Coping with Empty Nest Syndrome
After you and your spouse have raised your children together for 20 or so years and they get old enough to move
out on their own, one or both parents may suffer from what's known as the empty nest syndrome.
Raising children takes a lot of time for both of the parents. Usually, one parent spends more time with the day
to day activities of raising children but that does not mean the other spouse doesn’t have a good connection.
It is hard to go from focusing on your children to being alone with your spouse. The empty nest syndrome
describes how it feels when children go out into the world and leave the home. Of course, you are proud of them and
all they have achieved but that doesn’t mean it is easy. You probably feel like you don’t know what to do with all
the free time you have now that the kids are gone.
Change Your Life's Focus
Often, a spouse who is feeling alone when the children move out and suddenly has a lot of free time will find
himself or herself feeling unhappy in the marriage. A couple may suddenly find that they don’t have a lot of common
interests but that is to be expected.
For years and years, you both have been focusing on your children, which means you have not been paying much
attention to each other. You probably spent most of your time talking about your children.
When you realize that this is happening to you, it is time to change your focus and start to give all of your
attention to your spouse instead of your children. The two of you can start to focus on your relationship and
figure out how you are going to start to occupy the time that you used to devote to your children. You can start to
build a stronger and better relationship and remember why you fell in love in the first place back before the
children were born.
When your children grow up and move out on their own, you and your spouse can start a new chapter in your
relationship. You both can focus on each other again and meet each other’s needs. Think about the many things you
and your spouse would have loved to do together but you couldn’t because of the children. You don’t have to sit
around and miss your children because you can rediscover each other.
Renew Your Relationship
When you end up with an empty nest, you should use all the free time you have to enjoy life with your spouse. In
a way, it is like starting your relationship all over again. You will be able to go on an actual date where you get
all dressed up and go somewhere amazing together and start to build new memories.
It is important that you and your spouse discuss how you feel. You both need to talk about your desire to renew
your relationship both emotionally and physically. It is important to be supportive of your spouse while adjusting
to the empty nest.
You should think about all the different things you and your spouse will be able to do but were not able to
because you had to make sure your family was taken care of financially and emotionally. Try volunteering, starting
a new hobby, or changing your job. You and your spouse could also travel together alone, which you could not do
when you had children.
After you get used to the empty nest life, you will be amazed at how you ever found the time to take care of a
family. You need to pay attention to and acknowledge your feelings. If you ignore the fact that you feel useless or
insecure, you are more likely to end up with a serious problem like depression.
You need to make sure you still recognize your self-worth when you have an empty nest. If you spend your free
time talking to your spouse about what you are going through, your marriage can end up stronger than ever.
Your children are grown so you both need to turn your focus to each other and your relationship now. Make sure
you maintain a strong intimate relationship with your spouse and don't let the empty nest syndrome spoil the extra
time alone you now have together.