In the last century, American psychologists discovered a curious phenomenon they called the “empty nest syndrome.” Everyday prose was hidden behind the poetic title – divorces after 20-25 years of marriage. Why is this happening?
Recently, divorces after 20-25 years of marriage are not uncommon. And this happens, according to experts, when the children in the family grow up and begin to live their own lives. It would seem that now the spouses can devote all their free time to each other. However, it is precisely this circumstance that sometimes leaves a negative imprint – there is a void that there is nothing to fill. Husband and wife suddenly realize that they do not have much in common, and they were united only by the upbringing of a child … And then the once prosperous, seemingly ideal couple suddenly divorced. Can this be prevented? Undoubtedly! Advice on how to avoid a breakup was given by psychologist Pavel Rakov, the host of the reality show “Model XL” on the Yu channel.
Filling the Void
After leaving the home of a beloved child, even an adult, mothers often experience a sense of loss. Apathy, sadness begins, anxiety grows. All this is the father of the family, who, by the way, also feels out of place, annoying and unnerving. He does not understand at all what he did wrong, and feels like Carlson in a wonderful Soviet cartoon: “But what about me? I’m better than a dog!” If you have a similar situation in your family, the main advice of psychologists: do not be silent. Share with your husband why you are so worried, explain what is happening in your soul. Ask your husband to give you time to get used to the fact that you are now living together. Explain how you miss your children. This time should not be spent looking at photographs or remembering how your “babies” grew up. It is necessary for rethinking and filling the void, conversations and long conversations with a spouse. What are your common hobbies? What do you like to do together? Perhaps it’s time to remember what you were doing until the children were born. Did you go hiking? Interested in cinema? Did you love theater? Now you have the opportunity to catch up. Remind your husband of this. “When children grow up and fly out of the nest, they do not need to be pushed back,” Pavel Rakov is sure. – It is fundamentally wrong to get rid of boredom with the help of grown-up children and at their expense. Draw resources within yourself! It can take several years just to see Russian sights. But there are also a variety of hobbies, going to the cinema and the theater, meeting with friends … ”
Strength in partnership
While the children are small, spouses will always be partners. Their goal is to educate good people so that children in adulthood will be fulfilled, successful and happy. When a son or daughter becomes an adult, the common goal, if that was all it was, disappears. Hence the crisis in relations. That is why it is so important to be partners not only in the education of the younger generation. Get in the habit of making long-term plans even before your children come of age. Perhaps you have a dream to move to another city? Or buy a cottage? Or maybe you see yourself in the general business? “The first and most basic thing to understand is that it is the joint overcoming of difficulties that creates a spiritual connection between partners in marriage,” comments Rakov. – Especially if these difficulties are associated with a certain risk. For example, creating a common business, traveling to another country, or solving family problems. Husband and wife should always have a common goal.”
One of my friends opened a dog kennel in her old age. She and her husband overcame many difficulties: to buy a small country house, to equip open-air cages, to find funds to buy at least a couple of elite puppies. It took all their time. This is a very happy family. After all, they are united by difficulties, and a common hobby (dogs), and the cause to which they decided to devote their lives at the moment.
“If spouses can learn some new things, children will be proud of their parents, see that they are happy, in demand, and they will copy this happiness. That is why the task of every parent is to be happy in marriage, ”the specialist is sure.
Don’t turn into old people!
Have you met pensioners dancing waltz and salsa, famously dissecting in the pool, learning languages? All these people have one thing in common: they know how to enjoy life. After all, it is not for nothing that there is such a stable expression – “youth of the soul.” The human brain is unique, it is capable of learning all its life. Experts have proven that those who realize the need for learning are distinguished by good spirits and good mood. If partners who have been married for 20-25 years decide to learn something together, this will renew their relationship.
“Spouses should not turn into old men ahead of time. It is better if this never happens, – comments Rakov. “As long as the brains work, we remain young. In order not to be a burden to children and grandchildren, one must be active. Past merit is a different story. And when people see the results of their joint work, they are happy and fall in love with each other!”
Find out your partner’s interests. Encourage him to go to a cooking class or a hiking club, or at least model building! Consider not only the interests of the second half, but also your own. So that it doesn’t turn out that you follow your partner’s lead, acting only from his interests and forgetting about yourself. This is another item that will keep your family from falling apart.”
Stop playing the victim
There is nothing worse than remembering how good it was before, feeling sorry for yourself endlessly. It irritates everyone: children, husband, and even girlfriends.
“Never, under any circumstances, feel like a victim. As soon as one partner starts to mope all the time, to find pluses only in the past, and a crisis arises in marriage. Especially if the other is trying to do everything to switch to a “childless” existence and rejoice when the “chicks” occasionally visit the “nest,” the psychologist is sure.
And finally, I would like to give one saying that was popular in the post-Soviet space. “What needs to be done to break up the marriage? Nothing. And it will happen by itself.”
From a letter from a reader:
“We lived with Sasha for 21 years. And recently in our relations everything has changed for the worse. Now we live as neighbors. We married Sasha for love, gave birth to a son. He is already an adult: he studies at a university, got married. It all started when Max and his wife moved to a rented apartment in another part of the city after the wedding. And I began to notice that my husband was moving away from me more and more: he began to avoid communication, linger at work, often leave home: to visit, go fishing. With his mother, younger brother, friends, he communicates in the same way as before. The suspicion that he had another, was also not confirmed. I, to my shame, followed him … It is bitter to realize, but we have almost nothing in common. The feeling that in recent years it was Max that united us. And now, when the son left, we have, as they say, a crisis. I understand that the matter is going to divorce. And I’m horrified. After all, I love my husband … ”
Advice from Olga and Dmitry Pevtsov
Olga and Dmitry Pevtsov
At the end of last year, the star couple celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. By this timeI realized that I gave my husband everything that is possible. “And I decided that the gift for this special date would be that I would become Pevtsova.” Spouses assure that all these years have lived almost without scandals. “The key to a happy marriage is patience and the ability to yield to each other. It is worth learning how to do this, and seemingly unsolvable tasks will turn out to be simple. And the unwillingness to give in will break even the strongest feeling, ”says Olga. Dmitry is sure: there is nothing that could not be forgiven to a loved one. “If in a couple one of the two begins to think that they are being treated unfairly, let him look for reasons in himself. For a long time I have been trying to live by the principle: whoever feels bad is to blame. This helps to avoid conflicts.”
Five simple rules for a strong marriage from Pavel Rakov
- Spouses should have a common goal. Determine what you can strive for together – build a house, move to the sea, raise grandchildren, get another education and open a common business, and so on.
- Create family traditions. For example, every Thursday – a trip to a fish restaurant, every second Saturday – a bath. The more such family traditions, the stronger the marriage.
- Learn to leave a bad mood at the door of the house. You can’t bring negativity into the family and hang it on your partner. You can even play such a game: you carry a small pillow with the inscription “bad mood” in your bag or even a sad smiley face drawn on paper. Before turning the keys in the door, put it next to the threshold as a symbol that you are forgetting about problems that are not related to your partner.
- Find out from your partner what are manifestations of love for him. After all, they are all different. Someone needs hugs, someone needs confessions or signs of attention in the form of flowers, and for someone it is important to get potato pancakes for dinner at least once a week. And to find out, you need to sit down at the negotiating table. Give your partner what he needs and he will be happy.
- Learn to forgive. And for this – to accept a person as he is. And forgive without any conditions.