Empty nesters aren’t sitting alone at home twiddling their thumbs and waiting for their kids to call. They’re enjoying their mates more.

University of Berkeley psychologists tracked the marital satisfaction of a group of women over 18 years. Their results show that “empty nest syndrome” — where people whose kids have left home suffer from loneliness and depression — is not all-pervasive. In fact, happiness in their marriages actually increased as women got older.

It wasn’t that women didn’t love their kids, it’s just that they enjoyed quality time with their husbands once the kids left.

Sara Gorchoff, one of the psychologists, was quick to point out that this doesn’t mean all children should be sent away to boarding school for the sake of their parents’ marriage. Rather, she said, “This research does suggest that women should not wait until their children leave home to schedule enjoyable time with their partners.”