Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Sunday 24 October |
Saint of the Day: St. Anthony Mary Claret
Aleteia logo
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

How faith is helping my wife and me get through empty nest syndrome

SpeedKingz | Shutterstock

Mário Scandiuzzi - published on 07/09/19

It's hard to let go, but trusting in God helps!

It’s the natural way of things: our children grow up and want to live their own lives. They leave our home and move to a different street, neighborhood, city, or even country. There can be various reasons for this — studies, work, marriage, or simply independence.

Before we know it, we parents realize that our family, which has been together for so many years, is getting smaller. Our house, which used to be full of people and activity, is quieter. Our nest is emptying out!

Psychology says that the feeling of sadness which often affects parents when their children leave their home to follow their own path is completely natural. However, that period of sadness should be brief, and should not be confused with depression, which needs to be dealt with in a different way.

My wife and I recently went through this very experience. Our oldest daughter moved out of the city to go to college. Her dream is to study medicine, and so she moved away to take a course to prepare herself for the college entrance exams.

This moment changed our lives. After 18 years of marriage, it was our turn to start letting our kids go: the first of our two daughters began to live far away from our protection. It’s been a huge change. We felt great nostalgia. Our sadness at not being able to hug and kiss her has been eased by our regular video chats, but it’s still not the same. Our concern for her health and well-being has become even greater, and our family budget is tighter because costs are higher when one of your children is living in another city. At the same time, we can’t give any less attention to our younger daughter, who still lives with us.

It was a phase full of anxiety, insecurity, and fear. However, it was also a time when we grew in our faith. With our daughter living far from our protection, we have to trust that God, Our Lady, and the angels will always be at her side. For us, it’s time to be witnesses to our faith, and for her, it’s time to put into practice what she learned at home.

So, we’ve intensified our prayers, asking that she be always under God’s protection and that she achieve her goals. The certainty that God’s love for his children is infinite guides and comforts us as we prepare for the departure of our second daughter.

This always brings comfort to our hearts: our daughters are growing up, and setting out on their own to achieve their own goals and dreams. This is a sign that we planted good seeds, and now we can see them start to bear fruit. God has helped us through our life changes, and we know He’s keeping an eye on us, as well as our children — we let go, and we let God.


Read more:
The unexpected effects of empty nest syndrome

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Marinella Bandini
Exclusive: Carlo Acutis as seen by his mother
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio replied to John Paul II’s letter with a miracle
Theresa Civantos Barber
St. John Paul II’s perfect advice for lasting love in marriage
Cerith Gardiner
A collection of Pope John Paul II’s quotes on some of life’s most...
John Burger
Once considered for top post in Anglican Church, former bishop be...
Philip Kosloski
How kindness begins in your heart
Philip Kosloski
What’s the difference between confession and spiritual direction?
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.