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IF YOU'RE READY TO MAKE EPIC CHANGES NOW, CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE YOUR FREE 15 MINUTE CONSULT!

I LOOK FORWARD TO MEETING YOU SOON!

-Robyn

23151 Verdugo Drive, Suite 201
Laguna Hills, CA 92653

714-390-1652

Relationships are messy + delicious. Learn about how Robyn D'Angelo, The Happy Couple Expert uses science to effectively help couples in Orange County, California to master the messiness of relationships while learning how to love + be loved, better.

The Blog

What your couples therapist WON'T tell you ...

Robyn D'Angelo

As a couples therapist for over a decade, I can tell you that my love for love used to drive everything I did with my clients. 

I was so optimistic that I could help them, no matter how disconnected they were, no matter how nasty they were to one another, and even if they didn't do an ounce of work outside of our weekly sessions ...

“I COULD HELP THEM SAVE THEIR RELATIONSHIP!”

Except I couldn't. Not all the time. Not every couple. And I never wanted to talk about that.

You've heard the horror stories of your friends going to couples therapy and things going completely sideways.

They felt like it actually made the relationship even worse.

Or they just thought it was a waste of money to have someone sit across from them, nod, and ask "How does that make you feel?"  (barf! I'd hate that, too!)

If this is you, you may want to check out the blog I wrote last month. 

It may not be couples therapy that you need right now. 

But when do you hear about couples therapy actually working?

It's not every day that people write/sing songs publicly professing how much they love their therapist, like Kristen Bell did. (Omg if you haven't watched/heard this check it out. Now. Seriously, it's hilarious. And come on back when you're done!)

So after a 10+ years of being this Epic LoveGeek, I've started to get real. Not only with myself in how I support my clients, but directly with my clients.

And I'd like to share with you, what most therapists won't tell you.

That there actually ARE things you can (and quite frankly, SHOULD) be doing, in order for couples therapy to actually work for you. And this is the stuff that couples therapist won't tell you... so take notes. 

My top 5 tips for how to ensure couples therapy is a success*:

1. Deciding if it's time to start couples therapy: 

Most couples wait an average of six years of being unhappy before getting help. Think about this statistic for a minute. Couples have six years to build up resentment and contempt before they begin the important work of learning to resolve differences in effective ways. If you're unhappy, or confused, or stuck or just tired of having the same fight over + over, it's time to start couples therapy. On the flip side, what most couples therapists won't tell you is this: If you're completely exhausted, can't stand the sight of your partner and being in the room with them makes you want to punch something, couples therapy won't work. Not yet, anyway. Plain + simple. CLICK HERE to read my last blog on what to do instead. (You'll thank me)

2. Getting your partner to attend couples therapy:

Does this feel true for you: "My partner would NEVER agree to couples therapy!" Instead of asking your partner, "Hey, do you want to do couples therapy with me?" (because let's face it, no one WANTS to go to couples therapy) I encourage you to say some version of this:

"I've been feeling really disconnected + unhappy lately. I want to make this better for both of us and I just don't know how to do it on my own. Would you be willing to join me in couples therapy?" And stop talking. Let them complain, get defensive, maybe even blame you for the current state of affairs. You can even validate their concerns about price, making time for sessions, etc. "I know, it's going to suck, but I really want things to get better and I need help. Would you be willing to join me?" (rinse + repeat until you get a yes or no. If you get a no, go back up to Tip #1.) 

3. Identifying if you or your partner are NOT ready for couples therapy:

Do you know why you want to go to therapy? Do you know what you hope to get out of therapy? Are you and your partner wanting to accomplish the same thing? Can you commit to meeting consistently until you met your goals? Have you budgeted for therapy? Then you're probably ready for couples therapy. YAY!

Are you confused as to what you'd even talk about in therapy? Do you know that you want out of the relationship while your partner wants to make it work? Are you actively having an affair and aren't ready to end it? Do you get physically violent with partner? Are you struggling with depression, anxiety, PTSD or any other mental health diagnosis without being treated by a professional? Then you're probably NOT ready for couples therapy. These can all be addressed in individual therapy first.

4. Using couples therapy to ask for a separation or divorce: Is this allowed?

Hell yes it is. If you know that you're not willing to do any (more) work to revive the relationship, for any reason at all, and you want to use couples therapy to ask for a divorce: Go for it!

Be open and honest with the therapist if they offer a phone consultation before meeting, so they can let you know if that's something they support couples with. And if not, move on and find a therapist who does. You don't want to purposefully keep it from a therapist in the case that they are not comfortable or competent in helping couples to split up - it could make for quite an awkward and possibly even emotionally damaging therapy session for everyone.

5. Feeling angry that there's not been any/enough progress. What the f*ck do I do now?:

Therapy sucks. Ok, maybe therapy itself doesn't suck (all the time) but the reasons why you're there, the pain + frustration you're likely feeling and the sense of "will this really ever get any better or should I just bail?" is what sucks. Here's what your therapist isn't telling you: THEY ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR FIXING YOU OR YOUR RELATIONSHIP. You are not paying your therapist to fix you. If you're feeling stuck, like things are going too slow or that therapy isn't helping then you must advocate for yourself. Tell your therapist + get curious about what YOU could be doing different before you consider the support to be faulty.

BONUS TIP:

My therapist suggests weekly sessions: Is this really necessary? It's so expensive!

You're right. Therapy can be expensive. But so is divorce. I know it sounds cliche but it's the truth. And either way, you're suffering. So you might as well suffer with a possibility of a renewed sense of connection + repaired relationship before you suffer (emotionally + financially) to dissolve a relationship that turns out to be unrepairable. Just like any goal you set out to achieve: being able to run a 5k in under 30 minutes or being able to speak a new language, etc. you've got to commit to consistent practice to get good. You’ve got to show up, consistently, without taking too much time off from doing the work to get good. Therapy is no different. And most good couples therapists will require weekly sessions. What I tell my clients is that as delightful as they sound when we talk on the phone for the first time, I don’t wan to see them forever. MY goal is to help them get to a place where they don’t NEED me … they simply need to remember how to do what their relationship needs to thrive.

