The Empty Nest: Rekindling the Marital Fires

Good news! “Research shows that marital happiness reaches one of its highest peaks during the period after offspring have moved out of the family home.” I read this in the article¬†New Love: A Short Shelf Life.

Thank God because my son is already a sophomore in college and my daughter is a senior in high school anxiously waiting to hear from the college of her choice. Wise beyond her years, my daughter is funny, a great shopping companion and all around co-conspirator. Watching America’s Next Top Model just won’t be the same without her.¬†:-(

I often wonder what life will be like for my husband and me in our empty nest next year. I know there will be sadness because we like our kids and will miss them. But, they are both healthy, happy kids, doing what they want to do, so we are blessed. And since my husband and I not only love each other, but actually like each other, I think we have a good shot at being one of those couples that experiences a rekindling of marital happiness.

To ease the transition, my friend and associate, Dylan Broggio, LCSW-R, had a brilliant idea.

She suggested I should plan a romantic trip after dropping the kids off at college next September.

What a concept! To press the pause button before returning to our busy lives where it could be so easy to bury the pain of being without the kids in silence, to lose track of *us*, of our marriage. A Romantic Trip doesn’t have to mean a week long Caribbean cruise or a fancy suite at the Ritz Carlton or even lots of hot, sweaty, monkey sex. All of that would be nice but I’m thinking more in terms of anywhere that will allow my husband and I to enjoy us, who we are, what our marriage is, what we’ve managed to accomplish and what we still aspire to do. It should be light-hearted and fun! To reconnect as individuals for a moment (not as Mom and Dad) and maybe have a little monkey sex, too.

All empty-nesters should do this. We could create a new tradition! It will be a honeymoon for Phase Three of our life together!

I only hope I can afford it after paying tuition! :-)


Do you have empty nest experience? Please share your wisdom with us in the comments!



‘Love’ photo courtesy of wolfsoul via Flickr


  • That is really great news!

    Congrats! I love hearing that your daughter made it through with pinache and snark. My oldest is a girl. I’ve got high hopes for co-conspiracy.

    So, if I start saving now, in 15 years, my wife and I can hit that phase three honeymoon!

  • Marta Howe

    As a seasoned “empty nester” and knowing you as I do, I think you will find empty nesting surprisingly fun!

    • Thanks, Marta! That’s what veteran empty nesters keep telling us. It sounds like one of those things you just have to experience yourself to believe.

  • Hi, Dr.Aletta

    Me and my wife were empty nesters as well and although my wife is a licensed marriage therapist we took it pretty hard. We decided to work hard and rekindle our relationship and reconnect by going on several adventures ranging from Tuscany, Jerusalem and even going on a Safari.

    While seeing the world we discovered we could live with less and invest more in our relationship. That’s when we had the great idea to offer this kind of experience to other couples as well

    So we created our website
    Basically couples who struggle to rekindle their passion can go on a vacation, relax and at the same time confront head-on the core issues that have taken them in different directions.

    kind regards,

    • Wow Eli,your adventures for married couples sound lovely. I was thinking more like a bed and breakfast on Long Island but Tuscany would be nice if it weren’t for the tuition thing. :-)


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