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Let's face it – the empty nest syndrome is most overrated!  The truth is, for many couples, the empty nest is a time of great "re-discovery" of the love for each other.

Okay, the children have all left home.  You and your spouse are finally alone after two decades of marriage.  Now what?  This is a question faced by millions of married couples worldwide.  

You get married, your children are born, they grow up, and they leave home.  No matter where you live on planet Earth, married couples with children will eventually have to deal with the empty nest.  

Here is what we have learned over the past 32+ years from our thousands of interviews with successfully married couples around the world.

1. Empty nesters need to take stock of their relationship now that the children are out of the house.   They need to set goals for their relationship and plot a direction they want their marriage to go.  Married couples often need to rediscover each other.  And if you are lucky, you will spend the rest of your natural born life with your spouse.  The quality of your relationship must be good if your marriage is to survive and thrive – post-children.

2. If your marriage is typical, the chances are very high that both husband and wife work outside the home.  The great danger for empty nesters is that they often throw themselves even more into their work, often at the expense of their spouse.  Your careers are important to you, but plunging your heart and soul into your work as a way of compensating for the absence of children in your home will only cause stress in your relationship with your mate.

3. Rekindle the romance and passion of your relationship that is often put on the backburner when you are raising children.  Get in the habit again of engaging in passion with each other.  You will be surprised at how easy it will be to fall in love all over again with your spouse.  Practice, practice, practice!

4. The health of your spouse is of paramount importance to your marriage, especially in the empty nest.  The two of you should take action to improve and enhance your health.   Eat healthy foods, get plenty of exercise, and get annual physical exams.  You have more energy, be healthier, and live longer!

5. The final piece of advice goes like this – the worst thing you can do to your spouse or yourself as an empty nester is to hover over each other all the time!   As we have said before, there is a fundamental predisposition in every human being to have time alone.  Empty nesters have more time to be together, but couples often forget that the need to be alone is just as strong and just as important when the children are gone.

Living in an empty nest is not all that bad.   Couples have been doing it for centuries! Follow the simple rules espoused by those who have been there, done that, and been successful at it.  You won't regret it.

Re-discover each other in the "empty nest."  If you are like most couples, you will like what you find.

Creating a [Link Removed] , a multiple award-winning book and still the standard handbook for marriage and relationships for five years running.

**Today, you can see how you stack up to the best marriages around the world. Take the [Link Removed] to assess your chances of achieving a successful marriage of your own.

By Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz
America's #1 [Link Removed] 

Doctors, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marya1961 wrote Feb 8, 2014
    • Thank you, good advice!  With the economy the way it is, our son is hoping and saving to be on his own in a couple of years.happy

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tuliplady wrote Feb 11, 2014
    • We’ve been empty nesters for awhile.  We’ve had grown kids move home and leave again.  We’ve learned more about each other as we’ve gone along.  Now, we seem to be learning to travel together.  We‘re not good at travelling together (hubby is a homebody and I’m a gypsy), but we‘re learning.

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