If you're ready for this support, click the button below + let's talk.

Let me guide you to a place of replenishment. Let me be your coach, your mentor, your guide.

*Disclaimer: Couples therapy does not work for everyone. Especially if you don't follow all the suggestions above. And even when you do follow them all, it still may not work. Attempt at your own risk. 

Why couples therapy won't work if you're lonely + exhausted.

Robyn D'Angelo


Being married and lonely is a thing. And it's exhausting.

Not only is it an exhausting thing. It was my exhausting thing once. Ok more than once. It's been a thing of mine, over and over. Off + on for years.

And if you've been married or coupled for any amount of time, I'd go out on a limb to say that I'm sure it's been your thing once or twice, as well.

If you're currently feeling pretty lonely in your relationship and you're wondering…

what the hell can I do to change this dynamic?

how in the world can we get that loving feeling back?

what will it take to not lose my shit for the third time this week?

Then CLICK HERE. I wrote a lovely little piece last year about how to talk to your partner about this. How to get back to a sense of Self so that you can reconnect, repair and reignite passion with your partner. Go ahead check that blog out.

Today, I'm writing to the person who is lonely, and too tired to work at repairing, reconnecting or reigniting anything with your partner.

Yep, you know the feeling.

You're exhausted. You've sailed past being heartbroken + landed on the island of numbness. Maybe you're even checked out., emotionally.

And you’re probably even an alumni self help student. Which I love by the way, when written by those who use science + research to back up their advice.... ie: The Gottmans, Harville Hendrix, Stan Tatkin, Susan Johnson and Terry Real just to name a few of my faves.

But those nifty techniques aren’t working anymore.

  • Your Imago Dialogue falls flat when your partner has ignored you for the last few months.

  • Your soft start-ups get epic eye rolls and one helluva scoff. EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

  • Oh and don't even get me started on when your "I statements" blow up in your face.

Fucking "I statements." (Can you hear my eye roll in that one? ha!)

Look, you're tired. You're lonely. And you're married.

I get it. Boy do I get it.

You're also not ready to pull the plug (or are you?)

You've got the kids to think about.

It's not like your spouse is abusive, cheating, or lying so you can't be THAT upset. (right?)

And yet, you can't seem to pull yourself out of this place.

Where you shudder at the thought of him touching you.

You can't even bring yourself to accept his invitation to have sex.

The last thing you want is to feel his ANYTHING touching anything of yours. BARF.


You're done. But you're not really done.

I don't think you want out of the marriage. I don't think you want to separate or divorce. I don't even think you want a new spouse.

You just don't want to FEEL THIS. What you're feeling. And what you have been feeling for months, maybe even years.

You’re done feeling unappreciated, judged, invisible, and like you're nothing more than the house manager.

And guess what ...

Couples therapy isn't going to help you. It won’t work this time.

I can say that with confidence. I've been to plenty of couples therapy off and on over the years. And let me be the one to tell you, when you're in this place, couples therapy is going to fall flat.

Not because your therapist sucks.

Not because your spouse is an idiot, asshole, or entitled man-child.

Couples therapy won't work when you are emotionally, mentally + energetically spent.

The truth about couples therapy is this:

  • It’s the 6-month long training required to set a new personal record running that Marathon.

  • It’s the intense studying, all nighters, for weeks on end before you sit for the bar exam.

  • It’s the 9 months of reading parenting books, attending classes, putting together the nursery, and watching your body change, in preparation to have a baby.

  • It’s the noisy, dirty, unpredictable demolition of the fixer upper you bought, the drawing up of new floorplans, the rebuilding, and the decorating to make a new house your new home.

What I'm getting at, is that couples therapy is the training.

  • It's the learning.

  • The roll-your-sleeves-up and get to work.

  • It's the practicing.

  • The getting vulnerable.

  • It's the cracking open so that you can get to the heart of the devastation + repair.

You're not ready for couples therapy. You need some relational individual therapy.

You're in desperate need of soul nourishing conversations, internal explorations, and rediscovery of self.

Running a 26.2 mile marathon dehydrated, starving, and 30 pounds overweight will cause MASSIVE injuries. Maybe even irreversible damage.

Similarly, starting couples therapy lonely an exhausted is setting yourself (and your relationship) up for disappointment + failure. You don't yet have the wherewithal to show up and do the work.

If you're starting out empty will not have the capacity to give the love, empathy, compassion, respect and patience needed in couples therapy.

You need to refuel. You need to replenish. You need to fill up, so that you can show up.

And train. And heal. And connect.

You need one on one, individual support that is focused on relationships. healthy ones. full of vitality. passion. desire. wanting. openness. LOVE.

I'd love to support you in refueling. In recharging. In filling back up so that you can learn how to move from feeling lonely, married + exhausted to feeling like you've got the relationship that you and your partner both deserve + desire.

Look, Epic love is great. But sometimes, you just need some help getting back to love that feels good enough. The kind of love that feels safe. And like you're not alone.

If you're ready for this support, click the button below + let's talk.

Let me guide you to a place of replenishment. Let me be your coach, your mentor, your guide.

How to unclutter + tidy up your relationship.

Robyn D'Angelo

Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizing consultant, who is transforming the lives of people across the globe. And honestly, I’m slightly obsessed. I totally got sucked into her show on Netflix.
And my friends are eating this stuff up, too!

They're folding things. Organizing their kids rooms. Posting memes on Facebook "But does it spark joy?" They're even thanking items for being rad, and letting them go.

If you haven’t heard of her, here’s the quick + dirty:

Robyn DAngeloLMFT.png

In 2012 her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing was published and she set off a decluttering + tidying up craze across the globe.

