Delaware Marriage Counselor: Coping with Empty Nest Syndrome – Together

As a Delaware marriage counselor, I understand how tough it can be for couples after all their children grow up and leave home. For years, a large part of your identity was likely based on being a parent, and when your adult kids no longer need you on a daily basis, you’re left to reform your identity and revisit your relationship with your partner. This isn’t a bad thing, but some couples struggle to figure out their new relationship dynamic in the absence of their kids. Sound like you? See if this relationship advice helps.

How Couples Can Survive the Empty Nest: Tips from a Delaware Marriage Counselor

Stay curious about your partner. When your kids lived at home, you probably asked them how their day at school was or what they were planning on doing over the weekend. You should make an effort to be just as curious about your partner. You might think that you know everything there is to know about one another, but you may be surprised about the new things you can learn if you just keep asking questions.

Make time for dates. Setting aside time for dates may have been a challenge when you had young kids at home, but one of the benefits of having an empty nest is that you have more time to go out with your partner. Take this opportunity to reinvent your date night: go to new restaurants that you both want to try, take turns planning dates for one another, explore parts of your town or city that you haven’t spent much time in. Doing these types of activities together will help you get to know each other again.

Learn a new skill together. If you find yourself thinking about your kids a lot once they leave home, talk to your partner about learning a new skill together. You might try learning a language, taking up a sport, doing a craft project, or just about anything else the two of you can think of. Learning something together will give you more time to bond and also help keep you from missing your kids as much.

Help each other stay in touch with your kids. Remember that just because your kids are no longer living at home doesn’t mean you’ll never see or hear from them again. You and your partner can set up times when you can both call or Skype with your kids, or plan a trip to a child’s college campus for Parents’ Weekend.

Talk to a Delaware marriage counselor. If you and your partner are struggling with empty nest syndrome or wondering where your relationship is going after your children leave home, you should consider talking to a Delaware marriage counselor. Having an empty nest can be a tough transition, and you and your partner should feel like you have support as you transition to this new stage of your life.

Walt Ciecko, Ph. D., BCB
605 Wynyard Rd
Wilmington, DE 19803