If you are like most parents, having your last child leave the home is a relief, but you may also be struck with sadness. You and your spouse suddenly are thrust into a quiet home and many people struggle getting on with the next phase of their life. Sadly the rate of divorce among couples that have been married for 30 years or longer is starting to increase. These couples are struggling to find ways to connect with one along again and they realize that their children were the only reason they were together. Some couples choose divorce because they do not like being with the same person 24/7 and it simply overwhelms them.
You and your spouse need to learn how to find ways to spend time together to strengthen your marriage and move on with this next phase in life so you don’t end up becoming another statistic. Here are five simple ways to deal with empty nest syndrome:
Tip # 1 – Communication
One of the biggest things you need to overcome together is learning how to communicate with one another. You are both going to be a little sad and depressed about the kids leaving the home so you need to tell one another this. Share your feelings. Many parents experience loneliness and emptiness and if your spouse doesn’t know this, they won’t know how to help you with your depression.
Tip # 2 – Look at the positives
Instead of focusing on how quiet and lonely your home is, start looking at all the positives in life. Your grocery bills are going to be reduced so you can start saving money to take that luxury vacation the two of you have always talked about. You will actually have food in the fridge instead of wondering who ate all the food! The house will also stay clean since it’s just the two of you now. You can also focus on doing laundry once a week instead of multiple times a week! Here’s a nice one, you have hot water when you shower!
Tip # 3 – Date
One of the most important things a couple can do when the kids fly the nest is to date each other again. Instead of sitting around and wondering what to do, head out and go to a movie. Go to a romantic dinner; enjoy the opera or the theatre. Make time to date each other again and remind each other why you fell in love and how nice it is to have some quiet time to just focus on one another.
Tip # 4 – Intimacy
It is essential for a married couple to spend time being intimate with one another. Being intimate doesn’t always mean sexual intercourse, although this is very important. A large part of intimacy means you need to touch one another. Kiss each other, cuddle, hold hands, hug, and make it a point to be intimate with your spouse. Intimacy draws a couple closer together and it can help re-kindle the fire you may have been missing for the past 20-30 years.
Tip # 5 – Make Plans
To truly get over the sadness you may feel when the kids leave, you need to make plans. You need to have something to look forward to. Now is the time to do all the traveling you want. You should have more money than you did when you were first married so you can finally afford some of those expensive trips you didn’t think you could afford. Try to make plans to go on big vacations at least 2-3 times a year. In between, fit in a couple romantic getaways like heading out for a couple nights at a romantic inn.