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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: relationship rehab

Relationship Rehab: You Asked For It!

Emily Porta

You asked for it, and I'm hearing you loud and clear.  But now, I need your help!

As you know, I do videos on all things relationship-related. 

I talk to you about maybe topics about you and your partner aren't talking about because maybe they seem a little taboo.  I'm constantly providing tips and tools on just how to make conversations with your partner a little bit easier, maybe a little bit smoother, less awkward, even help you to increase some of the conflict that might come up. 

I've also done some videos on how to love your partner.  Various partners, right?  Which is, how to love your anxious partner, which people love that one, both the anxious partner and the non-anxious partner.  I recently did how to love your funky partner, which is--we all get in a funk.  We know what that's like when we're just feeling really blah and out of it, but how in the world do we love our partners through that? 

And so, I have been getting so many requests to do more videos on how to love your partner in various topics that--you got it--you asked for it, I'm delivering.  So, if you subscribe to my YouTube channel now, you will not miss out on the upcoming series I'm doing called "How to Love Your Partner". 

So, and if you have any topics that you're curious about--maybe your partner is impatient...How to love your impatient partner.  Maybe your partner is a really loud talker in movies--how do we love them?  Send me some messages. 

Leave a comment below or shoot me an email and I will create a video just for you.  I look forward to your topics and please check back here for more videos.

Relationship Rehab: Loving Your Funky Partner

Emily Porta

We all have emotional dips at times.  Or, as I like to put it, we all get into funks once in a while.  When you're experiencing one of those downturns, what does it look like?  What do you need?  And what does it look and feel like for your partner?  This week's video takes a look at the importance of communicating needs during (and even preemptively!) these slumps so that you can both move through it together.

So many of us in relationships struggle with a number of things.  Some of us struggle with anxiety.  Some of us struggle with things like depression.  Some people are very particular.  You know that type of person.  We might call them "Type A" or they've got OCD, or what have you. 

And then there's times where we just get into what I like to call just a funk, where we notice we're feeling down, where our energy is really low.  Our moods might be all over the place or maybe they're just pretty low consistently. 

Maybe we find it hard to come up with the right words.  Some of us even get a little clumsy, start walking into walls or, you know, you go to take something out of the fridge and put it back but you put it in the cupboard. 

And you're like, "What is going on with me?  I feel like I'm in this really weird funk." 

I want to talk to those of you who have experienced this and I want to talk to your partners.  I want to teach them how to love their "funky" partner. 

I want you guys to know, first and foremost, that getting in what I call a funk and feeling this way--it's our body's way of trying to get our attention.  It's our brain's and our body's way of saying, "Hey, pay attention to something.  I need you to slow down and pay attention to something."  And that could be a number of things, and could be a whole other conversation.

But right now, I just want to talk about how the people in your life can support you during this time.

I wanted to share this because I recently had a moment--a couple of days actually--where I was just in this total funk and my partner showed up for me in a way that blew my mind. 

Well, and of course this has been many years of kind of being able to connect with him and talk with him and show him what I need in those moments. 

And, it takes a lot of being able to have open, honest conversations with your partner to be able to do this. 

And, I just want to say that, if you can connect with your partner and talk about it before our funks happen, and talk about what are the things that you feel at your most vulnerable, like you're operating at your lowest capacity, what are some things that your partner can do for you and either help catapult you out of that funk or just support you while you navigate through it yourself? 

An example is something that I personally need and appreciate so much from my partner is when I'm in a funk, I just need a hug.  I actually need a lot of them.  And, he's wonderful at that. 

And the way that we learn about this is I just asked.  I said, "You know what, I'm having a really hard time right now and I just need a hug." 

And I can't tell you how many times he just hears the words "I'm just having a hard time right now" and he knows. It's like his little radar goes "Oh, I know what to do right now." 

Not only does that make me--a person who's going through this funky moment--feel really supported and cared for and loved, it makes him feel like he can actually help.  I can be a part of this solution.  I can be a part of supporting my partner, rather than just standing back and feeling totally helpless (which is really hard for partners to see in the first place). 

So, I want to encourage all of you to have conversations with your partner and talk about:

1.  What happens when you're in a funk? 

2.  What does you being in a funk look like? 

3.  What are some of the things that you need when you're in a funk, so that your partner can show up and help you through it?

4.  Then ask the same questions about your partner's funks.

Start a conversation because that's the best way to start getting your needs met, as well as learning how to meet your partner's needs.  

If you have any questions and you're really maybe struggling with, "How do I start this conversation, Robyn?" feel free to reach out

And, if you have comments about how this has worked for you or what you've observed in yourself or your partner, let's continue this conversation in the comments below.

Relationship R & R - ROUND 2 is HERE!

Emily Porta

Don’t you wish you wish you could just get a therapist on the line and ask those burning questions about why your partner does that thing, or why you always react in that certain way, why you two are always caught in the same loop, or how to… Well, here is your chance!


Rebecca Wong and I are really excited to join forced to bring you a relationship Q and A style webinar. Rebecca is a relationship therapist, private consultant and Connectfulness coach, in New Paltz, NY. Her specialization is parenting couples where she helps them re-spark their relationships! She helps her clients and colleagues understand, manage, and value their own humanity as a tool to connect to themselves and all of the important people in their lives.

