October 1, 2023 marked 13 years of marriage to Michael David Sorensen.
An amusing story I recall from my 20s is what sets up the context for “13th Wedding Anniversary: Perception vs. Reality.”
In this post, I’ll briefly share an amusing story about a flawed perception I gained before marriage, how things have actually turned out, and my thoughts on what makes (our) marriage work.
It was 2007, and I was working for a startup. I was single then (Mike and I would meet in the spring of 2009).
I was working a tradeshow with a jovial colleague when a woman approached our booth that was evidently looking to start a serious, provocative discussion. “What is intercourse?” she asked with a straight face.
Being an introvert who was put off not only by the question, but by the prospect of discussing that topic with a stranger, my mouth dropped open in silence, and I looked to my co-worker to provide an answer. His reply was something that caught both me and that random woman off guard.
“I’ve been married for 13 years,” he said. “I forgot what it means.”
It was hard to suppress my laughter.
The woman tried again to continue the conversation, but it quickly became clear that she wasn’t going to get the type of participation she was looking for, so she wandered off to ask that awkward conversation to another unsuspecting target.
While I was deeply amused by his answer, I didn’t dare to ask further questions. Not that I would have wanted his answers to any questions I had!
But I’ll never forget the implied takeaway: marriage becomes stale and sexless after awhile. 13 years, in particular.
As an impressionable gal in my 20s who hadn’t had much in the way of serious relationships to that point, I assumed this was just the natural way of things. I filed that information away, obviously, because I still remember it 15 years later.
13 years ago
I shared in my 10th anniversary blog post a few of the other perceptions I had going into marriage. When you’re single and inexperienced, all you have is what other people tell you from their experiences. I’ve been pleasantly surprised to learn that some of the negative assumptions and conclusions I had about what marriage is haven’t become reality.
Fast forward 13 years
Now with a baker’s dozen years of matrimony under our belt, I’m happy to report that things are just fine. Pretty fantastic, in fact.
13 years married find us still:
- Loving each other and enjoying each other’s company
- Liking the other
- Desiring to spend time together
- Having fun!
- Talking about our day with each other in the evening
- Making plans for the future, albeit loosely held
- Working together to sustain a functional household
- Continuing to surprise and delight each other with acts of service
- Being grateful for one another
- Being attracted to the other
I’d say that’s pretty decent!
What I feared could be the case after 13 years turned out not to be, and I am grateful for that.
The secret to a good marriage
Not every marriage is as blessed as ours, it’s true. I’d say the thing that makes it work for us is not because we’re special in any way. It’s because the good Lord has been gracious to us. He has allowed us, in kindness as His kids, to have the indwelling Holy Spirit guide us in imperfectly selfless love. We’re still flawed sinners that screw up all the time.
Many Christian marriages have failed, and many secular marriages continue to thrive. The reverse is also true.
Secular people in marriages that thrive are also capable of recognizing and applying the principle of selfless love. But what they often lack is the ability to recognize the source and the reason for selfless love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 gives us an outline of what God-powered love looks like.
Ephesians 5, though controversial in this godless, self-indulgent age, describes a godly marriage and what it symbolizes.
Final thoughts on our 13th anniversary
Life is tough, marriage isn’t always easy. Through tough times and good, I’m extremely grateful to our gracious heavenly Father for bringing Mike and me together. We are about as perfect a match as two humans can be. God gets the glory for His brilliant matchmaking and sanctifying power.
By His grace, I will enjoy every day I have with Mike, ’til death do us part. However many that may be.
What’s your best marriage tip? I’d love to read it in a comment!
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