Adjusting to an Empty Nest and Rekindling Marriage Romance
Many parents long for the day their kids will move out, but few are actually prepared for an empty nest. They are not prepared to deal with the sense of loss or to adjust to their new life as a couple. No wonder so many empty nesters are getting divorced.
Most of them charge into the empty nest without much awareness about how much their spouses, their marriages and they themselves have changed over the two or so decades that they spent raising kids.
Common Pitfalls of an Empty Nest
An empty nest makes most parents feel insecure. When you have spent 18 some years raising kids, you are bound to feel a loss of purpose when they finally move out. Many people respond to this sense of loss by trying to find a new purpose or rather a new way to make an impact on the world. They basically go from a child-focused marriage to an activity-focused marriage – as opposed to a partner-focused one.
Empty nest syndrome also causes a decrease in marital satisfaction. Many empty nesters struggle to find fun things to do together because for decades their fun revolved around their children. They are also forced to acknowledge just how much they have changed over the years.
Adjusting to an Empty Nest
Most couples do not begin trying to figure out what they are going to do once the kids move out until after the kids have moved out! This is a huge mistake.
Couples should begin transitioning from a child-focused marriage to a partner-focused marriage way before the kids move out. This way they have enough time to evaluate how the dynamics of their relationship have changed, and redefine their marriage goals as well as their roles and functions within the marriage.
Another thing that parents should do is pursue a deeper friendship with each other. If you are going to tackle an empty nest together, you need to be good friends – even if the romance is no longer there.
Lastly, an empty nest provides a great opportunity for rekindling marriage romance and intimacy. Empty nesters have more time on their hands, more energy and more often than not, more money. They can afford to go on much needed romantic dates and getaways and to try new romantic activities for couples.