How to Nurture Your Empty Nester Marriage

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell

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Those empty nester marriages of ours need nurturing! When the kids were in the nest, it was easy to make excuses for not taking time for each other. But now, our little excuses have moved out of the house, and we need to make it a priority to show love to our spouses every single day. (I’m talking to myself here.) Today, I’m recommitting myself to doing just that.  I’ve realized that I’ve gotten a little lazy in the flirting department, so I’m going to work on it! Here’s how I’m going to show love to my husband in flirty, little ways.

I’m Going to Make More Eye Contact

Last Thursday at Bible Study, I met someone new. As I talked with her, I looked her right in the eye, wanting to make a connection with this cute new friend. It made me think about how rarely I look Bob in the eyes for more than a second or two these days. Oh, we’re best friends, talk all the time, and do lots of things together, but I don’t spend a lot of time really looking at him. I resolved right then and there to try to do better. On Friday morning, we did our regular workout together (you can read my post about that here). It was a HIIT workout (high-intensity interval training), and we were both grunting and groaning and sweating up a storm. I tried looking him in the eyes as we were doing some kind of squat/burpee/jump thingy and had to stop what I was doing because I started laughing so hard at how ridiculous we both were! I may not have picked the best time to start on this one, but I resolve to work harder at really looking him in the eyes. He’ll probably be all, “Why are you staring at me?” Yep, that’s the goal.

I’m Going to Make Him Laugh More

It sounds kind of silly, but life is just too short to take everything so seriously. I mean, I know we are in the midst of kind of, er, interesting times right now in our nation, but if we can’t laugh at a few things we’re really in trouble, amirite? On one of our very first dates in college, I was trying to put ketchup on my french fries. (Remember when we could eat fries without worrying about our thighs or our cholesterol levels?) I banged and banged on the bottom of the bottle (not sure what kind of wicked thing they do to ketchup, but if you are the first person using the bottle, fuhgeddaboutit). When it finally came out, it not only went all over my fries, but it pretty much went all over Bob as well! I bring that up almost every time we eat fries together, and we have a good laugh. I think it’s important to be able to laugh at ourselves, at things our kids used to do, and at things we both find funny – like movies or our favorite shows on TV.

I’m Going to Remember to Smile at Him

I just forget to do this as much as I should! Smiling more was one of my New Year’s Resolutions this year, and I hope it was one of yours as well! It is the cheapest anti-aging beauty trick out there, and it’s been shown actually to make you happier.

I’m Going to Say “Thank You.”

I honestly believe those two little words can transform your marriage. In fact, I wrote an entire post about that last year. It’s backed up by science, y’all. One of the key ingredients of a happy marriage is what the authors of this study cumbersomely called “spousal expression of gratitude.”

I’m Going to Become a More Frequent Hugger

A recent study out of The University of California at Berkley found that a hug actually has anti-inflammatory and anti-aging benefits. (Whoa!) It’s got to do with the hormone “oxytocin” (adorably nicknamed the “love hormone”), which is responsible for that warm, loving feeling we get when we give or receive a hug. Levels of the hormone naturally drop as we age, and evidence suggests that could be a contributing factor to the deterioration of our bodies. Aw, if I could give each of you a hug right now, I would. Yep, I’m going to hug my husband more. This time next year, he and I will both be looking about 26. 🙂

What are some little ways you show love to your husband every day? I’d love it if you’d share them with me!





Photo by Megan Weaver.


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Suzy Mighell

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  1. I love this post!!!My husband and I have been together for 30 years and married 28. I agree so much with everything you said. I kiss him and hug him goodbye every morning and tell him I love him. He is the owner of general contracting business, so in the winter I start his car so he is at least warm for the drive to the shop. I have him text when he is on his way home and make his favorite drink also. We should remember to treat husbands like we want to be treated. The little things go such a long way.❤️Happy Valentine’s Day.

    1. Laury, thank you for that inspiring comment. You are a great example to all of us. It was so sweet of you to take the time to comment and encourage everyone. What a blessing! Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your (very-lucky-to-have-you) husband! xoxo Suzy

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