One of the biggest mistakes parents—and dare I say especially moms—make is to build their entire world around their children. Then, when their children leave that world for college or a career, mom finds an alien, a strange man sleeping next to her. Or, no man at all because he realized long ago that he had lost his wife to the children. Ladies, I know you may not want to hear this, but if you don’t put your husband first, he may fill that void in his life with someone else or something else like work, gambling, or pornography.
My wife, Susan, and I know a mom whose child insists on sleeping with her every night and throws a tantrum if he’s turned away. So, what does the mom do? She gives in. I wonder how dad feels about that?!
A few years ago when Susan and I were heading out for a date night, one of our boys complained about it and didn’t want us to go. Susan said to him, “Mommy and Daddy love each other and it’s important that we spend time together.” Our children need to see that our spouse comes first, and that they are not the center of the universe and that not everything revolves around them.
Now, if your kids have already left the nest and you and your spouse don’t even seem to be in the same tree anymore, what can you do? Here are four R’s to help you restore your marriage.
If your priorities were not properly aligned when your kids were growing up, first go to your spouse and resolve your differences. Start by asking for forgiveness for your neglect of your marriage relationship.
Instead of just filling up your calendar with new activities to fill the void, you and your spouse should write down things you would like to do together. Perhaps they are things you never were able to do when the kids were at home. Travel, sporting activities, helping others, serving as marriage mentors are all ideas that can all be thrown into the mix. Review the list with your spouse and agree on which ones you will pursue together. If you need some help coming up with ideas, here are 10 ways to romance your spouse.
Schedule regular dates with your spouse. Breakfast, lunch, dinner all are good times to connect. Start a dinner club with some close married friends.
Maybe renewing your wedding vows can provide you and your spouse with what you need to start this new chapter in your life together. Whatever you do, it’s important to keep the passionate love alive in your marriage.
Do you have ideas on how to restore your marriage when the kids have left the nest? Please share them.