Making (True) Love: It’s More Than Just Ripping Your Clothes Off!

This is another post by Joanne Miller in which she talks about the difference between making “love” in your marriage and “making love” in your marriage. Be sure to share this wisdom from nearly five decades of marriage with other young couples!

Making (True) Love- It's More Than Just Ripping Your Clothes Off!Over ten years ago my daughter, Ashley, gifted me with a nicely bound book.

It's called Reflections From a Mother’s Heart, Your Life Story in Your Own Words.

And it’s meant to be a family legacy you leave for your children.

Every page has a new question to answer about my life. 

I pick it up every once in a while and fill out a page or two.

A question I just answered was a very interesting and thought-provoking question:

“What do you love best about Dad now?”

I have been married for over 47 years. That is a very long time.  I was single for barely nineteen years prior to becoming a bride.  So it is hard to even consider what life would be like without Dan. 

But what do I love most about him now?  It came to me easily. 

I love his voracious quest for learning and growing. I have always admired his wisdom from the day I met him and that has never waned.  But what hit me about this question that made me hesitate was that my love for Dan is nowhere near what it was when I was a young bride. It is not at all like it was when I was a young mother.  My love for him has changed a lot.

It concerns me that young couples expect to live the rest of their days waiting for their lover to come through the door, rip their clothes off, whisper undying love and devotion and spend every night in passionate love making. 

If you are one of those couples, let me be the first to burst that bubble. 

About the time you have three children throwing up all night and you are bleary-eyed from lack of sleep, making passionate love all night is about the furthest thing from your mind.  In fact, you may, during an episode like this, wish you had never MADE love in the first place! 

The truth is, love changes as you settle into the years together establishing a family, making a career, dealing with financial ups and downs, family disasters, health issues and myriad other life happenings.

As I wrote my answer to the question about what I love most about Dan now, I wrote: 

“I am more comfortable in our love.”

I could see mental eye-rolling by most young people who would think that by “more comfortable” I mean boring.  Let me be perfectly clear on this.  Life has NEVER been boring married to my husband.  In fact, perhaps a little boredom would be a welcome reprieve from the adventures we have had in the last 47 years. 

By the time you are married for as many decades as I have been, love is so much deeper than you can possibly imagine it to be……. if both parties have diligently worked to make it so. 

It takes decades of working together to create that deep commitment.  I added to my answer that another thing I love most about Dan is that he has done whatever he needed to do to keep peace between us. 

He has put me first.  Even before our beautiful daughter who gave me this book. Even before our two incredible sons.  Even before business, friends and extended family. 

I came first. Always and forever.  And the same is true of my dedication to him. 

That’s the only way it works.  Our lives have not been about standing our ground and being right but it has been totally about “How can I love and serve you well?”

Now, don’t read this wrong.  We aren’t too old to enjoy a passionate night!  The point is, love changes.  And that is the way it should be. And when life seems to crowd out the desire to open the door, rip off your clothes, and jump in the sack with your dream lover, don’t get discouraged.  There are so many more dimensions to deep love that are ever-changing…..and infinitely comfortable. 

Joanne Miller has been happily married for over four decades to career coach and author Dan Miller (48 Days To the Work You Love).

In her new book, Be Your Finest Art, you will find more ideas about how to be a better communicator and listener and how playing games creates great memories and family time. This book is full of color and art and is a unique and beautiful gift for that special someone as we approach St. Valentine's Day or just to say “I love you.”

She has also authored four children’s books, which my kids LOVE. She and Dan have three grown children and twelve grandchildren and lots of years living the entrepreneurial roller-coaster life of adventure!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • David Mike

    Thank you Joanne. This is so true.

    • The evolution of love is awesome if each spouse is willing to “serve one another” and work daily on their relationship….sadly too many couples don’t stay together past the first stages. Thanks for reading and commenting, David!

  • I witnessed and learned devotion to spouse from you and Dad. I always knew we weren’t a ‘kid-centric’ family, and your relationship with each other was priority. With our 7 kids now (your grandkids!) I can relate that the value of my love with Teri goes far deeper than just ripping each other’s clothes off (though…I’m still very fond of that part). Thanks for your example Mom!

    • I’ve seen too many examples of a “kid-centered” home where the parents are so devoted to the children they forget to hone their own relationship. So sad and so preventable. Zig Ziglar said many years ago that the best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. And vice versa. Wise man, that Zig!

  • Yep, one of the most important legacies you instilled in your kids was for us to put our spouse first and foremost. We may not have our weekly Friday night date nights, but we have our own romantic dates every single night after the kids go to bed. Connection on every level is so vital to a healthy marriage – sex is just one aspect and every year we grow deeper not only in our sexual, but also spiritual, emotional and mental connection to one another – and that is the greatest gift we can give to each other and to our kids. Love you and thank you for setting that precedent!

    • I have seen how you and Nathan do this…..and the emphasis you put on your marriage above anything else. I am so proud of you for doing this and know for sure you will always reap the rewards. Love you too, Ashley….

  • Joanne, oh my gosh, this would make a great post for ANYONE about to get married or who has been married for some time! Appreciated getting to read comments from your own kids on this as well. So true about ever changing love.
    Too, I appreciate your humor as well as honesty…especailly this “About the time you have three children throwing up all night and you are bleary-eyed from lack of sleep, making passionate love all night is about the furthest thing from your mind. In fact, you may, during an episode like this, wish you had never MADE love in the first place!

    • I suspect being a Mom yourself, you very much understand this feeling! Thanks for the comment, Jen!

  • Thanks for sharing your heart here Babe. The way you love and serve me continues to amaze me.

  • Thanks Joanne. I’ll be sharing this on my Facebook page for Access Media & Events.

  • don roulo

    What a wonderful lesson to be shared to get people to think about what love TRULY is all about. Thanks Joanne and Dan for being a great example.

    So many people today give up on each other when tough times come. I am encouraged to be a better husband to my wife and father to my children after reading this.

  • Jevonnah Ellison

    Absolutely loved this! Thank you for being such a remarkable example to us married folks. The comments from your kids here testify to the fact of your excellence and commitment to each other as well.

  • Phil Conrad

    So true that marriage works when you work together and serve your spouse well. Thanks for your example and congrats on 47+ years!

  • Thanks Joanne for sharing such an insightful look at marriage after children. This is such a healthy attitude and I belief it actually takes the pressure off of your mate to be something they aren’t. I think there is always that fear inside men that they have to act like a teenager in love in order to meet some unfounded expectation. While you certainly can’t allow marriage to just be comfortable, it is a blessed assurance just to feel safe. I wish you guys many more years of happiness. God bless.