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Laguna Hills, CA 92653


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

Filtering by Tag: couples counseling

How To Apologize To Your Spouse

Robyn D'Angelo


When the good old "I'm Sorry" isn't communicating how it used to, I have five different strategies to effectively apologize to your spouse.


Not sure what YOUR apology language is? 

Maybe you want to know what your partner's is? 

CLICK HERE (or share with your spouse) and take the quiz now!


For more helpful videos, click here to visit our YouTube Channel!

Or  CLICK HERE to give this related video a watch! 

Stormy Weather Won't Stop You ... Be the Best Partner You Can Be

Emily Porta

Yes, there's lots of rain here in sunny Southern California. Not just RAIN IN LA (hilarious BuzzFeed video you should check out for a good giggle) kind of drizzle but major, land-shifting, El Nino grade storms. You know, the kind that can wash away roads, cars and more importantly access to Starbucks. What??!?! 

It reminds me of how relationships can feel overwhelming, messy and cause lots of damage ... but that doesn't have to stop you from being the best partner that you can. 

Do "storms" in your relationship challenge your patience? Sure. Can it make it hard to think loving thoughts and keep a smile on your face? You  know it. But does stormy weather keep you boarded up in your house, hiding under the covers, paralyzed by fear? NO WAY. (well ... unless you're in the midwest where there may be tornadoes and blizzards - YIKES!)

YOU get to choose how you will be the best version of YOU today, tomorrow, this week, this month ... you get my point. It's a choice and with these simple (yet not always easy) steps, you can be the BEST PARTNER YOU CAN BE in 2016!

READ MY SHORT ARTICLE HERE  - it's full of simple how-to's. Then forward it to your partner, parent, friend, BOSS! (just kidding ... that may be a little to much this early in Q1)

My wish for you is a happy, healthy and abundant 2016! Let's get this party started, already.

Do You Go to Bed Mad?

Emily Porta

Is the old adage that you should never go to bed angry really true?

Like many of you, I love reading the little articles on relationship advice.  I love reading to hear what people are saying what works for them, what doesn't. 

And I was just reading an article that was saved on my computer. I think it has some really great little nuggets in there and it's called "15 Ways to stay married for 15 years."  And number 1 on the list is "Go to bed mad."  

I love this because I think it's been years and years of kind of old school thinking that we have to resolve our conflicts before we go to bed with our partners.  We have to make sure everything is off the plate to start fresh the next day and I just don't agree with that. 

Especially just thinking about John Gottman research that says 69% of our problems are completely unsolvable.  So, things that are going to continue to come up we're never going to get to a place with our partner where we can say, "You know what, you're right.  Let's just--I agree with you.'"  Not necessarily. 

So, I love that you can go to bed mad.  What this does is actually gives us that recalibration that I'm always talking about when it comes to conflict. It gives us an opportunity to get a good night's sleep, to let our bodies literally calm down. 

Because often times when we get really overwhelmed and something happens to our bodies called "getting flooded" where our heart rate just skyrockets, our blood pressure skyrockets.  All of these physiological things happen that it literally takes a physical act of relaxation and rest so that we get through that situation and we can think rationally and have that conversation. 

So, the next time you and your partner are having a fight or even just a little tiny argument, remember, Robyn said its OK to go to bed mad. 

And the important part is to remember, how do you come back together the next day?  How do you say, "Let's try this again."  Or, "Can we revisit this?"  That's the important piece of this. 

So, I want to hear from you.  Do you go to bed mad?  Do you think it's something that is allowed in your relationship?  And, I wonder if it hasn't been up to this point, what would happen if you tried it? 

I hope this was helpful.  Leave a comment or you can shoot me an email: Robyn@TheHappyCoupleExpert.com.

#1 Reason Couples Go to Therapy

Emily Porta

Psst--It's not what you think!


