By Rashim Nabanja
Weddings are such a huge exciting step for most people, to take. Usually, couples cannot wait for the new life that awaits them after their wedding day. They always look forward to experiencing a new/ different life as a married couple. However, with marriage comes many changes. Now that you have a spouse, your life starts to change and the relationship you have always had with the people around you changes too.
Hadiyah Nakalema, a 25-year-old business woman narrates how her relationship with her older brother changed immediately he got married. Because she came from a small family of three children, Nakalema and her siblings were very close. She hang out with her brother, sister a lot of the time.
Although her brother was eight years older than her, they were very close and had so much in common, “We had the same taste in music and movies, and despite the age difference, our conversations really connected.”
But then the time came for Nakalema’s brother to move out and start his own life. “I was at campus by then but we still communicated including sharing business ideas and helping each other out when one of us was broke.” In her final year at campus, her brother got married and according to Nakalema, that was the end of their closeness.
“He changed, we communicate only when he is coming to visit at home and he wants to know what items to bring. I used to call him and send messages from time to time but he used not to reply, so I too gave up,” Nakalema shares.
However, she adds that she understands it is likely he got bigger responsibilities now and has to think of his wife and children. She can’t help but think though, of her brother’s wife as the breaker of the bond they used to have.
Many of the relationships you have with the people in your life will change after your wedding, because with marriage comes a new way of life.
According to Ali Male, a counselor and psychologist from A-Z Professional Counseling and Support Centre, this change is usually based on the time, attitude and understanding of a person. If you have had unresolved conflicts with your loved ones before marriage, they will only stretch further and cause more distance between you and your loved ones, he says.
“You need to make sure that you resolve these conflicts before you go in for marriage, it at least maintains some form of closeness between you and your people,” he advises.
The following are some of the people that will be affected by your wedding;
Jauhr Nanteza, a business woman in Kampala, didn’t expect the relationship she had with her parents to change after her wedding but somehow, it did. “I stayed with my parents until the day of my wedding, the bond was too strong and I expected it to stay the same even after me getting married,” she says.
But after the wedding, the attention she used to have for her parents automatically diverted to her husband. She no longer gave them the time like she used to and even the communication became limited.
“When you get married, you somehow become reserved. You start doing everything carefully and even your choice of conversation changes, you somehow become grown-up,” she adds.
Once you are married, the next goal is to start up your own family and your major aim then will be to see yourselves grow and be happy. This means that the time you have been spending with your parents will reduce because you too are working on how to become a parent.
Mr Male also says it is normal that the time you spend with your parents now reduces and it is impossible to equally divide your attention and time after you get married.
“The fact that you are now committed to a new person, means you need to talk to your parents and explain to them that you are not pushing them away but rather you have to give the most of your time and attention to your new partner,” he says.
Many siblings tend to lose the attachment when they find the love of their lives. Technically, when you get a spouse, it feels like you have gotten a new sibling in your life. This means you will spend more time with your partner and see your siblings once in a while. Just like Nakalema, many easily take offence and feel like they are being replaced which isn’t the case.
Shadia Nakaye, a teacher by profession says as the first born in her family, she was always responsible for taking care of her siblings, “I used to feed them, bathe them, dress them and prepare them for school which made our bond stronger than ever.” But she wedded, she had to leave home meaning she was leaving her siblings behind.
“I got a phone call the morning after the wedding saying they had refused anyone from showering or feeding them unless it was me. I had to sweet-talk them and lie to them that I had gone to school and will be back soon,” she share.
It isn’t easy to leave someone that you have grown up with or have been living with for some time. There will be a gap left in the home that can never be filled but eventually, they get used to it as time goes by.
According to Male, it is also important to set boundaries between your new relationship and the relationship with your siblings. In case you have had some sibling woes, you need to clear them and avoid them from interfering with your marriage.
He also adds that you need to communicate and make your siblings understand and appreciate that you are moving on to a new level but that doesn’t mean you will forget them.
Depending on the type of friends you had before your wedding, there may be high chances of parting ways with them or cutting on the time you used to spend with them. If you are the kind that used to party all night with your crew, they will have to do that without you because now, you have bigger responsibilities. There is no way you will go partying and leave your wife or husband home having dinner alone.
Alex Ssebalamu says he kept his friends after getting married however, he always knew he couldn’t get crazy with them like he used to, or even engage in some types of conversations with them.
He now saw some things as a waste of time: “Most of my friends used to complain that I had become boring and I was no longer fun like I used to be but honestly, hanging with them had become uncomfortable, I felt that there was a certain image I needed to portray now that I was a married man.”
Nanteza also says that regarding her nature of business, she relates with a lot of people especially those that come to buy items at her shop: “When you are single, most men interact with you because they are expecting a chance of having a relationship with you but after you get married, the interaction changes.”
She adds that they may tend to call you sweet names as a way of flirting but as soon as they know you are off the market, they will keep a distance and it is also up to you to create boundaries, “My customers now just come for products and leave. The long conversations we used to have are now deemed unnecessary.”
However, no matter how much your relationship with the people in your life has been affected, it doesn’t mean you should keep them out of your life completely. It all about learning how to relate with them in a different way and also helping them adjust to the new you.
Male says this change is one of the reasons as to why couples need to go for pre-marital counseling. Here they will understand how to softly transition to the change that is about to happen in their life and avoid negative impacts that may occur. In case they are there, they will then know how to handle them.