Inside: Is your empty nest marriage starting to feel like you’re just going through the motions? Here’s how to reconnect in the empty nest so you feel more like soulmates and less like roommates. Plus a free cheat sheet to download.
Facing an empty nest after living with the noise and chaos of kids can feel like an insurmountable adjustment. The quiet feels deafening and you could cut the awkwardness with a knife.
The absence of kids in the house can make you wonder if this man who used to be your soulmate is now just your roommate.
Feeling emotionally distant from your husband can make you feel lonely in your own home. If you’re feeling disconnected, chances are your husband is too.
Here’s the good news:
You don’t need grand gestures to reconnect with your partner. There are simple, easy, baby step things you can do to reconnect and improve your relationship now.
How to reconnect in the empty nest
- Schedule time for your marriage first – Don’t rely on scraps of time left over when you’ve done everything else. Look at your calendars and make sure you’re not overcommitting to things that should be a lower priority than your relationship. Sometimes we over-schedule ourselves so we don’t have to face the things that we know we need to work on. Make sure you both have some time to spend together before you pack your calendar with other obligations.
- Disconnect from electronics when you’re together. Nothing makes me feel less important than when a person I’m with is constantly checking their phone. Put your phone on silent and stow it where you won’t be tempted.
- Thank your partner for the small and large things they do for you and your family. Let them know you appreciate them. Appreciation and gratitude go a long way in helping you feel connected. My husband always made a point of thanking me for making dinner – even if it was just throwing together a salad and heating up a frozen pizza.
- Hug every day– there is scientific evidence that hugging for at least 6 seconds actually releases happiness and bonding hormones.
More Tips for Reconnecting
- Talk about small things first. Get used to interacting together without your kids. Every conversation doesn’t have to be deep and earth-shaking. Sometimes small talk can be the bridge to feeling comfortable – and that can lead to more satisfying conversations in the long run. If talking seems hard, try going for a car ride. Sitting side by side chatting just seems easier than face to face talks sometimes. Be curious. Ask about your husband’s day, really listen, and then ask some more. When your husband asks about yours, share some details, even if they feel simple. Getting used to the give and take can take a while, but it gets easier.
- Do a daily check in with each other – Just like in business, you need to know what’s going on with each other. It doesn’t need to be a formal thing – just check in every day.
- Schedule a date night, even if it feels weird. Try doing something that is new to both of you – so you both are on the same footing. This can be something really simple, like trying out a new restaurant, driving to the next town to see a movie in a theater you’ve never been to, or walking your dogs at a new park across town.
Even if the silence of the empty nest feels awkward at first, these small, easy things can help you to reconnect in the empty nest.
With just a little bit of thought, effort and time, your husband can go from feeling like your roommate to being your soulmate again. In no time, you’ll remember just why you were attracted to each other all those years ago.
Pick one of these and start reconnecting today
- Schedule time for your marriage
- Turn off electronics
- Show appreciation and thanks
- Keep talking
- Check in daily
- Schedule a date night
- Grab my free list of ways to reconnect with your partner.