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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.

The Blog

Filtering by Tag: marriage

How To Apologize To Your Spouse

Robyn D'Angelo

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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.

CLICK THE VIDEO BELOW TO LEARN MORE!

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! 

When you're you're Lonely + Married.

Robyn D'Angelo

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To the woman who feels lonely, misunderstood + like she's mismatched from her spouse,

This letter is to you. From me. From my heart that knows intimately what being married + lonely feels like.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE. 

Here's what I know about feeling lonely while being married:

It's EXCRUCIATING. 

Because when we're feeling lonely + misunderstood, we're likely asking things such as:

-    What the hell happened to us?
-    Why do I have to BEG for your attention?
-    What would it take for you to just WANT to spend time with me?
-    When did we become so incompatible?  

BUT WHY IS THIS SO DAMN PAINFUL?

No one gets married to feel like they are doing this whole LIFE thing, solo. 
We don't get excited about weddings, honeymoons, anniversaries, holidays, major life milestones with the hope of doing it all ALONE.

Togetherness. Inclusion. Connection.

They are what we're wired to do. They are what we're wired to FEEL.

And here's the things about connection: when we're feeling connected, we're usually also feeling accepted, loved, valued + like we matter. 

Which means … if you're lonely, you're probably wondering some version of:

"What the hell is wrong with me that they don't want to spend time with me?"

For the many women that I work with, this is also attached to feeling taken for granted for all that they do to keep everything together.

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To keep track of kids schedules.
To make sure there's clean clothes.
To ensure grocery shopping is done.
To get all the birthday presents bought.
To plan vacations, holidays, family events.
To keep track of appointments. 

So, loneliness not only means, "What the hell is wrong with me?" but it also means,

"Why the hell can't you see + appreciate all that I do for this family?" 

To the woman who feels lonely, misunderstood, here's what you can start doing RIGHT NOW:

#1: Slow Down + Remember.
Ask yourself … "When was the last time I felt the opposite of lonely? When did I feel connected, included, appreciated, + important? Not just to my partner to but in life."

Was I kicking ass at work on a project my boss tasked me with?
Was I full of joy from being on day 79 of a 90 Days of Gratitude Challenge?
Was I volunteering 2x per month at my kids school + loving the energy?
Was I planning a girls' trip with my long-time grad-school ladies to a tropical destination?

Give yourself room to slow down + remember what it was like to feel NOT lonely. 

#2: Connect. (with others)
This may sound like a no brainer but if it was, you probably wouldn't be feeling so lonely right now.

Once you've done #1, and identified the last time you felt NOT LONELY, connect to those things + people who were a part of your feelings of connectedness. 

Connect to projects, interests + activities that fill you up. 
Connect to friends who see you, laugh with you, hug you, cry with you + love you. 
Connect with opportunities to give, volunteer + show up.

The most loving thing you can do for yourself, is to give to others, the very thing you crave.

#3: Get Away, together.
When is the last time you had all your partner's attention? No kids. No work. No phones. No distractions. 

It's time to get honest about what it is you LOVE, MISS, + CRAVE that only they can give you. 

TODAY, say some version of:

I am so lonely in our marriage. I miss the hell outta you. I miss us. Let's make time this week to reconnect. Let's get a sitter. Let's get in the car + drive up the coast. Let's book a quick weekend getaway. Let's get outta here. I need you, me + no distractions. How can we make this work in the next 2 weeks? 

And then make it happen.

Pull out the calendar. Text the sitter. Check for local flights. Google events within driving distance. AND JUST GO. TOGETHER.

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4. Reconnect. (with your spouse) 
While doing #3 (getting away), take time to reconnect with your spouse. 

Take the time to touch them. 
Take the time to get to know them deeply.
Take the time to let them feel you: physically, emotionally, + spiritually.

Feeling like a total mismatch when it comes to the daily interactions is pretty typical. 

Knowing that you have the power to reconnect to the parts of you that fell in love is what's going to offset the feelings of incompatibility. 

While married life (after decades, children, relocations, job changes, health challenges, etc) may have created staleness… 

You must choose to get back to the source of your love + connection.

Whether it's your passion for French press coffee, your love for hiking outdoors, or it's just being still together - RECONNECT to that source.

In relationships, we all suck sometimes. Which means you're going to feel lonely, misunderstood + completely incompatible at times. And so will your partner. Knowing that this is the nature of being an imperfect human, with faults, irritations, and limitations in a relationship with another imperfect human enables a little more empathy + kindness. 

Yes, it's awful to feel lonely + invisible in your relationship, but sometimes it's going to happen and having the tools to cope will greatly reduce the pain associated with your experience.   
 
Remember, you're just two imperfect humans trying your best to not suck at being together.  

So, if you're ready to reconnect with your spouse + you'd like some personalized support, let's talk. 

Click the button below right now. Today is the day that YOU can choose reconnection over loneliness + disconnection. 

 

 

What to do when your marriage is in trouble

Robyn D'Angelo

If you aren't sure what to do when your marriage is in trouble The Happy Couple Expert has some tips for you!