If you want to work with her directly, you'll be on quite the wait list.

So in the mean time, her book breaks down her radical, two-part approach to decluttering + tidying up your home:

  1. First, you hold an item in your hands (clothes, books, pots + pans, you name it), then you ask yourself if it sparks joy, and if it doesn’t, thank it for its service and get rid of it.

  2. Second, once you've got only the items that spark joy, you tidy up by putting every item in a place where it’s visible, accessible, and easy to grab and then put back.

The idea is that you never really have to clean again and you can experience personal harmony in your home.

This got me thinking ...

What would happen if we applied these principles to our most intimate relationships?


Is it possible to Tidy Up + Declutter our relationships to experience relational harmony?

And the answer is, YES! Yes it is.

If we can maintain the order, harmony, peace + flow of our homes by strategically tidying + decluttering, then we definitely do this in our relationships.


Here are just a few ways you can declutter + tidy up your relationship to experience relational nirvana.

(okay, maybe that's a bit dramatic. But a girl's gotta have goals.)

1. Focus on themes, not topics.

Tidying up, according to Kondo isn't about tackling your house room by room, it's about starting with categories, not an entire room. She suggests starting with clothes or books, not a your bedroom. Applying this to your relationship would mean, the next time you find yourself feeling angry, lonely or disconnected from your partner due to a recent argument or misunderstanding, ask yourself, "Have I felt this feeling before? What does this remind me of?" When you are able to identify themes in your conflicts, you have a better chance of being able to move through the discomfort/disconnection from a place of loving curiosity rather than a place of anger. Rather than just focusing on the topic of one particular fight. You can speak to how you're feeling and what you need in the moment.

2. Get curious about your partner's feelings.

This sounds pretty straight forward. But when you hear how Marie Kondo asks you you consider your clothing’s feelings, something shifts. She suggests looking in your closet and asking: "Are they happy being squashed in a corner shelf or crowded onto hangers? Are your bras really excited to hold up the girls all day when they're shoved in a drawer?" Sounds kind of ridiculous until you notice how totally miserable your clothes look. Applying this to your relationship will require you to slow down + not only notice your partner's mood + feelings, but to get curious with them. Tidying up your relationship, means getting to know your partner even deeper. Their struggles, their joys, and all that's between.


3. Identify the story + ditch the rest.

I'm yet to meet someone who only owns things that "spark joy" so why would we expect to find ONLY joy in our partners? What's important about this step, is to see if you can apply the process of identifying the story you make up about your partner, just like you do with the items in your home. We all have stories associated with experiences, that's how you feel joy, sadness, anger, excitement, etc. Just like picking up that cute sequenced dress you wore last New Years Eve, and letting the joyful memories flood your brain, you can do the same with your relationship. When your partner arrives home late, without a phone call or text, ask yourself "What am I making up about this?" Are you assuming they don't care about you? Do you imagine they are off doing better things? Does it bring back memories of past hurts? Once you can identify what you're making up about it, you can start to release it, and have a conversation about what you need or getting curious about what happened to keep them contacting you?

4. Rekindle the Spark.

Desire. Curiosity. Excitement. JOY. You're the only one who is responsible for the spark in your heart. But it takes both of you to spark (or kindle the spark) in your relationship. What do you know about your partner, in how they experience sparks? Do they love hearing compliments on how delicious dinner was? Do they get excited when date nights pop up on the calendar? Do they grin when they are asked to share about a current project they're working on? Maybe they melt with just the smell of your body next to theirs. Pick one thing a day, that you know will ignite the spark and do it. With love.

Because if you've been feeling frustrated, disconnected or maybe even downright right pissed off at your partner, sometimes you just need a little tidying up.


If you'd like help decluttering + tidying up your relationship, CLICK HERE and let's get the sparks flying!

Move through the (rest of) the holidays with ease.

Robyn D'Angelo

Thanksgiving is over.

And if you're reading this, I'm here to say BRAVO ... you made it.
We all made it.
And you can totally keep going.

This Thanksgiving may have been really rough.

You may have been deeply hurt (or straight up offended) by comments from your family.
You may have eaten more than you intended.
You may have deeply enjoyed yourself, your family, and your friends.
You may have gotten a little more tipsy than planned.
You may have dreaded being around your family the entire drive or flight over.
You may have skipped your workout(s) and are feeling guilty or physically off.
You may have allowed your sorrow to keep you company when all you wanted was to feel joy.
You may have stayed home alone, because you had no other choice.
You may have wanted to escape the chaos of the day but stayed out of obligation.
You may have missed someone intensely but couldn't share it with anyone.

Whatever your Thanksgiving was like...
However you're feeling today ...
JUST REMEMBER: You made it.

It's Monday.
Maybe you can sleep a little deeper tonight.
Maybe today work will be a little crazier than usual but for some reason it's totally ok.
Maybe you crawl into bed a little early tonight.
Maybe you find the energy to go for a quick stroll through the neighborhood after work.
Maybe you enjoy a lovely, light, nourishing dinner tonight by yourself or with your loved ones.

Whatever you do (or don't do) this week, please be kind to yourself.

Please remind yourself that you made it through this holiday + you’ve got a few more to go before the year ends.

To move through the rest of the holidays with ease, you've got to make time to celebrate YOU.

💙 Celebrate your resilience.
💙 Your compassion.
💙 Your ability to hang in there.

💙 Your kick ass ability to make this time of year special ... even if just for yourself.

And finally, please share this message with one other person.
We all need a little love after the holidays.
Especially when they melt into another holiday in few weeks.

If you're struggling to get through the holidays with ease, let's talk. You're never meant to get struggle alone. Let me support you through this time.

And who knows, maybe you'll clear out some emotional space so you can feel more joy than stress this year.

CLICK THE BUTTON BELOW + LET ME HELP YOU MOVE THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS WITH EASE.

