is an important part of every strong marriage, but sometimes you and your spouse may need it more than you realize. For most, marriage happiness increases when children move out, but for some, it can be a challenging time. While it is fun to have the freedom you have been without for years, it is often challenging to get to know your spouse again, especially if you have drifted apart more than you realize. You don’t have to struggle with “empty nest syndrome.” This time of your life can give you an opportunity to revamp your marriage so it is stronger than it has ever been before.
When you have children, according to studies from Ohio State, you and your spouse have one-third of the time together that you did prior to having children. Just as having your first baby can cause a shocking decrease in your time together, when children leave, you and your spouse will be shocked to find that you suddenly are thrown together without distraction for most of your days. This sudden increase in time with each other should be beneficial to your relationship, but many spouses find it hard to communicate like they once did. Marriage counseling can help you and your spouse learn how to talk again after years of having little communication due to busy schedules and children. You may find that is it hard to talk about anything besides children or work at first, but with guidance, you and your spouse will learn to have meaningful conversations about how you have changed over the years, what your interests are, and how you can go on new and exciting adventures together. Meaningful conversations, even as short as 10 minutes per day starting out, can lead to a healthier and more fulfilled marriage going forward.
When you have children in the home, whether or not you realize it, you probably have a routine. For example, you may do dinner around the same time every evening, so you get home from work and immediately start cooking for the kids. During marriage counseling, we take this opportunity to encourage couples to switch up their routine. Try a new activity with your spouse. Doing something new, big or small, introduces a new dimension to the relationship. Learning new things together gives you more common ground for communication and more options for future activities. Go out to eat or go on vacation. If you are used to being at home every evening with your children, try going out to a romantic dinner together instead or go on a long vacation where you can learn about each other in a new environment. Marriage counseling helps you focus on doing new things like these to reignite the passion and fire in the relationship and allow you the opportunity to get to know a different side of your spouse.
In addition to communication and routine changes, we will provide you with guidance on other ways to improve your marriage. Even if you don’t think you need marriage counseling, it can be a fun way to spend time together and get you out of your comfort zone. Marriage counseling gives you a clear route to loving your spouse more passionately after years of not getting enough time together.