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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Dreaming of Disney

March 30, 2016
By Angie Cerniglia, MA, AMFT, LPC

Many of us grew up watching classic Disney films like Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and The Little Mermaid. While Disney has certainly branched out since then, with hits like Frozen and Tangled, the ideal that was placed in our heads as young children is that real love is a fairy tale. We dreamed of meeting our prince charming (or rescuing the damsel in distress) and that when we finally shared in true love’s kiss it would all just click—just like that, our life would be perfect.

Then we grew up, got married, and maybe had kids. Suddenly hectic work schedules, fights over the chores, the endless mountain of laundry, and realizing the person in the mirror doesn’t look like they did five years ago makes our lives feel like anything but a fairy tale! They never showed us Snow White doing laundry for seven tiny men, or Prince Charming and Cinderella on a road trip when they are lost and she has to go to the bathroom. Now that’s a movie I would watch! In the midst of what may seem like a less than perfect life, it is easy to lose perspective and think...shouldn’t it be easier than this?

In looking back, I’m sure there was a time when it was. In the beginning of the relationship you were pursuing each other, focused on learning about the other person, and wanting to make your spouse happy. Then life happens, which Disney movies don’t show us how to deal with. Disney tells us the only dragon to defeat is the one trying to stand in the way of true love, but that is not the only evil we fight in our marriages. We have to vanquish the vanishing date night and clobber the cloud of miscommunication in order to continue to create our happy ending. The next movie I think Disney should make would feature Sleeping Beauty and Prince Phillip in marriage therapy because of his frustration of her taking too many naps. The truth is that happily ever after isn’t written by an anonymous author from Storybrooke, it’s written by us, in the choices we make each day of our journey.