When giving thanks is tough to do.

Robyn D'Angelo

The Thanksgiving holiday when you're struggling to give thanks ... can feel exhausting.

If you’re struggling to give thanks this year, I want you to know that you're not alone.

I invite you to take a moment to slow down + reflect here with me, right now ...

  • Can you think of one thing you've totally KICKED ASS at already this year?

  • Can you recall a moment when you felt deeply connected to your spouse, even just once this year and feel the warmth in your heart?

  • Is there space to see how your recent loss of a relationship has created space for you to reinvent yourself, show your kids that you can be happy, or just sleep a little better at night knowing you're doing the right thing?

Here are just a 10 ways to RECEIVE a little thanks, if giving it feels exhausting or inauthentic this time of year:

1. Breathe. Sit down + take 3 deep breaths. Say "I breathe in love + light" on every inhale, and "I breathe out stress + sorrow" on each exhale. Repeat as needed + watch the stress, struggle + heartache melt away. Eventually.

2. Smell + Soothe. Find your favorite smelling candle + light it. Let the smell twirl through your nostrils + let the memories swim through you mind. Smile.

3. Send Love. Shoot 4 text messages to people who always have your back. "Just want you to know that I cherish your friendship. I love that you're in my life. Thanks for being you."

4. Pour yourself a cozy beverage. Hot tea, cold brew, Irish Coffee ... whatever warms you from the inside, take 10 minutes to sip + savor this liquid love.

5. Stand up + move. I don't care if it's 10 jumping jacks, a downward dog or a simple walk to the wine fridge. Move for 30 seconds. Feel the energy flow.

6. Put on some tunes. Crank the Christmas music. Jam out to your fave gospel songs. Move to some blues. Whatever your jam is, rock it. (literally)

7. Cozy up. Grab your softest blanket, throw on your trusty Northface sweatshirt, or get your feet hoodies (warm socks) on and just feel cozy. Warmth is healing.

8. Get pampered. Book a massage, mani/pedi, or just invite a few friends over for an at-home-pampering-session. You deserve to feel as beautiful as you look.

9. Write yourself a love letter. Write out what friends, family members, co-workers, + strangers have told you they love about you. Seal it. Open it New Year's Eve, as a lovely reminder of how awesome you are.

10. Hug. I don't care if you grab the dog, your kid, a neighbor or your spouse that's been giving you the cold shoulder... hold out your arms. Daily hugs are necessary.

And if hugs are something you can get from others right now, stop reading this + wrap your arms around yourself. Seriously. Just do it. It feels amazing. I have been doing this a lot lately. Self hugs are still hugs.


So remember, if giving thanks is a struggle this year, you're not alone.

Hang in there.

And do these 10 things to receive a little love + gratitude for just being you.

The world needs you. Just as you are.

And if you're ready to give the world an even better, healthier + happier version of yourself and you'd like a little help getting there, sign up below for a consultation call with me.

Let's talk about how I can support you in moving through the holidays, preparing for a pretty amazing 2019.

How to Avoid Relationship Cardiac Arrest

Robyn D'Angelo

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This weekly running group of mine has really forced me to up my game.

Meaning I've had to dust off my running shoes + get back out there.

What I was NOT prepared for, was how much training my body would need to keep up with this weekly physical activity.

So, I invited my husband to join me on a 3 mile "Rock" this weekend.

If you're not familiar with this term, it's what I call my run/walk sessions.

I run a little, I walk a little, + I repeat that until I meet my goal.

To be honest, walking during a planned run used to be unacceptable to me.

I used to proudly announce how my fitness regimen required me to "Wreck myself into wellness." (there was no room for walking)

Then I turned 30... then 35 …and now 37.

And my body has prematurely adopted what I call the "Fuck-it-Forties" (aka: when you turn 40 you naturally give less fucks about much of anything) and is forcing me to slow down, listen to it rather than what I think I SHOULD be able to do, simply because I once could. But I digress.

My new apple watch ROCKS!!!

My new apple watch ROCKS!!!

While I was out on this ROCK with the husband, sporting my new apple watch (which is so rad, btw! I love not having to hold my phone to track my milage/pace) he asked me a seemingly innocent question:

Are you monitoring your heart rate?


GASP! My first thoughts (in no particular order):

What are you asking?

Am I that old that I need to monitor my heart rate?

Besides, who cares what my heart rate is, I can still run. See me running? I'm fine!

Does my huffing + puffing make me sound like I can't do this?

Is my face beet red, indicating that I can't keep up with you?


But I all that came out was a sharp,

"No! Why ... do YOU think I should be!?"

(my inner angsty teen had her arms crossed, nostrils flared, + daggers shooting out of her eyes at him with that one)

He gently went on to explain the importance of knowing the difference between STRESS + STRENGTHEN.

He shared with me, how important it is to strengthen not only my body when starting back at such high levels of physical exertion, but to also strengthen my lungs.

ok, I’m interested. Keep talking.


And then he said the words that nearly stopped me in my tracks:

“Most importantly, you need to slowly strengthen your heart.”


Of course me being the #LoveGeek sap that I am, started to tear up (or was that just sweat in my eyes? 😉 )


I must strengthen my heart. I must have a strong heart. Yes! I dig it. But there was more.

And this is where it gets really good. He went on to say:

"Can you imagine, if every time you set out for a run, it was a full on sprint? Your heart would only know massive stress. If the only time you needed it to show up for you, beyond a normal amount of daily movement, was to SPRINT, it wouldn't be able to handle it. You have to strengthen it, little by little, with incremental stress so that it doesn't seize on you.”

💥 KAPOW!!! 💥

(that was my mind being blown by the way, not my heart exploding, thankfully.)

"You're right! You're so right. On so many levels! I never thought about it like that. If I don't keep an eye on my heart rate, I won't REALLY know what is too much. Or what too little feels like."


