The day the last child leaves home, whether it be for college or some other endeavor, can be very difficult for many of us to deal with. But maybe there’s a bright side. New research shows that the empty nest may not be so bad for a lot of couples.
A recent USA Today article reported about a University of California study that found marriages often benefit the most during the years after the children have flown the coop. Lead author of the study, Sara Gorchoff, reported that couples often felt the time they spent together after their grown children were out of the house was more relaxed and fun.
The study, which was published in the journal Psychological Science, focused primarily on the women in marital relationships. The researchers questioned and interviewed the same 123 women at ages 43, 52 and 61. What they found was that the majority of the women’s marital satisfaction improved as they got older. Whether it was their first marriage or a re-marriage did not affect the way they felt.
It is common for many couples to face an awkward period after their children leave. They have a hard time making the transition to living without a house full of kids. But after making the necessary adjustments, many couples find the quality time they spend with their spouse to be even more enjoyable.
A 60-year-old mother of five kids, Rosemary Richie, discussed her and her husband’s empty nest experience and how they have both looked forward to the extra time they would spend together. She said, “When you have so many kids and are working and very involved in the community, we would only see each other in passing ? that’s how I felt for many years. He reminded me they would be gone some day and it would be just two of us.”
What do you think of the recent study claiming empty nesters have more satisfying marriages?
Have you experienced your children flying the coop yet?