I have a question for you today.  What do you think is the number one reason that couples call a therapist?  Or couples go get counseling?  Do you think it's because it's fighting about in-laws?  Do you think it's money issues?  Maybe they want to learn some skills about parenting?  I'll tell you.  The number one thing I get from couples who walk into my office is "Robyn, help us communicate.  We can't communicate.  We're fighting all the time.  You know, she shuts down.  Or, he throws a tantrum.  Help us learn how to communicate."  But, I have a secret for you.  When you're fighting, when you're shutting down, when your partner is throwing a fit, or is ignoring you, that's communicating.  There's definitely a message there, right?  You understand.  You understand that there is something being communicated to you.  Now, is it productive?  Not so much.  Does it feel great?  Not particularly.  But there's definitely communication going on.  And I just really want you to know that seeing a therapist can help you learn how to fight more productively, more respectfully.  Because I'll tell you something.  The happiest couples actually fight.  They fight quite a bit.  They just know how to do it well and they know how to come back together at the end of the day.  So, if you're listening to this right now and you're struggling and you don't want to struggle anymore, call me.  You know, couples even wait on average about six years of struggle and challenges before they reach out and get help.  And sometimes that's just too late.  And I don't want you to wait anymore.  So, today, if you are at that breaking point or you just feel like, "I can't keep doing this.  This should not be this hard."  It doesn't have to be.  Call me.  Even if you're not in the Orange County area, reach out. I can help you maybe find someone in your area.  Because I don't want you and your partner to wait six years.  I don't want you to wait anymore.  So give me a call if you have any questions.  You can reach me at 714-390-1652.  And let's just chat.  And let's get you to a place where you and your partner are communicating respectfully and productively.

Signs That It's Time To See A Couples Therapist.

Emily Porta

Every couple has ups and downs, so at what point is it time to reach out and get professional help? Here are a few signs that seeing a couples therapist might be your best chance at a healthy, happy relationship. 

Did these help you? I'd love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or contact me directly. 


The Magic 5 Hours - Keepin' it Fresh

Emily Porta

It only takes 5 hours a week to recalibrate your relationship - check it out. Did these help you? I'd love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or email me directly at

If you're in the Laguna Hills, California area and you'd like to know more about how to keep your relationship fun, connected and fresh, call me - I'd love to work with you directly. (714) 390-1652.


Hi. Robyn D'Angelo here, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Relationship Specialist.   And today I'm going to be answering a question that comes up often in my office from couples and individuals, which is how much time should we, as a couple, be spending a week to keep our relationship fresh, to keep it on point?  And according to Julie and John Gottman of the Gottman Institute, they have come up with the magic five hours per week. And that consists of five different things. The first thing being partings. So, when you leave your partner, you know, for the day, the goal here is to find out one interesting thing about their day. What's going to happen? What do they have planned? Who are they gonna see that day? And then see if you can squeeze in there a six second kiss. This is something that John Gottman says is "a kiss full of possibilities." It can make you late to work--one of those good ones. So, that's the first one, is partings.  The second is reunions. Think about when you walk into a room full of friends or you show up to a party and people just light up. How good does that feel? Would it be possible for you to do that for your partner when they come in after, maybe, a long day? Or think of how great it would feel for them to just get super excited after seeing--you know, after being away all day and seeing you. Whether you've been, you know, with the kids or at work, at school--whatever it is. See if you can create an environment of excitement upon reuniting. And the third thing is admiration and fondness. And this makes me think of the story of the Swedish farmer who loved his wife so much that, one day, he almost told her. All right. It goes to the point of you have to do more than you think loving and kind thoughts. You have to make it a point to tell your partner the things that you appreciate about them and what you love about them. The goal here is to have two appreciations a day, and that will look different depending on what your partner's love language is. And we'll cover that at a later date. The fourth one is affection. So, there's been research on attachment that shows when people go in to get an MRI, if they're in there with their partner holding their hand, they--their stress levels, their anxiety is reduced significantly and it even predicts that they'll have lower levels of pain. How powerful is that? That's just from touch. So this shows that gentle touch from your partner can really heal and get you through really tough times. So make it a point to have affection, have touch and play, and really connect in this way. And the last thing is weekly dates. This is so important. Make it a point to spend two hours with your partner a week. So, no one else, no screens. Keep it really intense, with your focus and attention on each other. The best gift you can give your partner is time. So, I hope this has been helpful. If it has, great. Leave a comment below or you can contact me directly. And if you have questions or you'd like to know more, since this is obviously just a tidbit on how to stay connected and keep your relationship fresh, please call me directly at 714-390-1652. Or you can email me at robyn@therapywithrobyn.com. Talk to you again soon.

[Transcribed by NMS]