No less a source than Newsweek is tackling the empty nest syndrome. They start off with this good-news phenomenon:
"Rather than feeling bereft without kids, many couples find themselves swept up in what's commonly known as a second honeymoon after their kids leave. There's even scientific backing for the notion that a marriage gets a lift when the kids leave. A University of California study published in November in the journal Psychological Science followed 123 middle-aged women for 18 years and found a strong correlation between empty-nest status and an increase in how much the women enjoyed spending time with their partners.,"
Ah science! With the economy tanking and adult kids less able to live independently, however, the bliss--well, it could be missed. Here's Newsweek again:
"These extended stays can jolt the marital relationships of couples that have settled into happy new kid-free patterns. "It's hard to put their needs on the back burner and have the kids be the first priority again," says Phyllis Goldberg, a psychotherapist and counselor in California. But by not losing focus on themselves, parents can ease the transition and keep their re-lit flame burning."
Yes, amidst the return to living through the minutia of their lives--the ups and downs of romance, of job hunting, job holding, tiffs with friends, to say nothing of poor housekeeping habits. Good luck with the romance.