The departure of children from the parental home to begin their adult life is a crucial step in many families. It is an important moment and a wonderful occasion because it marks the evolution and growth of your children into responsible adults.
This phenomenon has a name: the empty nest syndrome! Indeed, some parents sometimes find it difficult to see their children leave and the house empty.
The kids cannot stay forever:
They can see it literally as a “necessary evil” so they do it in the end, but not without tears, anxiety, uneasy feelings, discomfort, and even mental breakdowns sometimes. However, you cannot protect and hold onto your kids forever. Forcing them to stay home with you within their role of being your little babies for life sounds very harmful, destructive, and hindering to them and their future. This stage of their life must be seen as a positive moment, for the whole family and we help you to prepare for it as well as possible!
Yes, and it changes the whole picture of your family and sometimes even your daily routine. The problem is that once the children are gone, the parental couple is no longer relevant and views themselves as two irrelevant people with no purpose that are left behind to suffer and wait for something unknown to happen.
However, the kids’ departure forces the parents to turn around to realize that they each have a partner; that they shared and spent all their life journey hand-in-hand, and that now deserves their full attention. Many things are at stake: fear of loneliness, anxiety about aging, etc. But, we have to put our focus on the positives in life and to find ourselves again.
This is why we will help you reconnect with your life partner, spouse, and the person who has been there from the start. Your partner may have their own flaws and mistakes they made, and that’s fine because nobody is perfect. However, what matters is that they’re here now, they stayed and they will stay until the end. That’s why you have to make spending time with them a little treat and enjoyable experience to make the best out of the rest of your lives!
Tips to reconnect with your spouse after the kids leave:
Put yourself first:
Some parents sometimes tend to let themselves go, for the benefit of their children. It is obviously essential to give your children all the attention they need, but this should not be to the detriment of your marital and/or personal life.
This is why it is important to maintain a life outside of your children and not put your entire identity on your role as a mother. Do not forget that you are also a wife or husband, and have many things that are specific to you and you alone. Whether it is on an emotional or personal level, know how to put yourself first when needed and make sure you are active and fulfilled.
Find new common interests:
When it comes to your romantic life or couple: you must know how to keep moments for yourselves as a couple, and also how to enjoy some activities together (sports, cultural, artistic…). Once you do this, you will naturally find yourselves developing new common interests and having conversations you’ve never had before. This will open your eyes to a new side of your decades-long partner, which can be attractive and seductive.
Fix any long-term problems that were put under the rug or ignored:
This can be a difficult and challenging time; if you discover a problem in your love relationship that you haven’t faced before or haven’t dug enough to find earlier; because of the presence of the children. Sometimes, kids help us get in a marital routine, and by losing them and seeing them leave we panic and fear that we may also lose our couple, stability in life, and end up being abandoned by everyone and staying alone.
That’s because your kids would be a big part of your couple too. You and your partner would be used to talking about them often, planning things with them or for them and it’s not easy to suddenly let go of all that. You may simply have forgotten about how to be lovers after being mainly parents, for so long. This is the time to talk together very honestly and openly about the direction of your relationship and to decide what you will do next.
Sometimes there are massive problems that cannot be ignored that may have happened in your marriage, but you would’ve still quickly brushed them off. Having been busy with the kids, or not wanting to involve them in drama, maybe you and your partner have some unfinished business that has caused silence, cold and a lack of trust in your marriage. If that’s the case, now is the time to try and fix it.
See a professional, if needd:
You and your spouse should work on your relationship to restore what may have been neglected. Especially if you feel that your relationship is now useless and your children have been the only bond that was holding your marriage together, which is the case of many couples around the world. See a marriage counselor, if you think it might help you both get back together.
Accepting that this is a difficult time of transition can allow you both to forgive the uncertainties and awkwardness of having to reconnect, as a couple again without the children.
Forget about your partner’s past mistakes:
It can be helpful to develop the mindset that you expect your spouse to be more mature now, wiser, and more experienced. Don’t hold their past mistakes against them. See your spouse through a different lens and try to think of them, as being completely different in a positive way. Your partner is now someone who has grown and who deserves a second chance to prove how intelligent and different they became, while you were busy focusing on your kids.
After all, it has been quite a few years since you first met and have had many different experiences the whole time you’ve been raising your children. These are experiences that neither of you probably thought about when you were young lovers. Over time, you come to know better what you like and don’t like, what you believe in and don’t believe in, what matters to you most and what doesn’t.
These new pieces of information about yourselves may be more obvious now, than when you just got married or started living together. So try to see this as an opportunity to discover each other once more, in a different light, as it can be a fruitful way to revive love.
Take a vacation together:
Spend more time with your spouse or partner and get to know them again. Take a vacation together to help rekindle feelings of intimacy and trust for each other and cultivate emotional support. Allow your love relationship to experience a new spring. This can be an exciting time of rediscovery for both of you.
None of these initiatives will necessarily be able to make up for the reality that you have drifted apart. You may have become more incompatible now than ever before. So put yourselves in a heavenly context by going on a beautiful vacation then see and analyze the situation. Either seek support if you realize that your relationship can no longer be repaired or find each other’s warmth, love, and support again and fall in each others’ arms.
Check out our article on how to know when a relationship is beyond repair. So that you can make a decision that will allow you both to move forward with greater happiness in the future.
Create a fun and enjoyable routine:
The departure of the children may also be a test for the couple who has gravitated towards children and neglected each other, over the years. Some couples do not survive this ordeal and the fact of being together again after so many years put some in a weird spot and exposes their partner’s faults and flaws in their eyes.
It is therefore important to try to reconnect and create a new routine for the two of you, that is just as exciting as when the children were still at home.
You should not see the departure of your children as an inevitability but as a success. The family will not be reduced but will on the contrary grow with the arrival of their spouses, or even grandchildren!