It is not easy being alone at home with your spouse after the children have gone to be on their own. Mismanagement of this situation can lead to serious problems. Among these are health and marriage problems.
Despite the difficulties caused by children at home, nonetheless they do give us something to do; they give us a purpose in life and may have established our routines and life style. When children leave home, one quickly realises that old age is fast approaching together with poor health and everything that comes with age. One must think about the day when parents are home alone and this will be the case for the rest of their lives.
Some say that this time is the second half of marriage. Some call it the “empty nest” years. Conflict between the parents is almost inevitable at this time of life when couples are developing their new lifestyle. Couples need to learn to cope with each other. Many marriage counsellors give good advice on how to handle this situation.
Always the first thing they advise is to redevelop your marital relationship. There is no reason why the second half of life cannot be as fruitful as the first half. Now that the children are no longer the centre of all conversation and activities, it is time to make the relationship itself as the central aspect of marriage.
This must always start with God, the church and the community. The couple themselves is still a family. The church and community are another aspect of family life. God is the one who gives us the help we need to put it all together. Couples need to talk to each other, perhaps even more than they were used to. They must talk to their children and with everyone else. New forms of relationships must be developed.
There was so much we always wanted to do someday. Well, now is the time to do them. There is now a possibility for new hobbies, for travel locally or even around the world. Do what you couldn’t do while the children were at home. Some people go back to school, learn new and interesting things as well as computers.
The house always needs repairs. If you are to live in it for the rest of your lives get if fixed and styled just the way you want it. Decades ago people used to visit one another and meet new friends, perhaps its time to do it again. The church and community always require volunteers to do what is necessary. Being involved is a very good way to meet new people, just like you, who can help make life very pleasant and rewarding.
Then there are the grandchildren. They need to know and love their grandparents. In most cases the grandparents have more time to spend with their grandchildren than they did with their own children. Sometimes grandparents can teach things that the parents, in these modern and busy times, do not have the time to do. The role of a grandparent is one of the least understood functions of family life. One should explore all the possibilities.
Life is great and sacred from birth until death.
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