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Valerie Bertinelli Wants To Change How You Listen to Your Loved Ones

Valerie Bertinelli has been on our screens for decades, and it seems all that time in the spotlight has taught her a few valuable life lessons. The actress compiles them all in her new book Enough Already: Learning to Love the Way I Am Today, and she tells FIRSTall about it in our latest cover story, on newsstands now. But of all the hard-won wisdom she shares, it’s her relationship advice that really struck a chord with me.

Bertinelli’s advice doesn’t only apply to romantic relationships, either. All the special bonds in our lives deserve attention, and if we want them to flourish, it’s important to know how to take care of them. And according to the actress, it’s all about learning how to listen to our loved ones.

“Listen to hear, not to respond,” she says. “When someone needs to get something off their chest, just listen. You don’t need to come up with an explanation, a response, or a fix. Just listen with your ears — don’t listen and try to put together a response. Sometimes someone does want you to help them work through a problem, so then you can say, ‘I have some ideas that might help.’ But if they just want to get some stuff off their chest, I’m good with that as well.”

Bertinelli had a decades-long relationship with the late rocker Eddie Van Halen, the father of her 30-year-old son, Wolfgang. Their marriage ended in divorce in 2007, and in 2011, she married Tom Vitale. (The couple has since separated.)

When writing her book, on sale now at Amazon, Bertinelli says her goal was to craft a story that anyone could pick up and learn something from, without having to necessarily read it in order.

“I really wanted people to be able to have something they could stick with, and open the book at any point,” she says. “You don’t have to start from the beginning [and read to the] end. You can open it anywhere and hopefully there will be a story that will resonate with you and make you feel not so alone, and make you remember to choose love and change your perspective that way. Because when you start with love … it will change your perspective.”

Get more relationship and general advice from Valerie Bertinelli in the latest First For Women issue, on stands now and available online (Buy from the Magazine Shop, $3.99).

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