His eyes lit up. Remember ladies, those two little words that EVERY SINGLE MAN needs to hear from us but rarely does, goes a long way. “You’re Right.”

He went on to share:

"Yes + you can really hurt yourself. You could go in to cardiac arrest! OR if you're not pushing yourself hard enough, you may never reach your goals of getting faster, stronger or increasing your endurance."

While I'm stoked to use this information to up my running game I was so grateful for the metaphor.

Because just like your heart, your relationship also needs to be strengthened before it's put under all that stress. It must have the foundation that can withstand the pressure.

If you don’t strength train your relationship, it can go into cardiac arrest.

In order to withstand the stress of big blow ups, painful arguments, frightening life circumstances, or any other MAJOR stressor on your relationship (birth of a child, death of a loved one, buying a new home, selling an old home, losing a job, starting a new career, health scare, etc) you’ve got to lay a solid, strong foundation + tend to that foundation OFTEN, to keep it strong.

So, if you’re constantly in chaos, confusion, + conflict, you’re constantly putting stress on the relationship.

So let’s talk about ways to strengthen, then stress.

  1. Warm-up. Start warming up to your spouse more often by verbalizing what you know about them + their experiences each day. ex: “I know you had a big meeting this morning, how’d it go?” or “Hey how was your run tonight, I know you were a little sore from this weekend’s rock.”😉

  2. Practice. Tell your partner how you feel, about the situation, + make your request. Using emotion words + those trusty old “I statements” you can actually have a conversation rather than a raging monologue. ex: “I feel …. (lonely, disconnected, irritated, etc.) when … (describe the situation: I come home + dishes are all over the sink, etc.) “Going forward, I’d like to create a system where dishes are done each night before bed so that we can both come home to a clean kitchen. What time are you free to have that 10 minute conversation tonight?”

  3. Cool-down. Make time to reflect + connect through out your day or at the end of it. ex: While lying in bed at night, after the kids are in bed, laundry is done, + you’re catching up on Ozark season 2, turn to them + say, “You know, it’s been so awesome the way you’ve helped the kids with their school work these last few nights. It’s really allowed me to focus on some of my other “to-dos.” And when I am productive, I find it easier to relax + connect with you at the end of our day. So, thanks.”

All of these are examples of conversations that strengthen the relationship, create connection + build intimacy.

Which is exactly what’s required to sustain the strain that shows up in EVERY relationship.

So, if you’re ready to get transformational relationship support so that you don’t have to TRAIN for the messiness of relationships on your own, click the button below + let’s chat.

Don’t let your relationship go into cardiac arrest - get the help you need, to create the relationship you deeply desire + deserve. TODAY.

It's all about where you do it.

Robyn D'Angelo

Recently, I was chatting with a friend about a weekend getaway with my husband to celebrate our wedding anniversary.

This was no usual getaway. And I mean, it was so far out of "the norm" for us, that we hardly recognized one another.

We slowed down where we would usually speed up, do more, see more +  explore a whole lot more.

But we didn't. 

We snuck away to a friend's cabin, in the mountains, 2 hours away, + if it weren't for the wifi, we would have been totally off the grid. 

Together, we slowed down.

We sat. 

We binged on season 6 of Orange is the New Black (finished the whole thing in 2 days + it was glorious!)

We drank wine + whiskey through out the day. 

We ate microwave popcorn for dinner. (YUM!)

And we just vegged out. 

Together. 

And as I was sharing this with my friend, feeling a little guilty for our anniversary being "so many things we could have just done any other weekend at home, he said something that really stuck with me: 

"Sometimes, it's all about where you do it, Robyn."

We both giggled a bit, but I was profoundly moved. 

His words swam through my brain. 

I smiled. I giggled more. And then I wrote this to you.

Because so often we think that in order to really slow down, connect, have great sex, relax, + enjoy the one person (who's been driving us crazy Monday-Friday), we MUST go do things so ADVENTUROUS that it mentally + physically rips us away from reality.

But that wasn't the case this weekend.

And that isn't the case, in general. 

Yeah, we were in traffic for 4 hours, to a location that technically should have been 2 hours away (thank you So Cal traffic), but it wasn't like a total escape from reality.

There's this big misconception when it comes to reconnecting in relationships ... 

You have to go all out by scheduling an expensive spa day, booking a weekend at the Ritz, all while documenting every moment on Instagram just to create deeply connected, lasting memories. 

I call bullshit. 

 
 

Sometimes, you just need to change things up ... a little.

And what better way to do that, than to change where you do it?

  •  Maybe it's sending the kids to grandma's so you two can pitch a tent in the backyard, camp under the stars + giggle at hilarious YouTube videos.
  •  Maybe it's letting your spouse choose a new location for your weekly date night. 
  • Maybe it's meeting each other at the beach, on your way home from work, to watch the sunset + sneak in a make-out session. 
  • Maybe it's getting breakfast at the new cafe instead of trying to figure out what to cook tomorrow morning. 
  • Maybe it's inviting your man to join you on quick a walk around the block to talk about what's for dinner.
  • Maybe it's flashing your bare buns to him, post-shower, as a playful invitation for a bathroom counter quickie.

Get creative. Do it someplace new. Together.

You see, connecting with your spouse doesn't require a the two of you to experience some life changing event together. 

Because let's face it ... even that experience does not guarantee connection. 

Now + then you just gotta change your environment. 

Get outta the house.
Get outta town.
Get outta the crazienss of everyday life.

As my wise friend said, "Sometimes, it's all about where you do it."  

So, where will you do it next?

Where will you go to connect, laugh, hold hands, have sex, cuddle, + have fun? 

If getting outta town isn't possible, consider getting into my office. Let me create an a safe, not-your-living-room space for the two of you to deeply connect + create the relationship you both deeply desire. Click the "Get Away, Together" button below + let's chat. 

