Couples often face their greatest challenges after their children have grown up and left home. With the children gone, they now have very little to talk about or share. What causes this, and how can couples cope?
WHY IT HAPPENS
For years, the children came first. With good intentions, many parents put their children’s needs above the needs of their marriage. As a result, they become so accustomed to the roles of dad and mom that they lose their connection as husband and wife. Many couples are unprepared to adapt to this new phase of life. And you can’t blame them. Sometimes life happens so fast you wonder where all the years went. For many couples, it makes it seem like they are in a new marriage altogether. Feeling that they have little in common, many husbands and wives retreat into their own separate pursuits, becoming more like roommates than marriage mates.
WHAT YOU CAN DO?
Resolve to accept the change. Share your concerns. Talk to your mate about how this life transition affects you, and be ready to listen to your spouse’s feelings as well. Be patient and understanding. It may take time to strengthen your connection as husband and wife, but doing so is worth the effort. Find new things to do together. Talk about goals you would like to pursue together or interests you would like to explore as a couple. Reaffirm your commitment. Think about the qualities that attracted you to each other. As a couple, think back on the history you have shared and the storms you have weathered. In the end, this new chapter in your life can be a good one. In fact, with the cooperative effort you now have the opportunity to improve the quality of your marriage and rekindle the love that brought you together in the first place.