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Bonding with your Partners Siblings

By Anuradha Turner

Brothers and sisters of your partner are friends that you, as a couple, can rely upon all your life. Here’s exploring the relationship.

One of the most anticipated moments for any groom and bride is when they meet their respective in-laws. However, once that stage is over, it is the next in line- Siblings!

While having your partner's siblings around can be extremely comforting, Siblings tend to know your partner in a different way than parents or elder relatives in the house, hence, there is no formality or a regular drill to follow. Plan Your Wedding explores this unique relationship between the spouse and the ‘sibling in- laws’ and how to deal with some quirky characters.

Why Bonding with Siblings is Important

No matter what type of siblings your spouse has, it is no doubt that they are the most fun part of your new extended family. "Bonding with your partner's siblings is certainly the key to a healthy relationship. In the long run, you start seeing them on a regular basis and you realize that this new extended family truly helps nourish your social life. Friends are important and have their own space but the comfort of a family or extended family will always be a great bonding factor for you as a couple", says Sejal Shah, Relationship Counselor.

It definitely helps strengthen the bonds in a marriage but this sacred bonding procedure actually also works the other way round.
"I belong to a nuclear family with just me and my brother. My brother and I are close and yet not that close. I always had friends who have sisters and when my brother got married, I never imagined bonding so well with his spouse. Today, she actually completes that void of having this sibling sister. I actually feel like I have this sister around and we exchange dresses and I know I can count on her for make-up and usual tips", says Ruhi Sachdeva, TV Producer. In brief, bonding with siblings is only an extended way to show your partner that you are bonded forever and that you truly are a part of each other's lives.

The Misunderstood Siblings

Sometimes you get along and other times there are misunderstandings. Mostly, it is all sweet except that they are a little twisted. How do you exactly handle situations where your partner’s siblings can be a bit difficult to handle? Here's a look at the two most difficult yet funny types of siblings.

Welcome to Wilderness

"I hate to admit this but my brother-in-law is too wild in his lifestyle and that does not go well with my conservative family. From using bad words openly to the loud dancing, it was a bit embarrassing! I would never want to change him but maybe keep up a demeanor in front of my family. My husband treats him like a kid so it was almost impossible for me to make him understand what bothers me", says Gauhar Totala, Manager, Logistics Dept, who had a Sindhi Wedding .

If your partner's siblings turn out to be an over-enthusiastic wild child then, then it is almost exhausting to live upto their enthusiasm. Surely, in the beginning you will entertain it and even join them in their zillion activties but eventually when you cool down , they cannot imagine what happened to this coolest addition in family.

"My sister-in-law was just too much energy and she had this habit of asking me to dance and join her wherever she was going and most of the times i did not want to upset her since we had only started bonding. Eventually, it got a bit tiring but i still cannot say no to her,' says Vaibhav Sahani, Car Dealer.

The Tough Defender

These are the tough cookies to break mostly because they come with this aura. "My elder sister always thought that i was marrying the wrong guy. She is in general a bit protective and she is brutally honest almost insensitive. Hence the taunting of jobs and pay and who is doing better and who is smarter used to really make my husband uncomfortable. I took it easy for a while but eventually i had to speak up since my husband was genuinely trying to bond with her," says Sneha Singh, HR Executive.

The ‘I am Smarter’ Sibling will talk to you about books and some show on discovery channel you have never heard of and they make their disapproval about you pretty loud and clear. They are tough to impress and yet once you get their attention, they will actually defend you through every situation.

How to Deal with Siblings or Sibling Talks

If you are waiting to comment on how much your spouse's siblings are difficult, it is advised to wait patiently. The good news is almost everyone faces some issue. It is absolutely normal for your partner to be protective about their family.

How to deal with your Partner’s Siblings:

• After marriage, your partner may want to spend some extra time with her siblings. Give enough space and privacy to your partner and their siblings. Try not to intrude in their space. They share a bond and the more you respect this, the more they will welcome you.

• It is not necessary that you and your partner's siblings need to talk only about your Spouse and their childhood. You can talk and bond over other interests like TV shows, books or games.

• In case you bonded too quickly, there is a tendency to gang up against your spouse when you are with their siblings, however, make an effort to also stand by your spouse lest they feeling out-of-place. For example, making plans for dinner at your spouse's favourite restaurant, appreciation etc.

• In matters related to family and siblings, talk to your Spouse only in privacy. Remind her how much you care about her and her family but how you need help in dealing with an over enthusiastic sibling.

• If you facing rude behaviour from a Sibling or a cold vibe, it is better to keep boundaries. Your spouse will have to be taken into confidence. In most cases, it is only insecurities that can be easily dealt with over time.

• Siblings do not need to be your best friends, hence, there is no pressure to spend time and create a bonding just for the heck of it.

• In most situations partners tend to have an unrealistic expectations and want you to have a bonding with your siblings just as much as they have. However, no relationship can be forced, hence, it is crucial that you give space to your partner as well as your siblings. Eventually you will see that your siblings and your spouse are two different entities and both equally important in your life.

Tips for Siblings

Marriage in India is between two families and no matter how much you hide, as siblings there is a certain responsibility you need to follow.

- Nothing works more than a warm welcome by a sibling. Hence, make an effort to show how welcomed your sibling's partner is.

- When you meet your siblings, there is a tendency to talk only about things that you both usually talk about. Make an effort to include their partners in all discussions and events.

- You need respect your sibling and their privacy. Remember that they need to spend as much quality time. Even if you always join them for shopping or movies, you can always stay out of plans once in awhile.

-Whether it is the first fight or a crack in their relationship, your sibling will always confide in you about her relationship. Remember to advice her only after listening to both sides of the story. Though your instinct will be to protect your siblings, you can always make an effort to understand her partner.

Tips by Sejal Shah, Relationship Counselor

In the Classic Movie, DDLJ Kajol's sibling confides in Kajol to never leave a guy like Raj and that she must marry only and only Raj. In fact, she is the only one who understands their relationship. And as dramatic as it may sound, siblings form the little threads in your relationships, colourful threads like a rainbow keeping your spirits high and enhancing your surroundings with their positivity! So make the most of it!

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