We want you to be a part of the webinar! 

So if you didn't make the deadline of Monday 9/21 to send us your questions - don't worry! You can ask us questions LIVE on the call! That's right - send us your questions LIVE and if we have time we will answer them right away. 

We can’t wait to hear all that stuff you wonder about and help you find your way towards enjoying fun, satisfying, healthy, sustainable relationships that fill you up rather than deplete you. We know you want that, or more of that, or to make sure that continues… (we all do!)


This webinar will be fueled by your most burning questions.

The webinar will be held on September 28th at 10am PST (1pm EST) and you are invited to join us, live. And before you ask, yes, we’re planning to recording also, so if you can’t be on the call with us we would still love for you to submit your questions! That said, being live with us makes it all so much more fun!

No question is too big or too small.  We want ’em all and we can not wait to hear what you are wondering about!!! In fact, we can’t do this without you.

If this relationship Q and A webinar sounds as exciting to you as it does to us, make sure to share, sign up today and join us LIVE on Monday September 28 at 10am PST | 1pm EST.  We can't wait to!

Relationship Rehab: Making Your Anxiety Your Superpower

Emily Porta

Does your anxiety feel more like your cape or your noose?  Let's talk about how I made my anxiety my superpower on this rainy day.  Check out my latest video and join the conversation!

Today, I'm talking to all of my fellow anxiety sufferers.  Good morning.  It's raining like crazy here in Southern California, which is great because we need the rain.  However, for those of us who experience anxiety, this can be a really tough time. 

 I woke up this morning thinking about all the different places I needed to go, and my anxiety immediately started:  "Oh my goodness, I have to get into my car, I have to drive...."  I know that when the weather gets like this, people tend to not drive at their very best, and so I get anxious.  And I start thinking what are the ways I can make anxiety my superpower?  How can I do this?  And I'm struggling this morning. 

So, I just wanted to share a little something with you.  First thing this morning, I had to take my dog to the vet, and I noticed: I'm going in there, I kind of took my time, traffic wasn't too bad.  And I start interacting wtih the gal who's checking me in and helping me out with my dog.  And I called her by name. And I noticed how it just shifted the energy between us.  She got more smiley.  She kind of lit up a little bit, and it started with that. 

I went to grab some stuff and check out and again, the next guy that I interacted with who worked there, called him by name and I said "Thank you.  How are you today?"  Just taking a moment to get present.  And to check in with someone who you're interacting with.  It seriously lit him up and it was so wonderful to see him go "Oh gosh, thank you for asking."  And it just kind of continued on.

I decided to treat myself to a coffee this morning and as I'm walking in there, I'm smiling, I'm looking at people.  People were probably thinking "What is this chick's deal?"  But I just felt so happy.  I felt so relaxed because what I was doing was I was doing my best to keep present.  And when I'm acknowledging people within my environment, when I'm holding doors open for people and saying "Go ahead, after you," not only does it create an energy and kind of a connection with others, it--ZAP!--brings you right into the present moment, which is one of the best ways that you can manage your anxiety. 

So, I just wanted to share that with you guys this morning because it just had me feeling really great (unexpectedly, because I did expect to be really anxious today).  And I'm doing a great job of making my anxiety feel more like a cape for my superpower, and less like a noose--you know, something that just feels like it's stifling. 

So, if this sounds like something you need some help with or you struggle with, give me a call.  I'd love to help you out with it.  714-390-1652.  And if I can't be that person, I'd love to help you find someone in your area that can help you learn to manage your anxiety and make it your superpower. 

What tricks do you use to make your anxiety your superpower?  I'd love to hear your tips in the comments below!

Does Your Anxiety Feel Like a Noose or a Cape in Your Relationship?

Emily Porta

I had the honor and joy of being interviewed by Stuart Fensterheim, Couples Expert in Scottsdale, Arizona about couples and anxiety. Listen and learn simple ways to have a loving caring relationship when one spouse may be struggling with an anxiety disorder. With openness and vulnerability I share both my personal and professional expertise on creating intimate connections when anxiety is present in your relationship.

The anxious spouse A Journey of Connecting

STUART B FENSTERHEIM couples counselor, relationship expert, author, and blogger


Click the black box above to listen!


In this podcast you will learn ...

• How to identify our own super powers as a means of being vulnerable with your partner.

• See the importance of sharing how painful the anxiety disorder is and how powerful it is to share your experience with your partner.

• How the non-anxious partner's anticipatory anxiety of their partners anxiety becomes part of the problem.

• Tips to help couples having a vulnerable dialogue about what each of you needs from each other.

• Exactly how creating connections is about intimacy within your relationship.

• The real dilemma when an anxiety disorder is a part of your relationship and how to maintain strong connection.

• Changes that occur in relationships when anxiety is more of a noose than a cape.

• What anxiety REALLY feels like and how it's experienced.

• How to identify and meet your partner's needs in order to feel loved and supported.

• How to look at the partners anxiety disorder as a strong message to use your support system.


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. 

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]