The empty nest syndrome refers to the feelings of sadness, loneliness or depression parents experience after their children leave home for college, work or marriage. This transitional period can be challenging for many couples as they face new realities and redefine their relationships.
One question that often arises during this time is whether couples are more likely to divorce once they become empty nesters.
The link between empty nest and divorce
There is no definitive answer to whether couples are more likely to divorce as empty nesters, as individual circumstances and relationships vary significantly. However, research shows that divorce risk generally increases during times of major life changes and stress, which can include the empty nest period. This increase in divorce risk can be attributed to several factors.
Issues in the marriage
The departure of children from the household often exposes underlying issues in the marriage that may have been masked by the daily tasks and responsibilities of raising children. Once the children are gone, couples may find that they have less in common or struggle to reconnect on a deeper level.
New role in the marriage
Couples might experience a significant shift in their roles and identities, leading to confusion, loss or dissatisfaction with their current life situation. This can cause tension and discontent within the relationship, potentially leading to divorce.
While the empty nest phase can be a challenging time for some couples, it doesn’t necessarily mean that divorce is inevitable. However, if you believe divorce is the right option, it is important to know your legal rights.