This love story comes from the woman behind I Married a Sex God, a blog dedicated to keeping monogamy sexy. Connect with Marie through twitter at  @MarieFranklin00. Artwork courtesy Freedom Bean.

How did you meet and how did you know this relationship was special?

One enchanted evening, he saw me, a stranger, across a crowded room.

For real, that’s how we met!

It was at an art museum. There was a music venue there that night, an event they call Museum After Hours. I went with a guy friend to dance on the small dance floor they provided. There were literally hundreds of people at this event in a small, crowded room. My husband was a volunteer at the art museum that night. When I went to check my coat, he was right there to take it from me and he looked me right in the eye when I handed it to him. I definitely paused and made eye contact with him.

After that, we talked a bit on and off through the night… I liked what I saw and heard. He had a great vibe. We exchanged numbers at the end of the night.

My husband says that when I walked into the museum that night, God turned his head toward me and whispered in his ear “Hey, look over there…”

He says that got his attention and his eyes went right on me from then on out. He watched me walk in with my friend, watched us get in a very long line for a glass of wine; he assessed correctly that the friend I entered with was not a date or romantic interest. By the time my friend and I got through the line and meandered through the crowd over to the coat check, he had been discreetly watching me for a good 10 minutes. He says he felt he definitely needed to check me out, and right away he was glad he did.

I called him the next day because I had such a good feeling about him. We arranged a first date on the phone.

islandladyThat date was literally the best date of my life! It wasn’t that what we did was so special (a comedy club, dinner, and then drinks); it was just that really great vibe I got from him, from “us”—and I felt it all night long. I will never forget the feeling. I can call it up in my mind and relive it like it was yesterday. I remember the outfit I wore, the things we talked about, what the weather was like.

That was ten years ago, January 2004.

When really dug each other a LOT right from the start. It felt really great to have this man pursuing me. The feelings we had for each other were strong and mutual from the very beginning. There were moments when I found out for real what swooning feels like. It was like being intoxicated!

But I’m not sure I can pinpoint when it went from just a really great boyfriend/girlfriend feeling to the “Wow, this is a life-changing soul connection.” It didn’t happen overnight. It was more like it dawned on me over time that this was not just a fun, new relationship; it had much deeper lifetime implications. I guess after the first year we dated, I was awake to the potential that this was life changing—and by then I was certainly madly in love!

Even before then, I knew that having known him had changed my life forever. Even if we hadn’t made it from dating to relationship all the way to marriage, if we had broken up along the way, I would have never regretted that spectacular first date and whatever came after that.

How do you feel that you benefit from being in your relationship?

When you are truly deeply in love and having a soulmate experience, your whole spirit sparkles. You feel alive and refreshed. You wake up hopeful and happy. Your fears are quieted, because you don’t focus on them. Instead you find yourself thinking about your beloved and your delight at being in love.

Although we have normal lives and face daily stress and challenges, our love for each other is something I can call on in my mind at any moment and be suddenly happy all over again. I can pull up an infinite number of happy images and memories I have about our love whenever I need a reminder that there is something meaningful and worthwhile in my life, supporting all of my endeavors.

I am in generally excellent health, and I attribute this to the benefits of being in love. I can feel the warmth and goodness literally flowing through my veins!

Everyone who knows me knows that I’m very much in love. They say it is obvious when looking at me, like I have some great secret, and I am blushing like a schoolgirl most of the time.

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How do you keep your sexual connection strong?

We are both highly sexual people, and this was a strong attraction for us both from the very beginning. Being highly sexual, I know that the sexual component of any relationship I enter will always be very important to me. When I met my husband, it was clear that base was covered.

We are blessed with a wonderful, rich, experimental sex life that is never boring, never unexciting. I attribute most of this success to my husband because he’s a Sex God. I’m not too shabby myself either, so together we have a really good thing going on between the sheets. Heavenly, in fact.

For us, keeping the sexual connection strong is easy because we both value intimacy. Therefore, we are self-motivated to be close to one another emotionally and physically. We are always touching, kissing, and finding dark corners to sneak off to and make out. This high level of touching isn’t for everyone, but we both really love to touch and be touched. But it is more than the physical; the emotional intimacy just flows really well with us, too. It is mostly him, I have to say. He is blessed with an intuitive understanding of how to share real intimacy. He has taught me so much in that area. I seem to have been blessed with a lot of love capacity and ability. Putting together the intimacy with the love and the physical intimacy makes our sex life really amazing.

Do you feel that you have a shared purpose for being together?

I do have a sense that we have a shared purpose, but I’m pretty sure that purpose is simply to love each other and really experience that love. I feel the love we have is metaphysical, and that it is literally healing us and transforming us to be ready for something even bigger, a love from above perhaps.

I know that there is an evolution going on in me, right now. I’m growing and changing, and our shared love is causing me to expand into new areas of myself.

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What challenge have you faced together, and how did you find your way through it?

My husband and I have had to work through an incredible stubborn streak—in both of us. We don’t have this completely worked through yet; we continue to work on it year after year. It would sound from the rest of my account that we are just in love all day, every day—and that is true. But we also have a bad habit of fighting like silly children over the stupidest things. This is where the stubborn parts of us come out and do battle together. If an outside observer saw us in one of our many fights, they might think we hated each other!

Both of us dislike the fighting and it has been a real challenge to get it under control over the years. But the deal is, we really do love each other, flaws and all. So even though we both may think the other is the one who is being unreasonable during our fights, in the end we kiss and make up and realize that seeing the worst in each other is ok sometimes. We are committed to working out our silly stubbornness issues and all the other things that need to be addressed.

And this is no small deal either: we both have a freight train carrier full of baggage to wade through… but I’m willing to do all the inner or outer work I need to do. Our love is worth it. I have never regretted growing and learning to be a better person and partner. Real love transforms you from the inside out.

What advice can you offer single people who desire a relationship like yours?

My husband and I both know we are deserving of love, and we knew this when we were single. We also both believed that there was someone out there for us. Therefore, we did not have self-limiting beliefs that were working against us. It isn’t that we expected the world to just cough up the perfect person to us on demand. And it certainly didn’t. We both went through many relationships before finding each other.

But we felt ready and deserving and hopeful to find the perfect person for us. That feeling of “deserving it” is very important. This is what I would encourage single people to develop, if they don’t have it yet: The sense that they deserve real love.

Thanks for sharing your unique perspective on love with us! ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover, and creators of Mantras for Making Love