Raising children is much more than a full-time job. Their needs dictate the day-to-day goings-on in a household for 18 years, sometimes longer. It is a responsibility that takes up much of the space in a parent’s life.

When those children leave home, it creates a vacuum. This center of gravity, around which life revolved for so long, is simply gone. It is of little surprise this new normal leads some spouses to contemplate divorce.

Divorce and an empty nest

The relationship between divorce and an empty nest is not perfectly clear. There are too many factors to draw a definitive line between the two events. However, there are some clues that suggest it may be applicable to some marriages.

For one, we know there has been a recent uptick in the divorce rate among older adults. There is speculation this could be tied to empty nest syndrome, as the ages generally line up. But it is clear there are other factors at play.

Psychology Today discusses some of these considerations. When the kids leave, it’s not uncommon for one or both spouses to realize:

  • They have grown apart
  • They are different people than they used to be
  • There are long-simmering issues that can now bubble to the surface
  • They want different things in life

These types of discoveries, if left unaddressed, could invite thoughts of a separation.

Going through a divorce

Divorce is never easy, but older Americans do have a few extra things to consider, including some additional financial challenges. Similarly, Psychology Today acknowledges things like previous marriage history and wealth can play a role in the likelihood of a divorce.

No matter the reasoning, it is important for anyone going through a separation to keep something in mind: While difficult, a divorce can lead to something positive. That certainly can include finding love once again.