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Empty Nester- Why Building a Relationship with your Spouse Matters

Wow! I am an empty nester at 38 years old.  This is the strangest feeling and some days I swear I am working off the stages of grief.  The one to support me is my husband.  I remember when dating, his mother told me that she put her husband first throughout their marriage.  At the time I wasn't sure if it was a dig about how close I was to E or if she was telling me I was placing his needs before my husband's but it stuck out in the back of my head.  Now fast forward 13 years and I know exactly what she meant.  When your kids are grown and the house is empty you need to know how to be together without the kids.  It is a silly concept because we were together before kids, but your relationship changes when you have kids despite us not seeing it.  Priorities, emotions, and life changes.  I will share with you why it is important to date your spouse and continue to work on spouse time throughout all stages of parenthood.
There are so many things that pull us away from our spouse, but nothing as much as being a parent.  Kids tend to be our focal point and this is not wrong.  My friends that currently have young children tell me all the time they feel disconnected from their spouse or that their husband acts jealous of the time they spend with their kids.  Is there such a thing?  Yes!  Marriage is so much different than dating when all you have to worry about is the two of you.  Now you have to look for a sitter, make the time without feeling guilty for leaving your kids, and feeling awake enough to do it.  This can be challenging.   

Take your spouse on a date or stay in.  How can you do it?  Talk to each other about anything other than the kids.  It sounds silly, but when was the last time you talked to your spouse about anything other than the children?  Other than the occasional grumblings about work, my husband and I always talked about the kids.  It was like the kids took over our relationship to the point that all we were were parents.  So we started dating again.  We take turns coming up with ideas to get to know each other again and participate in activities the other one likes.  This makes us feel connected in a more spiritual way.

How to Date Your Spouse   
1. Go out to dinner just the two of you.
2. Talk a walk
3.  Join in on their favorite activities
4. Watch a movie and discuss it when it is over
5. Go to bed early just to talk

Tell me how it works for you.
Remember kids grow up and you don't want to grow apart from your spouse while they are doing it.

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