My husband and I were chatting about our kids and he said, “We need to start thinking about saving for college.” College? What in the world would we need to be thinking about college for? I thought to myself. Then he said, “You know our oldest will be out of the house in about five years.”

My entire body tensed up. Five years! And then it dawned on me, in eight years, assuming that all goes well and smoothly with our children’s schooling, my husband and I will be empty-nesters. Eight years is a blip on the radar of the years in a lifetime. Those eight years will fly by. We will blink and our children will be asking about whether it is acceptable to eat Ramen noodles seven days a week.

In another conversation with a friend who is in a similar life stage, she said, “When our kids leave, I just hope my husband and I have something to talk about!” I think her sentiment is one many in our middle years begin to wonder. What will happen to our marriage when the kids leave? Will my spouse be a stranger to me? Will we have anything to talk about now that we aren’t running errands for the kids?

Although the thought of my kids leaving in such a short period of time always throws me off, my husband and I have been preparing for that day from the moment we brought our firstborn home from the hospital. We don’t do this (or anything) perfectly but here are three ways we are preparing for that empty-nester stage of life.

You can read on Lifeway Voices the three ways my husband and I are preparing now for that day when we become empty-nesters:

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