Now That They Are Gone, What Do We Do Next?
You devoted your lives to raising your children. The numerous piano and guitar lessons and recitals, the dance classes and recitals, the volunteer work in the community, the chauffer duties and always being there when they needed a shoulder to lean on. Now they are off to college and you and your hubby are wondering, what’s next? Relationship repair, that’s next! 18 years is a long time to live with someone and not know if they love you the way you want to be loved. It’s not like you sat under each other whispering ‘sweet nothings’ daily. You lived with your soulmate and raised wonderful college age children, worked to provide for everyone, put your dreams on hold for the sake of the children.
You even sacrificed your leisure time, not taking vacations unless you took the children with you. You’re probably wondered what is left for you and your soulmate to do as a couple. The time has come where you reevaluate your relationship to see if it should continue or should you part ways since you aren’t sure if the basis of your relationship was the children or love for one another. Before you make that decision to go separately, think of the ways you can rekindle your love now that your children are off to college.
You and your significant other should communicate daily. It doesn’t matter for how long, just find a topic that speaks from the heart and communicates. Don’t be afraid to answer the hard questions. Focus on the things of interest from talking about vacationing to moving or considering having another child. The topic is just as important as the act of conversating with one another. The more you practice, the more you will strengthen your relationship.
Reinvent your Lives
Find things to do that is rewarding and exciting. It’s time out for doing the status-quo. You can eat dinner and watch television later. You have been doing that for the last 18 years. Go out to a Speakeasy, Play, then eat dinner. Go to the gym and play a game of one-on-one together, play racket ball, go bicycling on a nice fall day. Go to the Reservoir and rent a row boat. Go to the Art Museum or take a Sunday afternoon drive and have a picnic. The point is, do something together that you never did before. This will renew your interest in each other.
Talk about Sex
You have been having sex for 18 years, so it’s safe to assume you know what you are doing. When was the last time you asked your soulmate what would it take for them to be truly satisfied? Listen to them. Try to rekindle that first sexual encounter and get that spark back in the bedroom. Read books, watch videos if you must. Do whatever it takes to satisfy your partner again!
Be upfront with each Other
The state of your marriage is like the State of the Union speech delivered by the President of the United States. It’s that serious! Do a personal inventory of what you feel the other person can do to make the relationship better. Be blunt because your relationship is at stake. It’s time out for worrying about feelings. Give you list to your soulmate and visa versa. Then work on improving your relationship.
If you never prayed with your spouse before, now is a good time to start. You need all the help you can get and God is always listening. Build a bond with Him and your mate by having a three-way conversation. Start slow and work your way up to having deep prayers that last longer than a minute or two. Remember the saying, ‘couples that pray together, stay together’!
Volunteer within the Community
There are community centers in your neighborhood that could use your expertise. So can your church. Volunteer together.
Comfort each Other
It’s ok to cry everytime you pass by your child’s room. You see the empty clothes basket. You reminisce about telling them to clean up, etc. Everytime you go grocery shopping and you no longer have to buy snacks, its ok to cry. Be there for each other when you don’t see them walking through the house. It’s ok. Cry. Be the support for each other. They aren’t dead, they just moved on to the next phrase of their lives. This is a good time to pray together and think about the good things that they accomplished while under your roof. Comfort each other.
Change is difficult. Making decisions is harder. Don’t let your relationship with your significant other come to an end because you can no longer find common ground since the children are off to college. Reinvent your life, your relationship and you. Discover that you can go the distance if you are willing to fill up the gas tank, change the oil, buy new tires and wash and wax the car called life.
©2018 - off to college!