 

The best mistake you'll ever make in marriage.

Robyn D'Angelo

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Let me introduce you to someone.**

Someone who was afraid to fail.

And I mean deathly afraid. I get it though. I would be too, if failure was something I wasn’t used to.

Not only that but for more than a decade, he was told he couldn’t.

He was not allowed to fail.

He heard the usual “You’re the best of the best,” comments from his superiors but he also heard, “You MUST BE the best of the best. That’s what’s expected of you. That’s your job.”

So over time, he was conditioned to believe he WAS the best.

Because if he wasn’t … what was he?

That’s one of the many ways the Marines shaped him.

  • To be confident in his words, decisions, actions, + leadership.
  • To be confident in his ideas, knowledge, + ability to be right.
  • To be confident that he would never make a mistake.

He had to be all of these things. The lives of his fellow soldiers depended on it.

And then he met HER**. And everything changed.

She challenged him on every front that he was so accustomed to being praised for.

She was this deep feeling woman who was told how kind, caring + empathic she was.

She came into his life + asked him to do things that didn't make sense to him...

>> She asked him to “not care who won sometimes” when playing board games.

>> She asked him to consider that others way of doing things were “ok” even if they weren’t the “best” way.

>> She asked him to RISK being wrong. To be ok with making mistakes. Now + then. Over + Over.

Because in relationships, that's what you do. That's just what happens.

In relationships, often times you, you make mistakes.

And, it’s ok.

Because in relationships, being wrong, failing + making mistakes makes you vulnerable.

And what we know about vulnerability is that it is connecting.

There’s not room for that in the military, or as the CEO, or the surgeon or any other HIGH-PRESSURE-perfection-is-required position.

  • You’re not there to connect deeply - you’re there to get the job done.
  • You’re not there to understand the people you’re with - you’re there to get the job done.
  • And you’re certainly not there to show tenderness + kindness - you’re there to do your job to the BEST of your abilities.
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Because if you don’t, people can die.

But your intimate relationships are MUCH different.

What a stark difference from marriage.
What a stark difference from any deeply intimate relationship that requires you to care, connect + be wrong sometimes.

Recently, this man who feared failure + this woman who cared deeply had been feeling incredibly disconnected.

It’s an awful feeling. It’s lonely. For both of them.

And for someone like her, who thrives from lots of tenderness + hugs, it was terrifying.

One night she was sitting there, hot tears streaming down her face, mid-fight, and all she needed was his arms wrapped around her, telling her that everything was going to be ok … 

She didn’t make demands.

She didn't scream + yell.

She didn't dare look up to see when the hug came.

She just waited...

She waited. And waited. And waited some more.

And then she looked up.

There he was. Just standing there. Looking at her. Quietly. Thoughtfully.

And she knew. He was afraid.

They'd been bickering all week. And he was afraid. To fail. To say the wrong thing. 

He looked at her crying, with his sad eyes, + asked, “Is there anything I can do for you right now?”

“Are you shitting me?!?!” she thought to herself..

 Ughhh, yeah. You know the drill. Get your ass over here + hug me. Make me feel loved. Tell me everything is going to be ok, even though we’re both mad. Get over here! LOVE ME!

But nothing came out. None of that. Those words were burning her from inside like hot lava.

She just cried more.

He was so afraid to fail, to hurt her even more or to make a mistake that he didn’t do the thing he FELT was the best.

He was thoughtful + logical … but that is not what they needed most in that moment.

His logic told him to stay right where he was. Not to risk going toward her pain. Because he might make it worse.

His logic told him to “Figure out the RIGHT thing to do first, then do it.” So he searched for the "right" answer.

His logic trumped his emotional response to seeing her in pain.

THEY needed him to allow his feelings to guide him. (which went against everything he’d been trained to know is the RIGHT way to operate).

And I say “They” needed something else, because his ability to make a mistake by loving her, is exactly what their relationship needed.

It’s what SO MANY relationships need.

To have the courage to make the mistake, by loving your partner.

We readily make lots of mistakes in our relationships …

  • By trying to prove our point.
  • By trying to be heard.
  • By trying to be right.
  • By shutting down to avoid pain/conflict.
  • By trying to convince the other person.

But what we really need is to practice making mistakes by LOVING OUR PARTNERS.

That means …

When you’re afraid to go in for that hug, do it anyway.
When it makes the most sense to offer a solution, try, “I’m so sorry that happened to you,” instead.
When you’re not sure how to support them, look at them lovingly + say “I can’t even imagine what you’re going through.”
When all you want to do is run because it’s so uncomfortable to see them sad, angry, or scared … stay right by their side + say, “I’m not going anywhere. I’m here with you.”

Take a risk of being wrong, failing + making a mistake by loving your partner.

Make the mistake by loving them.

And if making mistakes isn’t your jam, I get it. Do it anyway, your relationship needs these kinds of mistakes. Your relationship depends on your ability to lovingliny make mistakes.

If you’d like some help in loving your partner, even if it means possibly failing now + then, let’s chat.

Click the "Let's Chat" button below to sign up for a complementary quick chat about how you can start making mistakes by LOVING your partner, TODAY. They’ll thank you for reaching out. They’ll thank you for loving them the way they’ve been craving you to … for too long.

** The individuals portrayed in this writing are not actual clients.

How to Slow the F*ck Down.

Robyn D'Angelo

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Themes.

It’s what therapists look for, listen for + feel for when supporting + guiding their clients.

A theme is defined as:

noun: the subject of a talk, a piece of writing, a person's thoughts, or an exhibition; a topic.

It’s central to any good book, movie, and story.

And since our lives are simply a collection of stories (tragedies, action, super hero, love + more) it’s no surprise when I start to hear similar themes in the stories of my clients.

And while it should be absolutely no surprise when those very same themes pop up in my own life … it still takes me by surprise now + again.

