Finding Resilience in Strong Personal Relationships

Nov 29, 2023 | Insights

Guest contributor Diane Holliday takes a fresh look at how living well together after setting the family free builds resilience.
All relationships change; we discover new things and want to experience different aspects of life, so we grow, hopefully together.

This is not always the case; big changes in the family pattern may mean that a couple, however devoted, may need to take a fresh look at living together with a new degree of harmony.

After children leave home, a couple will have a few new possibilities, dreams, and aspirations, sometimes producing stress and feelings of loneliness. This is more so if the partners have different desires for the future.

Don’t exchange personal relationships for loneliness

When my three children, all close together in age, left to find their feet, my way of coping was to work harder and take on longer hours and a more demanding job role. Well, it was to use the time that used to be taken up cooking, cleaning, washing and ironing for five… and then only for two ….I had to fill in my day somehow!

This caused me to be exhausted with little or no energy for my husband; in fact, it made me less of a person. I missed being a mum, and I forgot I was a wife. Our love life suffered, and it was only due to my husband’s tenacity that we held on and found common ground.

On reflection, I am now very aware that my way of coping was to obliterate the immense loneliness I felt. After being a mother and a big part of my family for 25 years, it took courage to see that the next part of my life could be better or at least as good, but just different.

Keeping a beneficial relationship going with each child became a little strained as they wanted to cut away, and I wanted more contact than they were willing to give. Compromise: once again, we learned how to manage things with cooperation, not treading on toes but also unwilling to walk on glass…!

Personal relationships still need work after you set the family free

Not all families are like mine; some sail through the adventure, even have holidays together and generally cope much better than I did.

My efforts at setting my family free were not the best way to deal with the situation; now, I know that making some special time for just us two would have been a better choice.

Not taking on too much work to deaden the pain, talking together about the future and making plans would have all been much better options. I know that now.

So, nearly forty years on, I still have my family; they are all normal, decent human beings….I call that a success!

Diane Holliday

My name is Jeremy Deedes, and I design and construct a purposeful and satisfying future for entrepreneurial couples whose kids have left home so that they can grow their wealth, free themselves from cloying restrictions and create new ways of making a difference.

Visit or schedule a free 20-minute consultation call to learn how I can work with you.

Photo attribution

Photo by Hilde Demeester on Unsplash

Taking it further

Diane Holliday is a Later Life Relationship Coach, Intuitive Healer, Dowser &and Author. Find out more at or get in touch with Diane on (44) 01273 640895/07989 078556 or

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