The notion of an “empty nest” home may come with bittersweet feelings. Parents might find themselves having difficulty adjusting to life without their children residing with them. Eventually, the young ones grow up and leave their long-time Tennessee home. While the departure may be expected, the impact on the parents could prove shocking. Some “empty nesters” discover that the recent changes at home lead to divorce.
When an empty nest hurts a marriage
Assumptions that a married couple may spend more time together once children move out may or may not be accurate. If the couple continues to maintain a good relationship, then an empty nest might strengthen a marriage. However, the children’s departure might highlight how far apart the spouses have become.
Children could stay in a home for 20 to 25 years, reflecting enough years for married couples to drift apart. People may change and develop new attitudes, opinions, beliefs and lifestyle pursuits.
When these newly disparate spouses spend more time together alone in the home, the differences could become challenging to ignore. Worse, friction may develop between the spouses, leading to arguments and disagreements. A marriage might be in trouble at this point.
Losing the component keeping the marriage together
Concerning issues in the marriage may commence long before the children move away. However, the presence of children in the home may help keep the marriage together. Children could lend stabilizing benefits, and focusing on the younger family members might de-emphasize their concentration on problems. Directing attention on a child may move concerns away from a workaholic spouse, for example.
The home environment might become an unhappy place for both spouses without their children present, and the two may eventually decide that separating becomes the right choice. That’s not to say that a couple can’t work out their differences and reconcile. Marriage counseling and other steps could assist with salvaging the marriage. Both parties need to work together to save the marriage for this outcome.
The truth about empty nesters and divorce might prove jarring to those who find themselves drifting apart from their spouse. Some may feel that speaking to a divorce attorney is the right decision.