Liv Talley | NYC's Premier Dating Coach and LOVE QUEEN

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12 Lessons from One Year of Marriage

Hello my loves,

In celebration of my one year anniversary (technically on Sunday,) I want to share some lessons I’ve learned from being married that I hope will help you both have something to look forward to, and some skills you can start practicing now!

Whether you’re single, in a relationship, or you’ve been married longer than me, these are some things I’ve picked up to make love a little easier on you…

And to be cute, I want to give you 12 lessons for all 12 months of marriage;)

  1. HOLD THE VISION — above everything else, keep the vision you both dreamed of at the forefront of your relationship. Hold each other accountable for your goals. Check-in and stay aligned with what you both want, and what you’re ultimately working towards.

    In my marriage, that’s exaltation. Holding to the vision means that when you both have questions, doubts, frustrations, or whatever else comes up–refer back to the goal. For us, it’s important to filter those things through the lense of eternity.

  2. LOVE YOURSELF UNCONDITIONALLY — When it comes to loving yourself though, you cannot put conditions on it. Because YOU have to meet your own needs first. Making your internal love unconditional is how also how to avoid being “needy” or “desperate” with your companion; which can cause them anxiety/create unmet expectations…which bring a whole myriad of other problems.

    Meet your own needs, and then ask for what you WANT. This gives your partner the space to say “no” if they need to, without causing a rupture between you!

    No matter how wonderful your S/O is, they can’t meet all of your needs, all of the time. When you can relieve that pressure by carefully maintaining your relationship with yourself (and God,) then it makes bids for what you want expressions of service, and opportunities for building trust//closeness together.

  3. LOVE EACH OTHER WITH BOUNDARIES — I know this statement is controversial and unpopular, but I stand by it. When Christian and I first decided to get married, we agreed that our marriage would have conditions!

    If you don’t have boundaries or standards for your partner, you can feel trapped in a relationship that isn’t what you want forever. We never wanted that to be us. Even before getting engaged, we both expressed what our goals were, and since we had the same vision, we got sealed in the temple. WITH the understanding that if either of us decided to walk away from that goal, the other one wouldn’t be expected to stay.

    That doesn’t mean we would automatically get divorced, or that I’m saying couples should take divorce lightly…rather, I’m advocating NOT to take your goal of exaltation lightly!

  4. LET THERE BE LIGHT — sometimes things can be tense in the relationship…and sometimes the best way to diffuse that tension is to laugh together. Finding humor (without undermining feelings,) in a moment that feels serious, can bring you both out of your heads and into the moment.

    From here, you can analyze if whatever you’re fighting/upset about needs to be discussed deeper–or if it’s not as big of a deal as it’s being made to be! (This isn’t always the case, so tread with care.)

    Overall, the more opportunities for light/laughter/fun/optimism to enter your relationship, including speaking positively towards and about each other, the easier it will be when the moment DOES need to be serious.

    Cynicism can KILL your connection. You don’t need it in your home, and you don’t need it in your relationship. Even jokingly, speaking negatively to each other sinks into your mind like poison.

  5. DON’T AVOID CONFLICT — ok there WILL be times where making jokes isn’t appropriate for a disagreement that needs to be talked through. Talk through those things!

    Hear each other, make an effort to understand, and SHOW that there is understanding by reflecting that in your behavior. Or by observing it in your partner’s behavior.

  6. LET THINGS BE MESSY SOMETIMES — yeah in your home, and between you. You both need space to just be human, and that means letting a mess be present for a day. Your house doesn’t have to look perfect all the time, neither does your relationship, and neither do YOU.

    You get to be a mess from time to time, too. Above everything else, you’re just two different people, learning how to build a life together.

  7. KEEP YOUR SEX LIFE PRIVATE — all I’ll say on this is that you don’t need to compare. To anyone. With anyone. At any time. Intimacy is for both of you to be exposed and vulnerable together, and be seen and accepted just as you are in those moments.

    Comparisons have no place in that sacred space.

  8. BE SEEN — at all times, and it all ways, don’t hide pieces of you for the sake of your relationship. If you hide away parts of what make you who you are, resentment will build whether you are conscious of it or not.

    Share everything! Even the things you’re embarrassed of, the things you hate about yourself, let it all be seen. Let it be embraced. Let it be loved.

  9. BE PARTNERS FIRST, FRIENDS SECOND, LOVERS THIRD — when you face conflict, when you deal with family, and in disagreements, remember that it’s YOU and your COMPANION against everything else.

    That doesn’t mean you have to agree on everything, (and you certainly won’t,) it just means that you choose to assume the best of each other. You choose your relationship TOGETHER over whatever issue is at hand, and you’ll get through the hard things.

    Remember that you are BEST FRIENDS, and prioritize good communication. Then the fun, sexy times flow naturally.

  10. ENCOURAGE, SUPPORT, AND DON’T CRITICIZE — supporting each other in hobbies, endeavors, work, and aspirations is so important. Believe in each other, and cheer each other on!

    AND, don’t criticize. If they are exhibiting a behavior that hurts you, express that (using “I FEEL” statements.) But nitpicking is so unnecessary and unhelpful. Your job isn’t to change your partner; and if you think it is, you are in the WRONG relationship!

    Encouraging your partner to hit their goals, believing in them, and offering support when they struggle builds a bond of reliability and safety in your relationship that helps it THRIVE! Be their biggest hype person. Trust me, it makes ALL the difference!

  11. SAY NO WHEN YOU NEED TO — just because you are married doesn’t obligate you to always say yes. If you need to say no to hanging out with in-laws, you can. If you need to say no to plans to do your own thing, you can.

    Getting married, or just being committed, doesn’t obligate you to always say yes to everything your partner asks you for, when they ask you for it. (And yes, this does apply to being intimate as well…)

  12. HEAL YOUR INNER SH** — you’re both bringing all of your experiences, shadows, breakups, exes, fears, and everything else into the relationship. Whatever you aren’t healing or haven’t worked on WILL come up. And if you aren’t addressing it and proactively fortifying your relationship against it, your marriage is going to be MUCH harder than it needs to be…

    Your unhealed past can derail your relationship, and you don’t need to let it. Take responsibility, and be accountable for how you show up every day.

In the last year, I’ve learned and grown so much. I have a long ways to go, but honestly I’m obsessed with my marriage! Being married is better than being single, I don’t deny that in the slightest.

I love having someone I can depend on, cry to, laugh with, and take MULTIPLE cross-country road trips with in a year without getting annoyed with each other–and that I can kiss whenever I want.

These are just some of the aspects of WHAT I’m so obsessed with, and why the first year of marriage was sooo much easier than everyone told me it would be. We laid the groundwork while we were dating for handling conflict, aligning our goals, and just having fun together–and it just solidified deeper after we sealed the deal.

My prayer is that you feel as free, enchanted, excited, optimistic, and safe with someone. Don’t be afraid to wait for that person. It is SO worth it.

Xo,
Liv

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