Flame? What flame? Many of you might be asking that question. After years of parenting, it might just be that your marriage has dwindled down to a simmering ember.
What are some tips for reconnecting once the nest is empty?
- Talk to one another about what you’re experiencing at this stage in your life. Although kids are supposed to grow up and move away, you might be experiencing it as a loss. Men and women grieve losses differently. Be curious about your partner’s experience and feelings.
- Make a list of things you’ve always wanted to do and share it with your partner. Now’s a good time to go out and experience some of the dreams that kids have kept you from.
- Set time aside to be together: make a regular date night, plan a weekend away, stay in bed on the weekend.
- Find a hobby or project you can do together. At this time of life, couples are frequently in a good place to give back to the community. Find a common value and work together to make a difference.
- Have sex. Sensual and sexual intimacy connects couples at a deep level and releases hormones that help you stay young.
- Laugh often. Seek ways to introduce humor and frivolity into your relationship.
- Spend time with friends. Seeing your partner through the eyes of others makes you feel proud to be with him and reminds you of why you’re still together.
- If you are experiencing deep resentment or an inability to get over painful occurrences in the past, seek marital counseling. Now’s a good time to say goodbye to aspects of your relationship that aren’t working and learn tools to build the relationship that will sustain you through to the end of life.