"Making love" is an uplifting, beautiful phrase, suggesting that the right kind of committed, unselfish sex can actually produce more love.

How you think about sex in your marriage will likely determine how long your marriage lasts and how much joy it will bring.

Here are three ways that will lead toward more love and intimacy in your marriage:

1. More communication

Generally, the more a couple talks to each other about their own personal intimacy, the bigger and better that intimacy becomes. From asking the right questions to our partners (what they need, what they are feeling, what they are comfortable with) to speaking honestly about any concerns, good communication always leads to better lovemaking.

Communication should happen before, during and after!

2. More selflessness

The key to "making lovemaking better" is to think more about your partner's fulfillment and pleasure than about your own. This is not easy, but it is very, very important.

We all know that men and women are wired differently and respond differently when it comes to intimacy. If a husband is a good lover, he will work at understanding the social and emotional lovemaking that must precede physical lovemaking in order to maximize joy for his wife. If a wife is a good lover, she will address both the emotional and physical aspects of her husband's feelings.

Focusing more on what your spouse is feeling than on what you are feeling is not a skill that comes easily, but it is a wonderful and lasting gift to your spouse and to yourself.

3. More respect and patience

Speed may have its place and its benefits in many of life's pursuits, but it has no beneficial place at all in making love.

Quick fixes are useful and appropriate in some things, but intimacy is not one of them. A good husband treats his wife with respect and approaches lovemaking with reverence (and vice versa).

Making love is something you have to build slowly. The integration of spiritual emotions with physical pleasure takes time, and why shouldn't it?

The bottom line is this: making love is a skill, an art, a gift that belongs only to those who want it enough to work for it.

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