12 years together

30 January 2017

We are not perfect for each other, we are growing perfect together.

Though John and I have always had in common that which is most important to us — what C.S. Lewis called the “secret thread” – I think there’s something else that’s helped keep us together for twelve years, and that is that we’ve committed to growing towards each other. Towards each other, not away from each other, and not just side by side.

In Tim Keller’s book “The Meaning of Marriage,” he quotes Stanley Hauerwas:


I think this is very true. I wouldn’t necessarily describe John as a “stranger,” but we’ve both changed in the twelve years we’ve been together (see here for one example). This is inevitable: if you’re with someone for any period of time, they will change. You can either fight this, ignore it, or embrace it. (I happen to think high school sweethearts have a leg up on everyone else, because when you start dating when you’re 17, you KNOW you’re going to change!)

Tim Keller goes on to write:


When you inevitably change, you have the choice of growing toward your partner or away from him. At every juncture, we’ve tried to grow toward each other, though always imperfectly, and it has led to joy and beauty we never would have known had we dug our heels in.

em and john

We are not perfect for each other, but we are committed to perfecting each other… and that makes us perfect for each other.

P.S. I just made a new category here on EFM: love + marriage. If you’d like to read more of my musings on our relationship, that’s where you can find them :)

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January 30, 2017 7:56 am

Love that sweet photo! Ben and I started dating when we were 18, and I’ve never really thought about all that you mentioned, super interesting and helpful!

January 30, 2017 9:24 am

Love your insight and wisdom Em!

January 30, 2017 9:42 am

Love reading your thoughts on relationships + marriage! Such an inspiration. One reason why I continue to read here is that you have a wonderful knack for tackling topics that are quite complex and sometimes scary (marriage, finances, work/life balance, goals, etc) and simplifying them to reveal their true meaning which is to bring joy and blessings to our lives and the lives around us. Thank you!

January 30, 2017 10:25 am

Well said, Em! Looking forward to more ‘love + marriage’ posts on EFM. Also, happy 12 years!

January 30, 2017 12:36 pm

Great post! My husband and I are also high school sweethearts, and it certainly does give you experience early on in dealing with change! Over the years we’ve found that when we go through the tough seasons (and there have been plenty), we always love each other more deeply than before. I’m definitely putting that book on my reading list!

January 30, 2017 1:39 pm

Love this post, as always. My favorite part being the link the the Secret Thread. I have never read that CS Lewis quote before but it is SO GOOD. Congrats on 12 years of dating! I’m at year 9 with my husband…every year another miracle HA! :)

January 30, 2017 2:53 pm

This is so sweet and, that picture is the best. You are wonderful and it’s a joy being your friend and watching you grow together. Proud of you all — happy 12 years!

January 31, 2017 9:43 am

I agree completely with this sentiment! We’ve been dating for a little over 10 years now and we’ve actually reflected similarly in how each of our best qualities have rubbed off on each other while we’ve helped each other grow and mature in each of our weaker areas since being together. Marriage is grand. :) Happiest 12 years to you all!

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