I recently learned that divorce rates in the USofA are no longer growing for all but one group. Among those who have recently become empty-nesters, the divorce rate is still rising with 1 in 6 couples divorcing fairly soon after their last child leaves home. Why would couples who have been together for 20 to 30 years suddenly divorce? No doubt some of it is couples who “stayed together for the kids” but there is more to it than that. More and more people are so centering their lives around their children that they have no common ground as a couple once the kids are gone.
If your kids are still at home, PLEASE start working on being a couple NOW – it can easily be too late when the kids are gone and the problem becomes apparent. Do things as a couple, without the kids, a couple of times a week. Do at least one vacation a year without the kids, even if it’s a weekend a couple hours drive from home. Work diligently to have common interest and friends, and talk about goals so they will also be common.
If you are already in empty nest trouble, I recommend the book The Second Half of Marriage: Facing the Eight Challenges of the Empty-Nest Years by David & Claudia Arp.