How to maintain a fulfilling relationship during the Empty Nest period

Couple sitting on sofa looking at tablet togetherMany couples with children will experience an empty nest at some point. Most people perceive this as a time when children grew up and left home. The empty nest can come with a myriad of emotions for every parent, especially in the beginning. Questions often accompany emotions. some common emotionally charged questions are:

  • Sadness: "How do I deal with the fact that my children no longer live at home?"
  • Stress: "What am I going to do with my life now?"
  • Uncertainty: "What does our marriage or partnership look like without our children at home?"
  • Confused: "Who is this man (mate) with whom he lives?"
  • Just: 'My kids filled up a lot of space in our house. How do I deal with the quiet? "

Clearly, the empty nest season is expected for parents. However, many couples are unprepared for the onslaught of the emotional disorders they are experiencing, especially for mothers who invest in the lives of their children until they leave home. I often find this to be the case with stay-at-home mothers who may not work or have a career during the years that their children grow up.

You may want to talk about how it was like raising children with your spouse or partner, your friends, your family member, or a trusted mental health professional.

Here are some things to consider when your adult kids pack their college bags or head to the front door, ready to start their lives out under your roof.


Take the time to think about the time you had with your children at home. It takes time to process the reality from which you prepared them from the moment they were born. Whether you realize it or not, this day was about to come. Take it inside. You may want to talk about how it was like raising children with your spouse or partner, your friends, your family member, or a trusted mental health professional. Take the good, the challenging, even the difficult times. Parental responsibility is, without a doubt, the hardest job many of us will ever do. It can also be the most rewarding.

Make time for gratitude

Make some space to be thankful for the time you had with your children. People who are religious can thank God for the gift and privilege of raising children, for example. Our children have trusted our care for a short time. As my mother always told me, enjoy your time by increasing them. it goes fast. If you look at your empty nest, you probably agree with me. Time passes!

Embrace your partner

Depending on how you have spent time with your spouse or partner over the years, this can be a critical time in your relationship. If you have cultivated, communicated well, and taken time to emotionally connect with the years, chances are you will have a good healthy relationship. If you feel that your spouse or partner is your best friend or soul, that's good. You can now move into the empty nest season on a good healthy ground relationship.

Face your challenges with care

On the other hand, I often have couples appearing in treatment for the first time because they have postponed challenges or difficulties in their relationship because they lack the time or energy to deal with things as children grow older.

Sometimes, when this happens and the children "leave the nest", couples look at each other with questions such as:

  • "Who you are?"
  • "Who you are;"
  • "How did you miss me?"
  • "How have you lost me all these years?"
  • "I love you even more?"

If you can ask any of these questions, you know that you are not alone. Many couples face difficult times when they realize that there are no distractions and now, they need to focus on each other in a new way.

If this speaks to you about the nature of your marriage or partnership, the following tips can help.

  • Talk to your partner or spouse about how you feel.
  • Be intentional about connecting to a deeper level.
  • Let your partner know your needs.
  • Renew your friendship.
  • Focus on making your partner feel loved, adored and valued.
  • Dream together for the future.

Keep in mind that the empty nesting season can be a time of renewal and renewal for you and your partner. Ordering at your wedding can be such a wonderful and difficult experience. Sure, you may have some weeds to pull or pruning to do. However, with an upbeat vision for your garden, planting the right seeds and flowers, and remembering the need for fertilization, your garden can be amazing.

Remember, when your kids start out: it doesn't mean you have to start with your spouse or partner. You can choose to keep your family history dear and cherish memories and continue and feel optimistic about a renewed relationship and future with your partner.

© Copyright 2019 All rights reserved. Publication permission is granted by Angela Bisignano, PhD, therapist on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, California

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