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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.

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Filtering by Tag: how to

How to Repair Your Relationship After a Fight

Emily Porta

Feeling like you're having the same fight over and over again?  Is it causing your relationship to veer in a direction you don't love?  Well, you need a relationship repair and I'm here today to tell you how you can start the mend and get back on track!

 Click Here or click the image below to watch more!

 
 

Your relationship does not have to be hanging by a thread in order to start making minor shifts. Most couples that I work with will say they are the 80/20 couple. 

80% of the time they are really, really good. And 20% of the time, they're bad. Really, really bad. But no one is ready to throw the towel in. They just need some tools to move through that messy, shitty 20% of the time. Relationship Repairs is one of the MANY ways you can start connecting deeply with your partner by allowing conflict to bring you closer together vs pushing you further apart.

Can you imagine that? Post-fight, you're actually feeling more in love with your partner? It's totally possible. I do this often.  And I teach people just like you how to do just that. Daily. 

If this resonates so deeply with you that you want more? Reach out! I would be honored to speak with you about how I can support you in mastering the messiness of couplehood + create that epic relationship you deeply desire and truly deserve. 

Click HERE to schedule a FREE 20 minute phone call. Let's get you unstuck + moving in the direction of living a happy + fulfilling life. With the love of your life. 

VIDEO TIP: How to Love Your Ungrateful Partner

Emily Porta

Thank you so much for joining me for our fifth edition of the "How to Love your Partner" series. And, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'm going to be talking to you today about how to love your ungrateful partner. Because, especially around the holidays, sometimes it can seem like our partners are just being flat-out ungrateful.  Check out this week's video tip.

To start, what is the definition of gratitude? I looked this up, and I was really surprised to see that there's two main parts to this: First of all, it is the quality of being thankful. But, it's also the readiness to show our appreciation.

I want you to think about this for a minute, because sometimes when our partners appear to us as being ungrateful, maybe it's just because they've really struggled to show appreciation.So, just keep that in mind.

And, typically what I would do in these videos is I'd give you ways to maybe talk to your partner and have conversations about these different topics that you are struggling with. Not today.

What I'm going to do today is I am going to give you tips that you can do on your own to try to love your ungrateful partner a little bit more:

1.  Maintain the 5:1 Ratio

I want you to think about your interactions with your partner. According to John Gottman's research, it's the happiest couples that maintain this ratio of 5 to 1 interactions.  This refers to five positive interactions to every one negative interaction. And, so five positive interactions, those can be anything from just a "Hello",  to a kiss on the cheek, to a "How's your day today?", anything that feels positive to your partner for every one negative interaction. So, really try to maintain that high ratio. What it does is it helps you to actually become more grateful for your partner and appreciate them more.

2.  Trick Your Brain with "Simulated Joy"

OK, I know how that sounds.  Stick with me.  Test this out:  I want you to find photos of the two of you.  These can be in photo albums (Remember back in the day, when we actually printed out photos?) or pictures on your phone.  Take your time and look through those.

You know that our brains react to real danger and perceived danger the same way, right? What happens is it will release cortisol and adrenaline--even if there isn't actual danger around, but it perceives that there's danger.  This means that our brains will also react to perceived love and joy or real love and joy indiscriminately too. 

So, when you're looking at these photos, these positive memories of your partner, and you're really focusing on this, you're actually creating the circumstances to cause your brain to secrete serotonin. And, serotonin is what's called our cuddle drug, because it just makes you feel good and makes you want to cuddle.

While you're looking at some photos, you might want to involve your partner in that and see if that can shift their level of gratitude too.  Pull them in, look at photos together, see what happens.

If you're still struggling with this and you feel like you'd like some extra help with learning how to love your ungrateful partner, I'd love to hear from you. I'd love to work with you and help you learn how to love your ungrateful partner just a little bit more this year.

VIDEO TIP: How to Love Your Overly Defensive Partner

Emily Porta

Hi, friends.  Welcome back for the fourth edition of the How To Love Your Partner series.  Today, I'm going to tell you about How to Love Your Overly Defensive Partner.  Is your partner overly defensive?  Does he or she have a hard time with criticism or go on attack mode at the first sign of a confrontation?  Maybe your disagreements quickly escalate into an all-out verbal battle leaving you both wounded and frustrated?  Check out this week's video.

First things first.  When someone is getting defensive, I want you to consider: where could this be coming from? 

Just to give you a little information, typically when people present as overly defensive, usually what's happened is they grew up in an environment where they experienced a lot of criticism and judgment.  From there, they start to live in a space of shame, deep-seated shame.  And this shapes the lens that they view the world.  That lens is called inadequacy. 

So, they're constantly thinking, "I'm not good enough, I'm not pretty enough, strong enough, independent enough, handsome enough..." or any number of other things.  They simply think, "I'm not enough."  When someone comes from an "I'm not enough" standpoint, anything they hear can be perceived as an attack on their character--the way they do things, the way they speak.  They get defensive.  That's them trying to protect themselves. 

If this resonates with you, I want to give you two steps to try to love your overly defensive partner just a little bit more: 

1.  I want you to AVOID at all costs arguing back with them.  It will get you nowhere.  The best thing you can do is take a breath.  See if you can get really present.  And just listen.  And not only listen but let them know you're listening.  That can look like nodding to let them know that you're present. 

Even better, you can say that "I hear you. You're upset.  I can see that."  Affirm their experience.  What that can do is that can stop them dead in their tracks.  It's almost like, "Wow, they actually see me. I don't have to get this wound up to get their attention." 

So, avoid arguing at all costs and see if you can really just get present and hear them and see them and acknowledge that. 

2.  I want you to own your part.  You may think, "Robyn, give me a break.  They're getting defensive, they're lashing out at me.  What do you want?  You want me to own some of this?" 

Yes, but hear me out.  Is there a piece, an ounce, a thread of what they're talking about within their outburst or their defensiveness true?  Can you identify even the tiniest bit of truth in their story that you can be accountable for? 

I'll tell you right now, the moment you own your piece of it, it takes the wind out of their sails.  They can no longer argue and attack and come at you because you're simply standing there saying, "I'm here.  I'm here, I'm owning it.  And when you're done and you feel safe, let's have a conversation about this." 

Of course this all sounds really easy coming from me.  But, it can be done.  It just takes practice.   

If this has been helpful, great.  Leave a comment below.  But if you would like some one on one help, if this has really resonated with you and you'd like to just learn more on how to make this work and love your overly defensive partner, reach out to me:  (714) 390-1652 or, you can email me.  Let's see if I can help you learn to love your overly defensive partner in ways that you never thought possible.