How to Keep from Drifting Apart in Your Almost Empty-Nest Marriage

empty nest marriage relationship

A passionate, beautiful mom sat in front of me with tears in her eyes. She was going through the empty nest transition and struggling with her children moving away when, seemingly out-of-the-blue, her husband delivered the devastating news that he wanted out of their marriage. Sadly, her story isn’t unusual even among couples who think it will never happen to them. So-called “gray divorce,” divorce among couples in their 50s and above who often have been married for 25 or more years, has risen sharply in the past 30 years.

The Stress of Parenting Teenagers on a Marriage

Many factors affect this, but one important factor is that couples often just begin to drift apart emotionally while raising their kids. This can be especially difficult during the hectic years of raising teenagers.

In fact, according to a survey of married couples marriage satisfaction is most often at its lowest point when parenting teenagers. This can set couples up for not having a strong relationship when they are faced with the empty-nest transition. And this, together with the feeling that they no longer need to stay together to raise their children, can make couples in this stage of life prime targets for divorce.

Nurturing Your Marriage

That is why it is so important to make sure you don’t neglect your relationship in your almost empty-nest marriage! A few years ago, I wrote an article for Focus on the Family on how to keep your marriage from drifting apart. I am posting it here in case it might be helpful for anyone:

Please share in the comments your struggles and tips in keeping your marriage strong during these years!

If you are interested in a 90 Days to a Stronger Marriage group or individual coaching, contact me for more information.

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