ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Growing Apart from Your Spouse

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

It seems like such a common story these days: you’ve focused on the kids for twenty, twenty-five years, and one day you turn around realize the house is empty . . . and you’re growing apart from your spouse.

I suspect this is why divorce rates today are so high: couples get so used to the family dynamic that once the kids are gone, what starts as “empty nest syndrome” slowly but surely transforms into apathy, even estrangement.

In my line of work, it’s easy to spot when couples have grown apart. Even when the couples themselves recognize it, it takes real work to strengthen a dwindling connection. If you find yourself growing apart from your spouse, don’t despair. There are a few things you can do to rekindle the spark—of love, mutual affection, and yes, even romance—so you and your spouse can live the life you always used to imagine living together after the kids were gone.

Put In the Time

When’s the last time you checked in with your spouse with a genuine offer to listen? When you offer a supportive hug and an open ear, do you follow through with that promise, or does your attention wander? Sometimes, what can seem like growing apart from your spouse is really just a lack of regular communication.

Scheduling time to focus deeply on the person you married does more than remind them you’re a fixture in the home; it gives you an opportunity to meditate on the greatest blessing in your life.

Have an Adventure Together

After living for the little ones for so long and making so many personal sacrifices, the urge to live for ourselves is understandable. Just remember, this is also your opportunity to recommit to living for each other.

Whether it’s taking up sailing, relocating to your ideal climate, or embarking on the vacation of a lifetime, schedule something that’s just for the two of you.

If you think you might be growing apart from your spouse, revisiting your long-term financial plans and planning a new adventure might be just the thing to reinvigorate your relationship.

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