Married couples enter into another phase of their married life when their adult children move out to build their own family. Known as the “empty nesters”, some of them may, however, suffer from the “empty nest syndrome”.

According to Mayo Clinic, the “empty nest syndrome is a phenomenon in which parents experience feelings of sadness and loss when the last child leaves home”.

But fret not. Here are some ways to help you and your spouse reconnect with each other and rebuild both your lives together: 

• First thing first—celebrate! Not because your adult children have moved out, of course, but to mark a milestone in both your lives. Besides, having this celebration builds up the excitement of a new journey ahead.

• Transitions or changes are naturally frightening as uncertainty looms ahead. Be honest with each other about how you feel about this change. By sharing concerns, you are able to understand your spouse better to refine your relationship and expectations as well as to strengthen the connection between you both. Take this time to also talk about past hurts, disappointments, etc. Most importantly, learn to let go of the past and forgive each other.

• Give yourself and your spouse time to settle in. It would be advisable to avoid making any drastic changes at this point in time until emotions and priorities are stabilised.

• Start turning your focus back on your spouse. Understandably, some couples may take some time to get used to this, especially after years of paying a good part of their attention on other priorities, such as their children, work, etc.

• Pick up new hobbies or learn new skills, individually or as a couple. This has been known to boost happiness level. Doing new things together as a couple also help build intimacy.

• Having a change of environment may also smoothen the transition. Go on a short trip together, especially to places that you have not been to before, have fun discovering new sights and rediscovering each other.

• Continue to keep in touch with your adult children and other family members. Family is always a good and strong source of support. Besides, with your accumulated years of experience as a married couple and parents, you are able to provide pertinent advice or support to your adult children and even other young couples/families.

Though the “empty nest” years of your marriage may have its own set of challenges, nothing beats the new fulfilling journey the both of you will take as your marriage progress to another level.