I wrote and rewrote this article only to come to the conclusion this is definitely a two-parter. In discussing family dynamics, there are just so many different themes that arise. The theme of the sibling dynamics changing throughout the years, the theme of parent-child dynamics changing throughout the years and the all-important and oftentimes highly dramatic issue of when a member of a family brings in a significant other.
Family dynamics change over the years. Siblings mature and move into adulthood. Therefore, these relationships can become strained or closer based upon the type of relationship. The relationship between a big brother and little sister or may stay just that, a big brother and his little sister or may become more of a friend to friend relationship.
The relationship between myself, an older sister and my younger brother has gone from sibling to close friend throughout the years. Parental relationships with kids change as well. Kids who are dependent upon their parents during adolescence may remain so into their 20's and 30's. These same kids may become entirely independent after adolescence, which allows for a relationship based on equality and friendship with their parents.
Now, combine these changing relationship dynamics with a marriage or relationship.
When the son goes off and gets married, his relationship with his mother changes just as it changes with his siblings. I gained a friend when my brother married his wife. When he got married, everyone in the family gained a sister/daughter and years later, nieces and grandchildren.
When a daughter marries, oftentimes her relationship with her mother takes a turn. Mine took a turn for the better and my mother and I have never been so close. Many girls fight with their mothers during this time, thus changing the mother/daughter dynamic for the worse.
The relationship between a father and daughter changes a great deal when the daughter gets married, just as her relationship with her brothers and sisters do.
Unfortunately, I have noticed in many relationships that the significant other gets the brunt of the blame for these changing relationship dynamics. In fact, I remember a painful time when my family blamed my sister-in-law for my brother's "changes." In hindsight, these changes were simply maturing.
Why are people so eager to blame the significant other for changes in the daughter/son/sibling/friend? Is it really too difficult to admit that, over time, our relationship dynamics change, we grow up and move on?