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How could empty nest syndrome affect your marriage?

Having children is a major step in life. After all, you will commit to having someone else in your life, hopefully, for the rest of your life. You will experience highs and lows with your kids, and your spouse will likely be there to help. Over the years, you and your spouse may have found a routine that helped you run your household, take care of the kids and live your lives in a way that worked. Now that you are empty nesters, you may be feeling some major shifts.

When the excitement settles after your last or only child goes off to college or moves out on his or her own, you may have wondered what would come next, particularly for you and your spouse. You likely built your lives around your children, and now, your marriage has come back into sharp focus.

Empty nest issues

While many parents in Minneapolis look forward to the time when they can focus more on their own lives than the lives of their children, some unanticipated issues can arise for those who have an empty nest. In fact, empty nest syndrome is something that affects numerous married couples after they find themselves no longer focusing on their kids. Some of the biggest issues at this stage in life stem from the fact that parents feel as if they no longer have much in common.

You may feel like the time is right to travel more, but your spouse may want to stay at home. You may want to start more activities as a couple, but your spouse wants to continue with his or her individual hobbies. This time could also be particularly more difficult for a parent who stayed home to care for the kids and now has a great deal of time on his or her hands.

End of a marriage?

Unfortunately, growing apart can happen, even in couples who were very happy in the beginning of their relationship and those who do not feel any animosity toward each other. There does not have to be any anger involved when couples grow apart as it can happen gradually over the years, and a major change, like having an empty nest, could bring that change into greater perspective.

For some, growing apart is reason enough to bring their marriage to an end. You may not feel as if you are living as a couple as much as living as roommates after your children leave, and that may not be enough to satisfy your need for a meaningful relationship. While divorce does not have to be the first option to consider, it may be one that is on the table in the future.