7 ways your relationship with your sibling might change after you get married

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Siblings, whether one or several, are likely to have played an important part in your wedding. It doesn’t matter if they were in your bridal party or not, it is important that they are family members and have witnessed you become the married adult you are today. You have shared many wonderful childhood memories, as well as some less-wonderful ones. They also likely know secrets that you want to keep between you. While marriage is an exciting step and one that should be celebrated by a sister or brother, it often signals a change in your relationship-sometimes, but not always, for the better. Psychologists were consulted to help us understand how to expect your relationship to change after you say “I do.”

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It is possible to get even closer.

It could be the glue that binds you together. If your spouse and fiance get along with your siblings well, it could be the glue that binds you together. You may even become closer than ever. Marissa Nelson, a licensed marriage- and family therapist, warns that the reverse can happen. Negative feelings between partners can cause a conflict between siblings and you. She says, “I have seen many cases where partners are protective and trying to show their partner the best they can.” People can become defensive if their siblings view their spouse or wife negatively. They may isolate and distance themselves. It is important to foster a healthy relationship between both spouses. Nelson states that they share one thing, which is love, and it is important to nurture your relationship with your spouse.

It is possible to start being more protective of your marriage.

Nelson says that he has counseled many couples that were honest with their siblings about their relationship problems before they got married. However, this changed when they said “I do.” “Couples are often quite private about any difficult issues they might be facing as a couple. Some only share problems like affairs, frequent verbal disputes, and lack connection until it is too late. However, for others, their siblings are the last to learn about any internal problems in their sister or brother’s relationships. Nelson states that while it is fine to consider your marriage sacred, no one should suffer silently. Tell your sibling that you don’t need to judge them, but they can be there for you.

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It is possible for your unmarried sibling to feel jealous.

Siblings with similar ages may be more sensitive than others to the legal contract that ties one sibling to another. This can have a direct impact on the relationship between siblings, especially if one of them is not married. Midori Verity, a relationship coach, says that siblings often share a strong bond that binds them together. One may be concerned about the possibility of a breakup when a marriage is in play. Resentment can be natural for the sibling who feels left behind. To form a special relationship with their spouse, she suggests that the unwed sibling share an interest with the spouse. You’ll quickly gain the admiration of your new partner and realize that there is no need to be jealous.

It is possible that you may not use the phone as often.

Even if your sibling lives in different states or towns, it’s common to catch up via text message or phone call. The frequency of these chats can decrease when you are planning a wedding or just getting married. The couple may have more things to do than they thought. In fact, the list could grow as they move on to the next stage of their lives: buying a house or having children. Nelson suggests that it is important to make sure you schedule phone calls with your brother or sister at least once a week. Nelson suggests that group texts can be a better way to keep in touch than using the phone.

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They may be able to offer more advice.

Many “adult” experiences are different from any other set of life experiences. Your siblings can be a great source of support, especially if they have already been through this stage in their lives. Nelson says, “If you’re expecting your first child and have a nephew or niece, you might be able to lean on your sibling to get advice and feel like you have more commonalities as parents than your other siblings.” You shouldn’t be afraid of keeping your sibling(s), even if they aren’t able to understand everything, involved in your life. It is important to keep the lines of communication open and maintain connection.

It is possible that you have less energy and time for family drama.

Many siblings serve as the buffer between the hot-headed family members, such as a strong and opinionated sister or a difficult-to-deal-with father. Nelson says, “If you are the family mediator and peacemaker, then you might find that there is less tolerance for fighting after you get married.” While this is perfectly normal, it’s important to establish some ground rules. She says that the focus should be on putting as much love and devotion into your marriage as possible.

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You might be expected to do more for your family by your siblings.

You’re now a married couple, so you are more mature and responsible. Most likely, your sibling believes so. You might have some expectations about this, which you may not be fully prepared for. Hosting family holidays at home. Terri Orbuch, PhD, relationship expert, author of 5 Simple Steps that Will Transform Your Marriage from Good to Great, suggests, “Sit down and discuss this expectation with your spouse.” If you are comfortable hosting holidays at your home, communicate with your siblings what you expect them to do. Instead of placing the burden on your shoulders, delegating can make it easier to work as a team.

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