We Grow Up, We Get Married: How These Life Changes Affected My Family

When your older brother is all grown up, how do you handle these new changes in the family.
how growing up and getting married affects family
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In exactly 15 days and counting, my brother will be married.

Over the past few months, I've been thinking about how different our family dynamic will be now that we're welcoming a new person to the family. Having never entered this phase of life yet, it's a weird feeling knowing my brother is all grown up and about to embark on a new chapter in his life.

Life is funny like that. It goes by so slow one minute, and fast the next. When thinking about what to write, it dawned on me that I don't see a lot of articles written about the dynamic change within the family unit when a sibling gets married.

It either focuses on the engaged couple or the parent-child relationship but not the siblings. Why is that? I'm sure there are many siblings out there experiencing this new change in their lives and feel just like I do, excited for your sibling, but wondering how this will change the relationships between you all.

As the oldest of the family and the eldest of our cousins, in a way, it makes sense that he'll be the first to say his vows. And I'm truly happy for him and his future wife. But I’d be lying if I said it feels a little weird having an almost married brother.

We all knew this day would come soon for all of us but it’s different when that time comes sooner than you think. You think you have x amount of years to enjoy together and then quickly realize you’re no longer kids or teenagers, you’re adults now.

My brother is three years older than me but sometimes it feels like he’s much older than that. He’s always been very wise and articulate for his age and that is also reflected in the partner he chose. Which funny enough is between my sister & mine ages but seems much wiser than us!

When I first met his then-girlfriend, I had a feeling she would be the one. It was the way he talked about her, cared for her, and lit up like a Christmas whenever their gazes met. Call me crazy but after seeing her, it was pretty much a done deal in my book.

I had never seen my brother in a romantic relationship before and seeing it manifest in front of me was like magic. I returned home and gushed about her to my family. They both each other's respective set of parents and we all kinda knew this was indeed a serious relationship.

When we first got the news that my brother and his fiancee were engaged, I literally jumped and squealed for joy, as if I was the one getting married! They had been together at that point for almost two years, and quite frankly we had been expecting it for some time. His fiancée fit so well in our little family, something I had been a bit apprehensive of before meeting her.

It’s one thing to hear about your sibling's partners but it’s another to actually meet them face to face. My fears were replaced with this calm feeling like I knew right away that she would eventually be an official part of our family. What I didn’t expect was how everything went back to normal after the initial excitement.

Normal standards being everyday life was the same except, we were now waiting for the wedding invites and looking for wedding attire. Thanks to Hollywood’s unrealistic expectations, I thought post-engagement would be fluttering with more exciting but then again, I was the guest, not the one getting married. My job was to make sure I have all the items I need for the trip and just wait for the big day to arrive.

The relationship between us siblings had subtly shifted over the years, the distance being the main cause for it. However, my older brother was and always would be someone I could call just to catch up or ask about adulting issues. That part of our relationship never changed and I suspect never will. Despite our distance and him establishing his own household, our relationship is still solid.

I never felt that this incoming family member would disrupt our family dynamic, in fact, she’s enhancing it even more. One day soon, I’ll get to be the fun aunt and experience my brother being a father. It’s a scary thought because I still think of him as a young teenager torturing me with his sarcasm and wit. And that part of him will never go away.

Looking back now, I expected the relationship between my brother and me to change dramatically. Per the movies I saw growing up, there’s usually a big dynamic shift to make way for the future spouse and all their attention is centered on that person, with family taking a back seat. Or at least in my eyes, it did.

So I was honestly shocked when things only shifted a bit. It shifted as we made room for our new sister-in-law, it shifted to include her on our Christmas lists and gift exchanges, and it shifted to also include her family. Because while our future sister-in-law is leaving her family and joining ours, we're also getting a bonus, and that's her family.

I never felt that my brother forgot us or pushed us aside to focus on his then-girlfriend, but allowed more room in his heart for her. Everything just slightly shifted and that is how I will look at this new chapter in life. And for the next new chapters that will come along.

Fan of literary fiction novels, green tea, roller skating, and watching dog videos.

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