Each year couples across the country experience intense, irreversible heartbreak. The culprits? Their children. In the 1970s, psychologists clinically identified and popularized the term "empty-nest syndrome" to refer to the depression, anxiety and loneliness that can overcome parents when children leave home to begin their adult lives.
And certainly their pain is understandable. After devoting years to ensure that their children will be capable of taking care of themselves, parents are suddenly faced with the reality that they've succeeded—for many, it's a kind of Catch-22. Once the independence sets in, mothers and fathers surrender their roles as parents—at least partially—and shift back to their roles as husband and wife.
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However, as reported in the New York Times last year, researchers have found that the empty nest is not only endurable, but also incredibly beneficial. According to the article, empty-nest syndrome has been misunderstood for years. Parents miss their children, but this sense of loss isn't insufferable. And while parents do find themselves in a period of transition, it's one that they embrace.
The period known as the empty nest is, in reality, synonymous with renewal, abandon and... the best sex of your life. As you've probably realized, great sex is something you never grow out of—and something that can continue to reward you with surprises, tenderness and heat.
The following are some common mental barriers that may prevent couples from reveling in this third chapter of their lives, and methods for overcoming them.
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Mental barrier: "Our roles have changed and we feel useless."
Overcoming it: For years, you've devoted yourselves to your children, and now, the focus is finally back on you and your marriage. For many, this may seem daunting; this period of your lives should not be overshadowed by a sense of loss, however. Instead, look at this empty space as an opportunity to fill your nest with something else—a happy, fulfilling and healthy marriage that is reinforced most strongly by a history of living, loving and raising children together.
Your roles have shifted back not only to husband and wife, but also to man and woman. When you're parents, it's easy for your sexuality to become an afterthought. Plan a date night, refrain from speaking about your children the entire night, and afterward, revisit that pre-parenting period when you were still each other's priority. Our guess is, it won't take you too long to rediscover your relationship as man and woman. 7 Ways To Make Your Love Life More Sensual