But even though their legal union was brief, lasting barely eight months after they tied the knot on Dec. 23, 2018, their relationship was long, consuming the better part of 10 years. And though they'd broken up and reunited before, there was a finality to this split, on paper and off. There was the sense of a real ending for the untraditional and relatively undramatic (when together) couple, who always seemed to know what they were doing and why, even if most of their admirers didn't exactly get it.
Hence there being a lot to unpack for Miley since the split. The 28-year-old showbiz veteran spent almost the entirety of her adult life with Liam, after all, and despite the year and a half they spent apart while the "Can't Be Tamed" singer tried grown-up pop stardom on for size, he was what she knew of love and serious commitment.
So though the Miley-and-Liam era is over, fans understandably have been curious about why marriage wasn't for her after she spent a total of six years engaged to the Australian actor.
Luckily, since she's been busy making music, utilizing her pandemic time by performing backyard shows, hosting her uplifting Instagram Live series Bright Minded, collaborating with the likes of Dua Lipa, and putting the finishing touches on her latest album, Plastic Hearts, there have been quite a few opportunities to pick her brain lately about whatever's been on her mind.
Which, as always, has been a lot, and true to form Miley has had a bit to say about her decade-long relationship with Liam and its ultimate demise, tracing their trajectory in hindsight as she's continued to come into her own.
"In early 2018, I was playing house, which felt really good at the time," she shared with Rolling Stone in a recent interview. "Now I have this healthy perspective that I didn't have before. I learned a lot about what I can and cannot be for someone else and what I can and cannot accept for myself."
Here are her biggest revelations and herself and Liam since the split:
And at the end of the day, Miley remains the picture of keeping calm and carrying on.
"You just definitely want to feel like you are just in control of your own life and not trying to control anyone else's," she reflected in August on SiriusXM's The Morning Mash-Up. "So for me to be able to really have a good, clear understanding of the last two years, which there was some traumatic experiences—losing the house in Malibu and going through a really public breakup — I think I just really needed some clarity. And so it was just really important to me to be able to like really sit with my thoughts."
And it's always enlightening when she lets us in on what she's thinking from time to time.