The Theme We {you + I} Share

There’s this thing I say a lot. I say it in session with my clients. I’ve said it on the phone + via text to clients. And I’ve said it to friends near + far.

And more recently, I’ve been listening to my friends + mentors say it to me.

It’s something we all need to hear now + then.

And it’s something we all must do now + then.

And when we don’t … everything seems to come crashing down, or to a screeching halt.

SLOW THE FUCK DOWN.

If you’re anything like me, you find it challenging to slow down. (I even contributed an entire article titled: A busy person’s guide to resting). I know, right? 

You find it maddening when “zenned out people” in your life remind you to slow down.

And it’s the most annoying when you find yourself telling those even busier than you, to consider slowing down.

But have you noticed what happens when you actually do this? 

When you actually pause long enough, to look around you and SEE, FEEL, + LISTEN to what your world is telling you?

I’m curious, though … what would it take for you to slow down? And I don’t me barely tapping the breaks, I mean a legit slowing the fuck down.

Pulling over, putting it in park, + stopping now and then.

What will it take?

Will it take sustaining some sort of physical injury?

Will it take your spouse serving you with divorce papers?

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Will it take your kids choosing time with the sitter over you?

Will it take family members no longer inviting you to holiday get together?

Will it take dear friends ignoring your rare attempts to connect over coffee?

This is my plea to you …

Don’t wait until there’s some sort of rupture, to slow down.

Don’t wait until something is broken, bleeding, or completely lifeless to attempt resuscitation.

Check Yourself.

Remember my mention of themes a little earlier? Yeah well, I will venture to guess you’ve got a few popping up in your life right about now, right?

Look at these areas of your life, + check yourself. Do you notice any themes running through them:

  •       Relationships: Romantic, Friends, Family, Professional
  •       Health: Intellectual, Mental, Physical, Spiritual, Emotional
  •       Interests: Creative, Physical, Intellectual, Personal
  •       Contributions: Community, Professional, Financial

These are just a few areas for you to slow down and assess – what’s going on.

More importantly what’s NOT going on? What’s missing?

Are people in multiple areas of your life making similar comments?

Are you hearing things (themes) like:

“We miss you – where have you been?”
“What’s new in your life – I feel like I have no idea what you’ve been up to.”
“When do we get to see you again? It’s been forever!”
“I’m worried about you.”
“You’re not looking so good these days, is everything ok?”

I can almost guarantee that if your body is not screaming at you in some way (stomach issues, sleep issues, skin issues, foggy brain, high irritability, acid reflux, body pains, etc) those around you who love + care about you are.

Or are about to. OR perhaps they’ve stopped because you’ve been so unresponsive.

How to Slow the Fuck Down.

I’m going to share a little secret with you on how to slow down.

It may seem impossible. You may want more detailed instructions. And this may seem too simple.

But here it is.

JUST DO IT. (Thanks for that one Nike)

Just choose an area of your life, and slow the fuck down. Here are a few ways to do just that:

  • Take an afternoon off from work, get a sitter + take your spouse out for lunch.
  • Pull up the calendar at the yoga studio you’ve been paying $100/month to attend but haven’t gone since January’s New Year’s Resolution + go to a candlelight yoga class this weekend.
  • Turn off the tv, get off social media, + pick up the phone to call your sister whose two kids just moved all their stuff out of the house to go off to college + now she's an empty nester.
  • Crawl in bed with your littles, Sunday morning, to snuggling, giggling, + daydreaming about the day instead of rushing everyone to get out the door to church. (just this once)
  • Invite a friend to the sunrise beach clean-up this weekend, then go get pancakes + coffee to talk about what you both just experienced.
  • Take the entire day off, while everyone else goes to work + school so that you can sleep in, sip coffee in peace, take a long hot bath, zone out on reality tv, + maybe take a solo stroll.
  • Make a list of all the little ways you would love to slow down, so you have something tangible to look at + start planning.

The thing about SLOWING THE FUCK DOWN, is that you get to decide what it looks like.

You get to choose if this is a 2-hour thing, a half day experience, or a weekend away from it all.

Yes, it requires conversations with people in your life who depend on you, and consideration for the responsibilities + demands on your time … but welcome to adulting. That’s never going to stop.

The purpose of slowing down physically in your life, is so that your mental, emotional, + spiritual parts can slow down a bit too.

I don’t know about you, but when I am go, go, go for too long, my brain feels like it’s humming, I feel scattered, and my nervous system feels revved up. It’s not a great feeling long term. And it’s not healthy long term, either.

What would happen if you just slowed down?

Last month I attended a "work retreat." I was PUMPED!

I would use these 3 full days, with 19 other kick-ass therapists, access to my fabulous business coach/mentors + I'd get so much shit done!

And then two weeks before the retreat, when I shared all the things I wanted to focus on with my business coach, she lovingly asked me ...

"What would happen if you just used this time to slow down? You already do so much. All the time. What if you just relaxed this week?"

Ummmm... WHAT?!?!

I was going to be there with 19 other brilliant minds, compassionate people, + professionals who love helping others as much as I do, how could I not use that time to jam things out that would help my business grow?

I thought about this for a while. I still made lists of what I wanted to accomplish while on this working retreat.

As it got closer to the retreat, something shifted for me. I was reading comments in the FB group of everyone who was attending. They were listing out what they wanted to focus on while attending the retreat. 

And all I could think about were my business coach's words, "What would happen if you just used this time to slow down?"  

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LONG story short. I did just that.

I. SLOWED. DOWN.

I did yoga at 6am on the rooftop of this incredible beachfront condo.

I ate food that nourished my body.

I talked to other compassionate + loving therapists about their businesses.

I read a book. 

I went running,

I sat. Still.

For the first time in a LONG TIME, I just sat outside to listen to ocean, the sea gulls, + the chatter.

I slowed the fuck down. More on that another time. 

For now, I want you to think about what would happen if you started slowing down today? 

