Marrying a spouse and raising a family are two dynamic ways to spend a lifetime. When kids leave home, though, you may think you have little in common with your spouse. Mental health professionals often refer to this feeling as empty nest syndrome.
Usually, there are neither good nor bad reasons to opt for divorce. After all, the decision is deeply personal. Nonetheless, a growing number of middle-aged couples decide to call it quits when children move away from home. Before you choose to use your empty nest syndrome as a reason to leave your spouse, you may want to try some coping techniques. Here are four that may help you measure your desire to follow through with divorce:
1. Find yourself again
Parents often devote so much energy and attention to raising children that they lose some, or most, of themselves. As such, after your kids leave home, you may need to reacquaint yourself with your hobbies, passions, interests and other things that make life meaningful.
2. Get to know your partner
Fathers and mothers regularly put the needs of their children before those of the marriage. Meanwhile, as individuals age, they tend to change. If you suspect you no longer know your partner, try to get to know him or her again. Date nights, vacations, conferences and other events may do the trick.
3. Establish relationship roles
Often, some of the angst in the empty nest comes from incompatible ideas about household and relationship responsibilities. Rather than letting resentment get the better of you or your partner, establish roles. Then, try to keep up with your obligations.
4. Give it some time
Deciding to divorce a spouse usually is not a good idea during times of upheaval and stress. When your kids leave home, your entire world may seem topsy-turvy. Rather than acting rashly, give your thought process some time. If you decide divorce is best for you, you can always file later.
Empty nest syndrome may or may not be a valid reason to divorce your spouse. Certainly, though, you want to be as comfortable with the decision as possible. Rather than assuming your union cannot survive in a post-children household, try to deal with your empty nest syndrome before thinking about heading to divorce court.