 

CLICK THE VIDEO ABOVE TO LEARN MORE!

For more helpful videos, CLICK HERE to visit our YouTube Channel!  

And if you're ready to get the help that you both deserve...

CLICK HERE NOW!!

 

Relationship therapy for adults and couples struggling in love, communication, connection, and more | located in laguna hills, california | serving the surrounding irvine, san diego, los angeles, laguna beach, newport beach, rancho santa margarita, costa mesa, san clemente, dana point.

It's Been 15 Years...

Emily Porta

Just a warning, today's blog is full of cussing. Because, well cussing happens when I'm passionate, sad or grateful. You'll get all three today. 

15 years ago my father was diagnosed with cancer. A brain tumor. And if you know anything about cancer, you know that it's non-discriminatory and it's an asshole. (There, I said it. Cancer is an asshole.)

Right around a year later her was dead. It was that fast. As much as cancer was the major asshole in my family's life, I will give it this: it was swift, efficient and caused my father little (physical) pain. Much appreciated. 

Today, I'm reminded of how that asshole came into our world and removed my father from my life. Today he would be 72 years old.  And for the last 14 years, on his birthday (and even on my wedding day, that he missed) I cheers him with a shot of Grand Marnier, his fave sipping liqueur. 

Birthdays were special in my family. 

Every birthday, from elementary school up until the year my father died, he'd send me flowers. He really knew how to make me feel special. It was just one way that I knew he loved me. It was thoughtful. He went out of his way to do something he knew would make me feel special. 

He also openly cherished my mother. And when I say openly, I mean mushy, gushy, lovey, dovey cherished my Mom. Quietly, privately, and gently.

Growing up I saw a hard-working man, who raised 4 daughters and loved his family. He worked a lot. And I mean A LOT. But when he was around my Mom, I noticed them. I paid attention to their love. You could almost feel it. They were quiet yet intentional about how they supported one another. 

He'd call her Poo (short for Nancy-poo) and lovingly pinched her on the butt when she made dinner. I remember catching them dancing in the kitchen once, when they thought no one was around. She giggled and swooned. My brain will never forget that moment. Mom still tells the stories of how he'd take her to fancy conventions, and introduce her as, "This is my first wife, Nancy." (First and ONLY wife, but who's counting?) 

My father showed me what love was supposed to look like. And my Mother's response showed me what it was supposed to feel like. 

You're reading this, so by now you know me. I'm a self-proclaimed LOVE GEEK. You know that I am in love with LOVE and I think I have my parents to blame. Ok, The Notebook, Titanic and even the Little Mermaid may have had something to do with it - but at the end of the day, my parents taught me about love. And for that I am grateful.

They taught me that even when shit gets really hard (and it does!) you show up for and with one another. 

They taught me that when life (kids, work, family, in-laws, illness, weather, finances, etc) happens to you - it happens to BOTH of you. 

They taught me that there's never enough time in the day, so you must MAKE time in the day for one another. 

They taught me that having pet names, pinching butts and slowing down long enough to dance in the kitchen can be the glue that holds love together.

With 2016 being my alcohol-free year, (yeah, that's an entirely separate post!), Sans the Grand Marnier, I say cheers and Happy Birthday to the man who taught me what love is and fueled my obsession with helping others to know it as well. Let's celebrate a man who knew a thing or two about love! 

Relationship Rehab with Robyn: Making Time to Be Married

Emily Porta

How are you making time for this today?

I want to ask you something.  I want to know, how are you making time to be married today?  We make time to do all sorts of things every single day.  We make time to be parents.  We make time to be employees, show up to work.  We make time to get down on the ground and, you know, play with our dogs or our cats.  We make time to do so many things throughout our day, but do you actually make the effort to be married?  And this can look like so many different things, but I just want to tell you a story that really inspired me to make this video today.  See if this can inspire you as well.  Everyday I see a couple from my window in my office walk up and down this short little block holding hands.  They stop at the corner, give each other a little kiss, turn and walk to the end, kiss and part.  And I was watching this for months and I thought, I have to ask them what's their deal?  What's their story?  And I did, and I ran out there and said "Oh, nice to meet you.  This is who I am and you're so inspiring.  What's your story?"  They work for the same company that got split into two different buildings and they wanted to make it a point to connect everyday, to not lose that interaction that they have when they're in the same office.  Now, you may not be able to do that with your partner, but you can make it a point to show up and be married.  How are you doing that today?  I want to hear from you.  Leave a comment below or just reach out to me at robyn@counselinglagunahills.com. 

Dating your Spouse

Emily Porta

Last night I had the privilege of speaking at a local MOPS group with my friend Jeremy Rose from College Nannies and Tutors.  Our theme was on dating your spouse. What a fun time! One of the things that struck me last night was the importance of women getting together to share their ideas and give encouragement to one another. Jeremy also offered his perspective as a father and husband. We talked about the barriers to spending time with your partner and ideas for how to overcome them. I love giving talks about love and building intimacy. We all need a reminder sometimes of being intentional in our relationships. It is good for you. If you have any tips, I would love to hear about them. Happy Valentine's Day!