Advertisement

Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

The Kids Are Gone! Are You More At Risk for Divorce?

older coupleThe last child has now left the nest. The house is quiet. You look at that person you’ve been married to for so many years and yet, he/she feels like a stranger. There isn’t much to talk about except to catch up on news of the kids.

You spend the night reading. He’s watching TV. You get up before him and are out the door. He sleeps in and misses you for breakfast. Suddenly you realize that your lives were all involved with the kids. As a couple, you’ve lost touch and no longer talk or do things together. You feel alone and begin to think about divorce.

Advertisement

This scenario speaks to the “Gray Divorce Revolution” we see that is on the rise by empty nesters. Many don’t see it coming because it isn’t prompted by some big fall out, explosive event or trauma. It creeps up in a couple’s relationship because they’ve become emotionally distant with one another. And emotional distance is a major predictor of divorce.

Through the years, raising children, it is easy to revolve your lives around the kids and ignore the warning signs of losing touch with one another. Family time and hobbies can fill the gap and child-rearing, friendships and elderly care can occupy time.  When the kids are gone, the lack of connection stares you in the face. You’ve lost the romance and your relationship is built on roles of mother and father, not husband and wife.

Advertisement

So what can do–divorce? I hope not. Instead, it is time to reconnect and build that marital friendship once again.

One solution I read about was for a husband and wife to live apart and see each other often. Stay married, but create their own lives and see each other regularly. This is ridiculous. If you stay married, then work on the relationship and be all in and honor the covenant you made.

Talk about the sadness you may feel with the kids gone. Simply sharing your emotions can bring you closer together. Then learn about your partner’s inner world. What does he or she like to do? How can you do some of those things together? What kind of life would you like to build together? Share dreams, ideas about the future. Come up with new things to try–a cooking class, a new hobby or engage in things you used to find fun.

Advertisement

This is a time you can turn towards each other and build a satisfying relationship, but you have to approach it in a positive way. Instead of being empty  without the kids, there is time for yourself, time to contribute in ministry and time to enjoy each other and be together. Something drew you to that person initially. See if you can find that again.

The key is to turn towards each other not away. To see your partner as a person to get to know on a more intimate basis now that you have the time and no distractions from daily parenting. This can be a good thing and doesn’t have to result in Gray Divorce and giving up on that person you once thought you loved.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment lisa

    Thank you for talking about the season of the empty nest, becsuse it is not a myth IT IS VERY REAL!! And you don’t get to prepare for it, it just kind of sneaks up on married couples. You are so busy raising your children that you forget that you are working yourselves out of a job. My husband and I are there now and we have decided to think about things that we enjoyed BC/before children so we put up a sign that says GONE FISHING!!!!!

Previous Posts

What Isn't Discussed in Violent Shootings
Like most of you, I was shaken by the horrific events of this past week: the senseless shooting of two TV journalists happened in my backyard. Those reporters worked at one of the TV stations in my viewing area and not too far from the massacre ...

posted 9:00:29am Aug. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Why Sex is Not Always About the Sex
If you watch most television shows, you would think that the most important part of any relationship is sex! But when it comes to what matters most in a relationship, it's not the sex. And if we focus  only on sex, the relationship won't ...

posted 7:00:42am Aug. 28, 2015 | read full post »

National Dog Day: Take Your Canine to Work!
In honor of national dog day... I feel blessed that I get to take my dog to work every day. Zoe, pictured here, is the comfort dog for the medical school in which I work. Every morning she greets the students and helps reduce their stress. ...

posted 7:00:18am Aug. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Baby Names: Helping or Hurting Your Child?
When Shakespeare asked,  "What's in a name?" the answer is, more than you think. Many years ago, I worked in a very poor school district and noticed a number of the children had unusual names. The most unusual was a girl we called Phamalie ...

posted 7:00:52am Aug. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Angry? Do You Really Want to E-Vent?
John left the meeting frustrated, angry and ready to quit. He returned to his office and fired off an angry email. For the moment, he felt better, he got his anger off his chest. But did this behavior really help? Sarah returned from a ...

posted 7:00:43am Aug. 21, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.