The other morning I sat across from Big Tony at breakfast and realized it was just the two of us. Again. Our son is in the Air Force stationed in Spain. Our oldest daughter is married and living in St. Louis and our middle daughter just moved to Chicago. So here we were, a couple, two people, husband and wife. Again. People constantly ask me what I’m going to do as an empty nester. Remember that living in a small town, people know EVERYTHING about you!
I find this to be funny because I wasn’t aware I was expected to “do” life any different when there weren’t any of our children in the home anymore. I suspect that couples have a freak out moment when they realize that they have to be a “couple” again. Empty nesting is not and should not be the death of a marriage. Along the way, it should be filled with continuous conversations, plans, dreams and laughter. Imagine if you went to work at your job every day for 25 years and you didn’t do any planning for the future or took the initiative to learn new skills. At the end of those 25 years, you might not enjoy your job any longer and you could get fired! The same goes for marriage. Not losing sight of your love and commitment and staying focused on being the best version of your wifey self is a daily task. This should always be number one on your to do list.
Here are some things that we have done along our 27 year marriage journey
- Taken vacations without the kids with just the two of us. We’ve never been a group couple tropical island type of vacationers.
- Laugh at our own private jokes and we continue to make new private jokes.
- Tell each other we love each other daily.
- Go to church on Sundays. The family that prays together, stays together!
- Get mad at each other and then make up. I hate when Big Tony gets all funny and makes a joke when I am mad at him. I just want to stay mad and pout, but he loves me enough to help me get over myself.
- Not hold grudges or be angry about things that happened before we got married. Who seriously cares about the people we dated in high school? Water under the bridge!
- Have sex. A lot. I know gals, you may not want to hear this. But guess what? If you take care of him and his ego, he most likely won’t stray. I’ve heard women say they withhold sex as a bargaining tool to get what they want. I do not understand that philosophy whatsoever. I believe that if you truly love your husband, you will do whatever it takes to stoke the fire of that love. If it involves intimacy then your relationship has the opportunity to grow and flourish.
- Care about how you look. I’m not sure when it became fashionable or smart to stop caring about looking like the sexy gal you were when you got married, but she’s still in there. Call her forth, dust her off and put on those skinny jeans sister! There is a psychology behind dressing for success, behaving better and having the proper mindset.
Ladies, being an empty nester is actually a new journey to start the next phase of life! Allow yourself to get excited about it! Can I get an Amen?