New Leaf Resources

Angie's "Under Construction"

We are constantly changing and growing. We learn new things everyday whether from ourselves or from the relationships and families we are involved in. We can become stronger, healthier and happier by the way we treat others, view ourselves and experience the world around us.

This column by Associate Marriage & Family Therapist Angie Cerniglia explores the fascinating world of relationships and the multiple parts of ourselves. We are beautifully and wonderfully made and since God is never really finished molding us, we are therefore, always, Under Construction.


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Reviving the Spark

September 10, 2015
By Angie Cerniglia, MA, AMFT, LPC

Sex is a vital part of every marriage, and I think we can all agree that there is something remarkable about the passionate connections we make with our partners.

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that a lot of well-meaning relatives and friends like to give advice to and joke with young couples in the early years of their marriage about how the sexual passion fades after the honeymoon.  I’m sure you’ve heard something like, “Enjoy those first years, after that things get pretty uninteresting.”

Receiving these types of messages over and over from family, friends and the media drives the idea that great sex is impelled by our biology, physiology or the excitement of first being married. All these ideas, however, ignore the most vital piece to having a thriving and connective intimate relationship: our emotional connections.

All the messages we receive tell us that great sex starts, and ends, in the bedroom. What we need to realize is that great sex starts outside of the bedroom.

Building an emotional connection with your partner is the fuel behind the match that ignites the intimacy in your marriage. That fuel can be created by talking about your intimate life together; people always joke that communication is the foundation of any great marriage, but they don’t talk about it being the foundation of great sex. Talk about what you like, dislike, what makes you feel connected and what makes you feel pursued.

Strike the match outside of the bedroom with kissing, hugging, cuddling, and hand holding--build the intimate connection and excitement daily. Take time to flirt with and pursue your spouse. Make building your intimacy a priority by increasing the emotional connection between the two of you with time together.  Find common interests or activities that you can do as a couple. Maybe you both enjoy watching sports or exercising together. Whatever the activity, intentionally scheduling time to enjoy each other's company in a shared activity can also bring you closer emotionally.  By building an emotional connection in your marriage, you will amplify the connection in your intimate life. Your spark may not just relight, but it may be stronger than ever!  Someday, you might even be the well-meaning relative that instead of warning a young couple of disappointment ahead can tell them that the best is yet to come.