If you have watched one of the latest movies you will recognize part of the title as a phrase used repeatedly in the movie and book “The Hunger Games”.
I didn’t know much about the movie when hubby and I watched the other night for our date night. The story where the final outcome was that only 1 would be alive out of 24 because they all were fighting for their life, and killing to be the winner. Of course, the winner was the one who could out fight, out wit, and out play their opponents. They most definitely wanted the odds in their favor, since their lives were on the line.
Many women facing the empty nest with their husbands feel a little apprehensive about the new feeling in their tidy, little nest. Where the home had been filled with activities and noise of the kids, now there is silence and quiet. Now you may find yourself in a home with the man you married, but you may feel like you don’t know him very well (odds are, he probably feels the same way about you!)
Unfortunately, the statics were a little shocking to me and I didn’t like the odds I found when I looked up the divorce rate of folks over 50. A study in 2009 indicated that “more than 600,000 people ages 50 and older got divorced in 2009”
Personally, I don’t like the sound of those odds and my prayer is that a few nuggets you find here at The Re-feathered Nest increase “the odds to be ever in your favor.”
One of the things you can do as a couple to beat the odds is to start taking active involvement together to reconnect to each other. One activity is “Date Night” with your hubby!
I know my husband and I have always had a date night with each other even while our son was a teenager and still at home. If not weekly, at least bi-weekly. Once he left home we continued the practice. Having that special time with each other was important to our strong relationship as it gave us a time to talk and do fun things together.
If you haven’t been in the practice of having Date Night then you may need a little boost and some ideas. Here is a book just for you! 10 Great Dates for Empty Nesters by David and Claudia Arp. They actually have many books on dating ideas for various stages of life and families
The book has specific questions, themes and ideas to make the dates take on special meaning of focused connection with each other. Not just a date full of small talk, but a time of reconnecting with each other through words. If you are truly feeling very disconnected in your marriage now that the kids are gone and the house is empty then I think reading and getting some help from the book would be a smart move in a forward direction.
Listen, I am in no way going to say that our marriage is perfect but, I happen to think it’s pretty near close! One of the things I think we did exceptionally well was to move into the Empty Nest zone prepared. We had started talking about these years when our son started high school. We started planning. We knew the day would come when he would be on his own and we could rejoice in knowing that we had raised a fine, young man. We knew we would be alone in the house. We had a plan. We had a map and we knew our destination.
In fact we were just talking last night and hubby said “we have been having a lot of fun with our son gone!” I told him that of course we are. He then said “I don’t guess we should let him know how much fun we are having now that he is gone”. My response is and will always be “I sure would tell him in a heartbeat! I want him know that we had our act together and had fun, rather than us sitting around moping, crying and wringing our hands in worry and fear”.
You see, some of my philosophy is that I think any time we successfully maneuver through a phase of life, we leave a legacy of success to the generations following us. I intend on leaving some good legacy on the map!
If you didn’t have a map, there is no reason why you can’t start drawing yours now. Start making your plans on how you will make these Empty Nest Years the best years of your life!
Remember…without a map there is no treasure!