My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.” — Winston Churchill.
Marriage is one of the most challenging relationships most of us will enter into. While the average length of a first marriage in the US is roughly eight years, long-term marriages are defined as lasting twenty years or more. Many long-term marriages start to stumble when the spouses hit middle age. Between family changes, career transitions, and normal aging, many folks struggle with the impact of middle age. Don’t be caught off guard by relationship problems; focus on the following issues to stay ahead in the marriage game!
Keep The Spark Alive
What are your individual and shared sexual desires and needs? As we age, our bodies may change, and sexual intimacy may become more challenging. But it’s important to communicate with your partner and find ways to keep the spark alive in the bedroom. Be open and honest about your needs and desires, and be willing to try new things together. Don’t let physical changes hold you back from enjoying a fulfilling sex life. Just like any other physical activity, you can always make modifications to keep both partners happy.
Empty Nest Adjustments
As children grow up and leave home, couples may experience a sense of loss and feel the need to redefine their relationship. When kids leave home, it can be a difficult time for many couples. It’s normal for the house to feel empty and for you to miss having the children around. But this is a great time to reconnect with your partner! Plan a trip or pick up a new hobby together. Appreciate the extra time you have alone as a couple and make the most of it.
Accepting Our Individuality
In long-term relationships, individuals may lose sight of their own identity and interests. As we get older, it’s crucial to maintain our identities within a marriage. We may have different interests and hobbies, and that’s okay. Encourage your partner to pursue their passions and give each other space when needed. This will not only make you happier individuals but also strengthen your relationship as you continue to grow together.
Managing Midlife Transitions
Middle age can bring about many changes and transitions in our lives, such as retirement, job loss, or transitioning to part-time work. It’s important to communicate with your partner and be supportive through these changes. Be patient and understanding with one another as you navigate this new phase of life together. Remember to talk openly about any concerns or fears; it’s okay to need extra support from your spouse when life changes arrive.
Appreciating Each Other
Daily life is so busy it’s easy to take each other for granted. But in a long-term marriage, it’s important to appreciate and acknowledge your partner’s contributions and sacrifices in the relationship. Take time to notice the value in your partner; a sincere compliment is still the best way to strengthen your emotional bond. When your partner feels valued, your marriage is happy and healthier.
Personal Growth and Development
By your 40s and 50s, you better understand who you are and what you want in a relationship. Self-acceptance is critical at this stage of life. Make sure to be honest with your partner about your needs and expectations. Celebrating the uniqueness of our spouses is important; everyone wants to feel loved, accepted, and valued for who they are.
Is watching your favorite sports team considered self-care? Yes, it is! Self-care extends to any activity that improves your mood and helps you feel balanced amid stress. Make time for self-care activities such as exercise, hobbies, or spending time with friends. This will help you stay happy and fulfilled as an individual, which in turn can improve your relationship. Also, continue to grow and learn together by trying new things and supporting each other’s personal growth.
Letting Go Of Adult Kids
Remember that your relationship with your partner should still be a priority, even after your children have grown. Don’t neglect it in favor of focusing on your kids. Embrace the changes and new experiences that come with having adult children. It’s okay to enjoy your newfound freedom as empty nesters! Focus on getting to know your spouse again and commit to growing together.
Long-term marriages can shelter us and give us a sense of true acceptance. Try to take some time to look at your spouse with fresh eyes, finding new things to be grateful for in your relationship. Expressing your love, support, and gratitude will help your marriage survive the eventual conflicts and daily life stressors.
Does My Spouse Make Me Unhappy?
The other day, I got a question from a reader; she wanted me to help her figure out why she feels unhappy. This is the question she sent me: How do you determine if your unhappiness is because of marriage/spouse, symptoms of current illness, or chemical imbalance? Is my marriage making me unhappy?
Finding Love After Divorce Is Possible!
Your long-term marriage ended, and after some healing, you are ready to look for love again. Frightening and exciting, looking for love after a midlife divorce has its challenges! Most likely, you are worried about making the same mistake again and falling in love with a new version of your old spouse. Noted. And valid….
Thinking About Going Back to School After 50?
Going back to school after 50 can be an intimidating and overwhelming experience. Still, it is also a fantastic opportunity to expand your knowledge, explore new career paths and make new relationships.
This article written and syndicated by Midlife is Magical.
Melane Ann is a writer, blogger, and life coach. In 2020, she turned her experience in midlife divorce and creating a new life for herself into midlifeismagical. With a master's in Marriage and Family Therapy, Melane focuses on helping women over 50 navigate their relationships and commit to healthy aging. She and her new husband share 7 children between them. Melane jokes that she has a black belt in blended families! In addition to her writing, Melane works virtually with her coaching clients from her home office.