Relationship expert Lauren Malloy shares her advice for maintaining your newlywed high throughout the first year of your marriage
#1 Avoid keeping financial secrets
"One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that whilst marriage is a union based on love, it's also a financial union! You are connected financially and what one person does affects the other. Full honesty about everything, including money, keeps the relationship turned on, even if the initial conversation might be uncomfortable. You are tethered to each other and this is a huge opportunity to grow in how you communicate, in how you can stand strongly in yourself, and in how you share hard truths and vulnerability. It's a priceless practice."
#2 Don't let the romance fizzle out
"The problem with romantic movies is the couple ends up together, the screen fades to black and you don't know what happens next. Instead of looking to the movies, learn how to tend to the metaphorical garden that you've already created together. Keep loving and exploring your partner and always know that you can do it better and different. One of the best tools that I use with clients is the Love Languages. Once you know what your partner's preferred ways of being loved are, you'll know exactly how to love them."
#3 Don't use your spouse as your therapist
"I use a practice in my relationship and with my clients where one person talks (sometimes timed - say, for 15 minutes) and the other person just listens. This is what we call holding space. You are not trying to fix or give advice or even react, unless the other person wants advice and you are wanting to give it. Then you switch. It’s a way to get connection with the other person and feel heard without the other person feeling like they need to fix or respond with advice."
#4 Don't stifle each other
"Words of wisdom that I've received and pass along to those I work with is that your partner, or anyone else for that matter, will never be able to fulfill all of your needs. Ever. So, hike with your best friend, tell your sister about your work troubles, attend a spiritual personal development workshop by yourself and go to that vegan place with your favorite co-workers. Then, when you finally go camping with your spouse, it will be amazing instead of having him begrudgingly do all those other things with you!"
#5 Skip the little white lies
"For example: I'm being increasingly asked if buying a lab diamond for an engagement ring will compromise the relationship in the future. Yes – I’m really being asked this! Like I mentioned before, honesty about everything in a marriage is essential. In my experience, it’s case by case – some women will take offense to lab grown diamonds because it has no inherent value and they feel it symbolizes a lack of commitment, while others don’t mind."
Lauren Malloy is a relationship expert and spiritual teacher of love and sex.