Just a little.

How can you slow down this weekend?

What’s one thing you will commit to doing (or not doing) over the next 3 days?

If you’re STILL not sure where to start, or how to make slowing down an actual part of your life, let’s talk.

Click the button below that says “Help me slow down” and let’s talk about what you can do TODAY, to slow the fuck down.

I don't need you to read my mind, I just need you to know me.

Robyn D'Angelo

I'll never forget the day, I walked in the house, exhausted, after a long day supporting couples in distress, and after my own 90 minute yoga class ...

To see my husband sitting on the couch, watching tv, loving on our sweet pup.

Nothing wrong with that. 

EXCEPT ...

My eyes immediately scanned the room for what needed to be done, and hadn't been done. 

Do you ever do this? Do you immediately look around to see what they COULD HAVE done, but instead are choosing NOT TO, meaning that now YOU have to take care of "the stuff?" 

Yeah, that happened. And my eyes found the counter littered with dishes from last night's dinner, that I HOPED he would have done before I got home. 

Then all that negative mental chatter started ...

"Seriously? You couldn't just look around when you got home 2 hours ago, see what needed to be done, + just do it?"

"Why is it so hard for you look around + see what I would see?"

"How come I have to be the one to do EVERYTHING?!"

Yep, I went down that rabbit hole, silently, + full of resentment. All in my head. 

I felt my blood begin to boil. 

And then ... tears. Yep, hot tears came streaming down.

And before my husband could even get a greeting out of his mouth, he'd hopped up and anxiously asked what was wrong + attempted to soothe me. 

In the past I would have lost it. Crying, begging, and pleading with him to just get these things done. "What's so hard about looking around + seeing what needs to be done + just doing it? I do it all the time!" 

And his frustration would inevitably (and rightfully so) say some version of... 

"I can't read your mind!! I didn't know you wanted the dishes done before you got home! This is so not my fault." 

In that moment, something happened for me. Something magical clicked.

This was not the first time I'd gone through this silent (and sometimes) not so silent pleading with my husband. 

But for the first time I realized something ...

It wasn't that I wanted him to read my mind, I just wanted him to KNOW ME.

When you are known.

Here's the thing, so often we expect our partners to just read our minds. 

"They should know what I want, I've asked for it so many times!"

Sound familiar? 

Let me see if I can shift things just a bit for you. 

What if instead of your partner just knowing what you want them to do ... they knew YOU better.

  • They knew that a clean, clutter-free living space is the most relaxing thing to walk into at the end of the night. 
  • They knew that there's nothing you love more than the smell of your fave jasmine candle burning in the bathroom.
  • They knew that your favorite time is 30 minutes before the sun came up every morning, so you can sip hot coffee, while cuddling with your babes or pup. 
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Here's the thing, when you are actually KNOWN, your partner is more likely to show up in ways that you can appreciate + that say, I get you.

How often do you feel like, "OMG, you just don't get it. You just don't get ME!" 

Yeah, it can feel disconnecting, exhausting, + hopeless when you're constantly feeling like your spouse just doesn't know you.

Help them know you + Get to know them, too.

No one wants to constantly nag to get what they want. 

And no one likes to be asked over + over + over to do or remember to do things. 

So let's move the focus from "Why can't you just ... (read my mind)"  ...

to "Let's learn more about each other." 

Start with some version of this: 

"I don't want to expect you to read my mind anymore, that's just silly + not fair to you. Besides, it's crazy frustrating for me, too. Let's get to know one another better so we can start doing the things that actually fill each other up."

Here are a few questions to get to know each other better:

  1. What's your favorite time of day + why? 
  2. If you could create your dream day, what would it look like, leave out nothing. (Have two versions, a regular work day + one weekend/vacation day)
  3. What's your least favorite chore to do around the house + why?
  4. How do you get through stressful times when you're at work/home with the kids? (anytime they're not around you)
  5. What's the thing that relaxes you most at the end of the day? 
  6. Tell me what smell makes you smile the biggest.
  7. Who do you talk to when you just need to vent or gain some perspective?
  8. If you had a gift card for one "get pampered" activity, what would it be? (massage, personal fitness training session,  facial, mani/pedi, personal chef, etc)
  9. You've got 4 hours all to yourself, no kids, no work, no phone/computer ... what's your ideal way to spend it? 
  10. You've got 24 hours to do anything you want, with me ... what would we do, where would we go, how would we get there, what would we eat? 

NOW ... here's the important part.

What you do with this information is how your partner will feel that you truly know them.

Here are a few examples from the questions provided.

1. Fave time of day is morning. Pull out a coffee mug the night before + stick a little note on it wishing them a productive day + mention that you can't wait to see them tonight.

2. Dream Day includes making time to listen to their fave podcast while cozied up on the couch. Purchase the softest blanket you can find + new earbuds for them to enjoy.

3. Least fave chore: cleaning the bathroom. Take 10 minutes, wipe down the bathroom + light their fave scented candle while they're gone so they return home to see their least fave chore is done.

4. Stressful times: they grab their phone for a quick scroll through FB or check football stats. Next time they're all stressed out, ask how their fave football team is doing or if they've seen that hilarious new meme on Facebook. 

5. End of day relaxation: Clean counters. (Yum!) Make sure to get a heads up when they're 15 minutes from home + quickly do a tidying up of the kitchen. it will make their day!

OK ... you get the idea, right?

 

The more you + your partner KNOW one another, the better you can show up for one another.

The more you know what lights them up, what calms them down, what brings them joy ... 

the more likely you are to want to do those things because you know the response you will get vs trying to remember the exact things they've said they need you to remember to do. 

It's not about mind reading. 

It's about KNOWING your partner. And it's about making sure they KNOW you. 

 

If you're struggling to get to know your partner or simply struggling to DO something with what you know, reach out. 

Click the button below + let's get you truly KNOWING each other. Today.