Empty nesting Week #1
Did you know that “empty nesters” are at a higher risk of divorce? Did you also know that the latest National divorce statistics are down, but “grey divorces” (those over 50) are actually shown to be up by double digits!
I’ve heard of this before, but after talking to friends it seems that this is a thing. A HUGE thing! Statistics that I have read show a surge in couples age 50 and up divorcing due to their adult children leaving home. This really surprises me since my thought is that when kids finally move out of the home the couple can get back to all the fun things they used to do together before parenting took over their lives. This apparently is not the case because years of parenting turns husbands and wives into very different people than they were when they first got married. They discover that they have nothing in common, and their children were the one thing holding them together. They are “mom and dad”, and that’s it. Not a couple in love with each other.
I’m interested in this topic because it’s such an absolute reverse of my life with MSP. (MSP = Mr. Sexy Pants- aka my husband for those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook). For example. MSP and I spent this past weekend (our first empty nesting weekend) Doing all the fun, silly, sexy things we’ve always done.
We went out to a show Friday night and hung out with our friends.
We woke up Saturday morning and went to breakfast together.
We went grocery shopping to buy everything we needed to hole up at home all weekend.
We pulled a mattress out into the living room and spent 12 hours “camping out” on the living room floor “picnicking” and binge watching Netflix.
We spent time just talking to each other, and cuddling with the animals.
We woke up Sunday morning (on previously mentioned mattress on the living room floor) and did yard work for hours.
We took a bubble bath together.
We had friends over for dinner, and to watch Game of Thrones together.
All in all a perfectly, perfect weekend…… BUT not out of the ordinary for us. We always have weekends like that.
Picnic Camping Out
I read something recently that I totally, 100% agree with. I am not “in love” with my child. I AM in love with my husband, and I love my child. I miss my Baby Girl terribly, but there has always been two parts of my life. My marriage, and my family. They are not the same thing. I married my husband to spend the rest of my life with him as my mate, my partner, my everything. Our daughter was this amazing gift from God that came along later to make us a family. Now that Baby Girl has moved away to start her own life her Daddy and I are gonna be fine.
“Grey Divorces” happen for multiple reasons, and I hate the thought of this happening to anyone.
- Problems, resentments, issues of the past were put on the back burner, and once the kids are gone, the buffer is gone, they all come back with a bang and seem too overwhelming to deal with
- Husbands and wives now look at each other and think they don’t really know the other person, are not sure they even like the other person, and start deciding if they really want to spend the next 30-40 years with this person
- The marriage, that has been put on hold to raise their children, now has to be restarted all these years later
I think the key to this not happening, and full disclosure, I am NOT an expert, is to keep up with your marriage when the kids are still home. Don’t let problems fester. Fight that shit out, and resolve it. 🙂 Remember why you fell in love in the first place, and do the things that you did before that made your spouse say “I’m going to be with this person forever”. Read this book that changed my life 15 years ago. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to love that lasts. I was doing almost everything wrong, and after reading this I was able to correct, and get back on track.
So, as I start empty nesting week #2 it is with a lighter heart. The sadness of our daughter moving is being replaced by joy in hearing how happy she is in her new life. I’ve reaffirmed that my marriage is strong, healthy, and not in danger of the “grey” problems, and I really cannot wait to camp out, picnic, and take a bubble bath with MSP again.