple, which causes a quiet spouse to become even more quiet.


Regarding your question in getting a quiet spouse to speak, open-ended questions are a great way to offer a person a platform for conversation. For example, asking a person if they like or do not like something is asking for a yes or no answer. Whereas, asking what a person thinks is an open-ended question. The spouse cannot answer with a yes or no. They will be prompted to share their feelings about the situation. If your spouse is not quick to respond, he may be a slow processor. He needs time to think about your question and formulate his answer. This is when you need to practice reflective listening. Sit quietly while your spouse takes time to answer. When he speaks, repeat back to him what he said. This demonstrates you are actively listening and allows him to clarify his point if there is any misunderstanding. Many times, the talkative spouse will ask an open-ended question but lack the patience to sit quietly while the quiet spouse thinks, contemplates, and formulates his response. If the talker asks a question of her spouse, then proceeds to offer her own thoughts, and answer her own question, then the quiet spouse will sit quietly while the talker just continues to talk. He may even wonder if his opinion or counsel is desired or if the talker just needed a sounding board. Talkers often ask questions, give their opinions, and come up with their own answers, all before the spouse has a chance to answer. Before the husband can speak what he has formulated in his mind, the talker has moved on to another subject. Bringing conversation cards to date night is a fun way to have guided opportunities for connection.


Conversation questions could be things like:

1) What motivates you? What stirs your heart?

2) What does it mean for you to feel nurtured?

3) What is a favorite memory from high school?

4) What would days 1, 2 and 3 of your ideal vacation look like?

When it comes to a quiet spouse verses a talkative spouse, the talker needs to learn to ask open-ended questions that cannot be answered with yes and no. The talker also needs to learn patience by sitting quietly after she asks the question, giving her spouse time to answer.

Patti Hatton, MA, LPC

www.pattihattoncounselor.com