A Formula For Empty Nesters To Make Up, Not Break Up
Peter Jones, Lawyer
As students embark on the next stage of their lives at universities and colleges, their first term also marks the first time without children in the house for many parents.
For many ‘empty nesters’, this new chapter can bring to the surface long suppressed irritations and tensions that have bubbled under the surface, but whose impact may have been lessened by the demands of children and busy lives.
Two decades of hectic work and child care schedules can result in parents losing touch with each other and becoming different people to the couple who tied the knot.
In today’s climate of longer life expectancies and greater financial independence, the empty nest syndrome is a key factor to wives and husbands splitting up rather than spending the next three two or even decades together.
Before becoming another ‘grey divorce’ and empty nester statistic, consider the following steps:
Express your feelings
Communicating honestly and openly and sharing and expressing your feelings and concerns is vital. Long-standing relationships deserve time, careful consideration and discussion. Go for a long walk in the country or to the seaside: it is the ideal setting for an exploratory conversation or to clear the air, as it is very difficult to go any distance without talking.
Being free of parenting responsibilities can be a great opportunity for couples to take up new interests or return to fun hobbies they enjoyed in their pre-children days. Having more time to focus on each other will rekindle rapport and affection. Marriage is a partnership – go back to being on the same team.
Create a life plan
People running or involved in business would not dream of operating without a plan. Preparing your future together also requires a well thought through plan which includes finances and key goals and aspirations such as moving house, hobbies and holidays. This focus is key to help you maximize your pre-retirement and retirement years and devising it before the children move away will help the transition.
There is no substitute for ongoing dialogue and communication. If your marriage is in a rut – get out of it. Set up a weekly ‘date night’ and share and discuss your exciting plans for your golden years and adventures.
Until you are actually without somebody you have shared most of your life with, you cannot know how much you will miss them. If your marriage is worth saving you will find solutions to your problems.
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A Formula For Empty Nesters To Make Up, Not Break Up, 14th September 2018, 10:17 AM