Love in an Empty Nest

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We watched as our kids each shuffled through the security line, took off shoes and set computers in gray plastic bins and passed into the netherworld that airports are behind all those barriers. We took the AirTrain home from JFK, a longish but simple ride which gave us time just to marvel at the kids being gone and what the next days might hold for us.

Empty Nest S05E20 Love and Marriage fiveofseven

We ate dinner at home and shared some red wine. It should have maybe been more momentous, but dancing along the edge of joy and sadness made it hard to really figure out what to do.

First Love

We did stop to marvel at the idea of not expecting anyone home that night. Our apartment has an elevator that opens into the place and you can hear it and watch the numbers change when someone has called it. We used to sit and listen to the beeps and wait to see if our door would open, and one of the kids would be home. And so we settled into life with just us again.

Empty nests are perfect for love and sex

We have the place to ourselves. The house stays mostly tidy and there is so much less laundry, I almost forget to do it. Same with the dishes.

Living in the Shadow of the Empty Nest

Of course the place is remarkably quiet and the nights sometimes get long. Our weekends are quiet, too, and longing for some new activity. Biking is our mainstay but I think we might add museum visits and going to independent films again. We talk more now.


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Melissa Ferrari's Blog offers tips and advice about relationships, parenting, love and life. You discuss everything about your child. Their first words, steps, celebrating their first win at sports, how they are settling in at school, how many friends they have. As they grow older you discuss when they should be given access to technology, which adds another layer of stress as you obsess about what they are viewing, who is contacting them and are they being bullied.


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Add to this the endless hours of the Mum and Dad taxi service, sleepovers and seemingly endless birthday parties they must attend, and is it little wonder that we can struggle to find time for each other. Then one day, the whirlwind comes to an end as your last child elects to leave the nest and you are suddenly back to where it began with your partner, feeling like two strangers in your now empty home.

If you cannot rediscover what drew you together in the first place, then it is likely your relationship will end.

What the Empty Nest Feels Like From The Inside

So if you have disconnected from your partner and the kids have left or are preparing to leave the nest, what can you do to make your relationship as special as it was the day you first met? Relationships can be challenging, but they can also be incredibly rewarding and having someone we love and care for in our life is important. So do not give up on your true love without a fight. If you and are struggling to breakthrough on your own, then remember you do not have to do this alone and by seeking help from a qualified counsellor can help you turn your relationship around.

Roger discovered Lisa had developed an interest in her family roots and wanted to travel to Germany and Sweden. Lisa learned that Roger now had a taste for Thai food, and wished they could try Thai restaurants around town.

2. No More Homework

They started developing shared rituals, roles, goals, and symbols. For example, they put a weekly date night on the calendar and took turns choosing a restaurant.

Lisa used Tuesday evenings to keep up with her Mary Kay business. They also started volunteering at church activities together. By putting their efforts into rescuing their relationship from empty nest syndrome they now have reason to hope. While an empty nest can feel lonely, the transition offers couples an opportunity to renew their vows of connection and intimacy — one chapter has ended but another has just begun.

This article was originally published on The Gottman Relationship Blog.

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21 Things You'll Love About The Empty Nest

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