Couples in a long term relationship have often wanted to raise their children, but they do not always have concrete plans for what to do after that. They might have vague plans of taking more vacations, or they could discuss new hobbies. Some of them may have concrete plans, but they could be forgotten as the endless years of raising children pass them by. For couples clearing the nest as the last child moves out, it is time to reinvent their relationship.
Children are said to bring couples closer together, and they often do just that. For those who have gotten past the difficult years, children and their busy schedules may actually take couples far from each other. Running through the daily routine might give two parents little time for discussion about important topics, and they could be drifting apart without noticing. Many have been the couples suddenly discovering they no longer know each other when faced with living alone together for the first time in decades.
There is no reason for long term partners to panic as soon as they find there is nothing to talk about over at the breakfast table. They should have the time now to begin their own discussions on topics of interest, and they could find they need to catch up before moving on to future plans. Couples willing to take the time to explore their new freedom together might even rediscover the people they were when they made a commitment years ago.
It is not always easy to transition from one life phase to another, but those facing a home empty of children can find it frightening. They have made their children the centre of their world for at least two decades, and now their centre has moved on. Learning how to be with each other again can seem like a monumental task, but talking about what they have been doing and want to do can get them back on track.