Thursday, December 11, 2008

Empty Nest Transition

As grown children leave the family home, the married couple remaining is in what might be described as the empty nest transition phase of their lives. Reportedly, a study that included this phase of a marriage was published in the journal Psychological Science. This study by three UC Berkley professors questioned 123 women during 18 years (1981-1998). The findings seem to suggest that, for some, happiness actually increases during this empty nest transition.
"We were a couple again, two individuals who chose to live together and be with each other. At first, it is very quiet, but there is a lot of good in the lack of noise. We got good at having conversations. Our time is about us."

"The transition to an empty nest may be associated with an increase in the quantity of time and energy invested in one's marriage, an increase in the quality of time spent with one's partner ... ".
Note: The original post over at Marriage Gets Better When Kids Leave the Nest has generated 201 comments, at this writing. Not all comments were ... ah, completely supportive of the study's findings. However, ask empty-nester couples and -- my guess is -- the study's findings will be validated by most responses.

Book Review:
Desperate Passage
, by Ethan Rarick (non-fiction).
Excerpt below from Chapter 1, "Jumping Off" (start page 17):
"For all their money, the Donners and their traveling companions, the Reeds, were just unremarkable families from Illinois, ready to join the great migration to the west. The problem was that they were late. [They] had been told repeatedly to reach Independence [Missouri] by ... April ... at the latest ... For some reason, however, the two families did not leave Springfield [Illinois] until mid-April and reached Independence only on May 10. The bulk of the California-bound emigrants were already out on the trail. The Springfield families took but a day to rest ... then hustled out of town in hopes of catching up. It was less obvious at the time than it would be later, but the sad fact was that the journey had barely begun, and the core of what would become the Donner Party was already lagging behind."